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Tips For How to Save Money on Catering For Your Wedding

There are many ways to save money on events these days and DIY is a term that pops up everywhere. After seeing some well-meaning attempts fail, we’d like to chime in with a few suggestions! If you’re on an extra tight budget, here are some ideas for things you could and should not provide yourself and hopefully find some considerable savings in between.


When people DIY alcohol for their wedding or event, general and liquor liability is often forgotten. John Bagge of Twelve Baskets Catering says “we are often asked to cater an event where the client wants to provide the alcohol and hire a friend-of-a-friend or a family member to bartend. With detailed organization and effort, you could save $4-6 per person by purchasing your own alcohol (don't forget you'll have to haul it and chill ahead of time as well!). But if you are not careful to hire the right licensed person, you can end up with an unprofessional inebriated bartender that is over serving guests and minors or out on the dance floor instead of watching the bar while people are helping themselves (can you tell we’re speaking from personal experience!?). Any caterer that is licensed to sell and serve alcohol will supply the liquor liability insurance needed, but if you DIY you'll have to procure your own insurance and most likely need to obtain a banquet permit from your state liquor control board as well.” A licensed and professional bartender will take the stress out of that aspect of your party.

{Catherine Straume photo with Twelve Baskets Catering Bartenders}

Real glassware vs. Compostable Options

Justine Cosme, a sales and event manager with Cameron Catering says that she “works with a wide range of couples and is always happy to suggest ways to make every penny count.” One recommendation she often makes is to “go green at the bar! Glassware rentals can REALLY add up so by using green compostable cup options at your bar and beverage stations, you can literally save hundreds of dollars. Sustainability is good for our environment and great for a wedding budget!” Going the compostable disposable route, will also save you money on labor since it most often requires less event staff to bus all the glasses and plates. Linda Geiger, owner of Celebrate Catering suggests her budget conscious couples “provide their own beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages but utilizes her experienced Staff to help serve their guests.” She agrees with Justine and says, “use eco-friendly products rather than real dinnerware; this will lower your labor costs!”