How to Cater Your Wedding Inexpensively

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With some help from friends and family, as well as a little creativity with the food and decoration budget, you can cater your own wedding inexpensively.

  • Plan and budget the reception by determining how many people will be attending and how much you can afford to spend on each person for food and drink combined. Decide how much you can spend on decorations and supplies for the wedding reception.

  • Decide what type of foods you will offer. Finger foods keep costs down, instead of having a sit-down affair with a full meal. Serve tea, coffee and water. It's fine if you can afford alcoholic beverages, but if not, have a cash bar.

  • Find a wholesale food company that supplies food to hotels, but will sometimes sell to individuals. They sell salads, bread and meat in bulk, which is less expensive. Buy eating utensils and plates at a paper warehouse supply company or retail warehouse. Choose colored or decorative paper goods to get a custom look.

  • Ask for help from friends and family for decoration, food preparation, serving and clean-up.

  • Borrow serving dishes, greenery and flowers, punch bowls and other items that you would normally have to rent. Your family members and friends may lend you the contents of their pantries or share the bounty of their gardens.

  • Make your own table decorations using clear white vases and white or colored floating candles, which you can buy at a dollar store. Hot glue decorative branches to the vases and tie with grosgrain ribbon. Put water and candles in the vases and light them just before guests arrive.

  • Spread serving tables with white butcher paper and keep the lights down low. No one will be offended that you haven't used linens. Add greenery, baskets for the bread, pretty bowls and serving pieces, and candles and you have an attractive serving table for the food.

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