dream events and catering in nashville tn

09 Mar 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Budgeting for your Wedding Catering

The first meal you share as a married couple is a big deal – you definitely want to make sure you have it in your budget to get the most delicious dinner for you and your guests! After all, the food is often what guests remember most. But when it comes time to actually set aside the funds to do so – where do you even begin? Here are 5 mistakes to avoid in order to easily budget for your wedding catering.

1. NOT Setting Your Master Budget First

You should absolutely know how much money you’re working with before setting aside a specific amount for any one thing in your wedding. Discuss with your fiance and anyone else (like parents, aunts or uncles, etc) who have offered their monetary help for your big day. Once you have a good idea of the total you have to work with, you’ll be able to better allocate your spending based on your priorities.  Bonus Tip! Your guest count will have the biggest impact on your budget. While you may want to invite 200 people to your wedding,  your budget may not stretch to feed that many guests. Tiering your guest list into A, B & C group can help you make cuts if necessary.

2. NOT Setting Your Wedding Must Haves

Discuss with your future spouse and those contributing to your wedding how important certain things are to you. What are your top three non-negotiables as a couple? If you must have a live band, an amazing feast, and opulent flowers then you know where most of your budget should go and where it should not.

3. Choosing a Buffet to Save Money

While a buffet or a heavy hors d’oeuvres style menus may sound less expensive, it’s not always the cheaper option. Often couples opt for these style menus to give their guests more choices which in today’s world of food allergies and dietary restrictions, is your best option. But with these additional menu choices, comes a higher menu price and sometimes additional staffing fees. If budget is your biggest concern, follow the guidance of your caterer to determine the style of menu and service that will fit best.

4. NOT Planning for Service Fees

When looking at catering menus prices be sure to budget for additional service fees and taxes. Service fees generally add 20% to your base menu price and taxes another 9.25% for Nashville weddings.  Bonus Tip! Trust the pros when it comes to the number of servers, bartenders and on-site staff your event will need. While this may seem like an easy way to shave costs, your guests will suffer when the line to the bar and buffet are wrapped around your venue.

5. Assuming Custom Menus are Cheaper

It’s a mistake to think menus can be created to fit any budget. There are some basics costs that apply to every event and while knowing the menu ahead of time will reduce food waste, a catering company has travel, delivery, set-up, and break-down to consider. Plus, they don’t serve the same menu out of the same kitchen night after night where food can be more easily re-used and set-up labor more tightly managed. Bonus Tip!  The more guests your event has does not promise a better deal.  The per person price does not decrease as the number of guests increases unless your caterer is planning to serve less food to those additional guests (and you don’t want to run out of food!).

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