This post contains affiliate or brand partner links. Read our full disclosure here.
Ahhh, wedding bells! The anticipation building up to your big day is glorious, but the planning? Often more stressful than glorious. If you’re the “fairytale wedding” kind of bride or groom, maybe slow your roll; in a time when marriages have around a 50% chance of making the long haul, numerous studies have shown that couples who spend modest amounts of money on their wedding instead of splurging have had lower rates of divorce. Do yourself (and your future marriage) a favor and cut back on stress and spending in at least one key area: FOOD!
Good news, 2018 catering trends have been moving towards quaint and easy set-ups. You don’t need expensive sit-down menus to keep your wedding day classy and enjoyable. Brunches and comfort food buffets are among top trends caterers are seeing this year. Think about the culinary tastes of your guests; would they be perfectly happy munching on some classic home-style mac and cheese? Do some of them turn their noses up at unusual flavors or textures? Keeping your wedding day munchies simple but good quality is perfectly fine. Just because 40% of Americans eat ice cream in any given two-week period doesn’t mean they get sick of it! Plan that ice cream sundae bar.
Going for a ‘cocktail hour’ approach instead of a pricey open bar is a cute and personalized option that can be planned by a caterer or a group of your savviest bar friends. Choosing around three recipes is a good sweet spot. Decide on different flavors/vibes and names that are significant to the happy couple. You get some variety and a memorable personal touch while still sticking to a drink budget.
Don’t be afraid of a potluck approach coming off as chintzy or cheap. Anyone who knows how much weddings cost won’t give it a second thought. More importantly, what better way to celebrate family, friends, and togetherness than by asking everyone to bring in shareable recipes that they love? Make sure you have a list of everything that’s being prepared so you avoid ending up with an imbalanced menu. You probably wouldn’t like to end up with five lasagnas, three pies, and no side dishes. Also, have a plan in place for storing and serving dishes.
A potluck approach with alcoholic drinks could be a great alternative to an open bar situation as well. Having guests contribute a bottle or two of beverages they enjoy adds some variety. Note that potluck dinner and drinks will probably be best received by your guests if you’re already asking for little or no wedding gifts. A potluck probably isn’t a great idea for a guest list that is mostly traveling a ways out to the event, too. Travel schedules and hotels aren’t very accommodating for someone attempting to make you quality wedding potluck dishes.
All in all, of course you want your wedding to be the ‘perfect day’. Just remember that ‘perfect’ could be something different than what you first expected! Food is one of the most flexible areas of your wedding planning, so use that to your advantage and don’t over-stress about it. Enjoy the planning, and enjoy the big day!