Tuesday, January 3, 2012

TBS Tip: How to Save on your F&B

When times are tough like they are now, it's hard to find couples who aren't on a budget. In fact, it just doesn't happen any more. The more couples I meet are trying to find ways to cut their costs, without having guests notice.

One of the largest cost in a wedding is the F&B [Food and Beverage.] Of course this cost goes up the more guests you have. So, if you are planning on having a decent size wedding, listen up ... here are some great tips to help lower your costs!

1. Outside Caterers - Find a venue who will allow you to bring in your own food and beverage. Places like hotels and resorts depend on food and beverages to off set their costs, so you will pay more for their food and services. But if you can find a venue who does not have a specific caterer, or allows you to bring in your own, you can cut the cost almost in half.

2. Pass on Appetizers - Forget the fluff. There is no reason your guests will need a lot to eat before your serve them dinner. Try not to make them wait too long, but if you can get away with it, skip the hors d’oeuvres. You're guests really wont notice, and it's an extra cost that can be cut. If you MUST have appetizers available for your guests, have them placed buffet style, and save the money would would have spent on having them passed by servers.

3. Scale Back your Menu - Instead of serving a duel entree, keep it simple. Select a meat, starch, veggie and choose an extra side. Your guests won't notice one bit. I do recommend having a vegetarian option available just in case though.

4. Serve Breakfast or Brunch - When the couple is on an extremely tight budget, I always recommend serving breakfast or brunch. It's fun anyways and will save you a ton of money. In fact, a couple of years back we planned a "Breakfast at Tiffany's Wedding" were we served eggs Benedict and mimosas. It was fabulous!

5. Kids Meals - Make sure if you are hosting families with small children that you give them another meal option. They don't want to eat a big steak and salad. Instead, select something like chicken fingers or macaroni and cheese. It will save you in the long run!

6. Stick with Cake - Don't worry about having a fancy dessert bar, instead just serve cake. Your guests will be just fine! If you're worried about it, have a cake with different favors to keep it interesting.

7. Sheet Cakes - When times are tough, you have to make the best choices. One of the easiest ways I have brides save money is by having their wedding cake, but not going overboard. For instance, instead of having a 6 tier cake to feed all of your guests, downsize to a 3 tiered cake and have sheet cakes prepared ahead of time in the back. The guests wont know the difference!

8. The Bar - Whatever you do, don't make your guests pay for their own alcohol. It's not worth it and it looks cheap. Instead, select a couple of options for your guests. Choose a beer, wine and a specialty drink and leave it to that!

For additional ideas on how to save money on your wedding, contact Natalie at The Bridal Solution. Weddings are expensive, but theirs no reason not to save where you can!

Happy Planning!
Natalie Imhoff

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