In light of last weekend’s Thanksgiving feasting and festivities, I have scrumptious snacks, mouthwatering menus, and delectable desserts on my mind. Brides, today let’s take a look at how food affects your wedding day.

Asian Tea Theme for Cocktail Hour
Try tea and coffee stations to fit your theme as opposed to an open bar with complimentary cocktails.

For every bride’s special day, food will be present for at least three important events. Number one: The Cocktail Hour. While you take photographs with your groom, your guests will be enjoying hors d’oeuvres to satiate their appetites. Number two: The Main Meal. Whether it’s lunch, brunch, or a three-course dinner, this starts the reception with all the guests seated for a formal feasting. Number three: The Wedding Cake. Following dining and some dancing, you and your groom will cut the cake, eat a slice, and let your guests enjoy the rest.

With so many stages, a bride’s eyes can go wide as she considers her budget. Fortunately, even with these three food opportunities, budget-conscious brides can find solutions. Take a look at these catering tips to keep costs low and still create delicious menus for your Las Vegas weddings.

#1.  Consider the time. Some venues offer lower prices for earlier reception times. Ask your venue about their options, and consider how your wedding would look at a different hour. Also, remember that Friday and Sunday weddings are likely less expensive than Saturdays.

#2.  Plan beyond popular wedding seasons. Las Vegas wedding venues book a lot of weddings between April to June and August to October. Avoid these busy months to receive a lower price tag on your catering (and venue booking) costs.

#3.  Limit the open bar. Cocktails can be expensive. Rather than serve unlimited hard liquor, stick to an open bar that only offers beer, wine, and soda. This gives guests enough alcohol to enjoy themselves without letting anyone get too drunk during the reception. You’ll save face for your friends and stay within your budget.

Spicy Tuna with Cilantro_Appetizers for Cocktail Hour Catering
Try small portions and butler pass for more extravagant appetizers.

#4.  Try fewer courses. If you plan to host a full dinner, then go easy on the appetizers. Really want those extravagant hors d’oeuvres? Then follow these with a simple plated dinner of meat and veggies, as opposed to a three-course meal. If you plan to serve wedding cake, then skip additional dessert stations. The goal is to give your guests enough food to enjoy while also realizing it’s okay to stay focused. Go big in one area, and slim down elsewhere.

#5.  Think of meats. Personalize your wedding menu without the exotic food prices. Rather than steak, try a spice-rubbed chicken, marinated fish, or vegetarian options, like pastas or falafel. Still want steak? Then forego the prime rib in favor of a less expensive cut that’s just as delicious.

#6.  Have an accurate guest count. You’ll likely need to tell your venue the final head count two to four weeks before the wedding.  Don’t overestimate and pay for empty chairs.  Instead, know exactly how many guests will attend by planning ahead with your RSVP list.

With these tips, brides, you’re ready to count the cost and stay within your budgets for your wedding days. For more information about catering, ask your venue for recommendations. Need a venue or an independent Las Vegas wedding caterer? Then visit Bridal Spectacular’s official website, and find an option that best fits you!

Author: Allyson Siwajian  © 2011

Photographs: Allyson Siwajian