Backyard Wedding Menu Ideas

Monday, November 14th 2022. | Weddings

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Early in the wedding planning marathon, my now-husband suggested a new menu. Instead of a buffet or traditional sit-down service, why not serve your guests a roasted pig with sides like green beans, mac and cheese, and coleslaw?

Backyard Wedding Menu Ideas

Backyard Wedding Menu Ideas

It was one of the five most memorable meals of my life. Pound for pound, this is also one of the biggest advantages.

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Setting up a simple rustic buffet instead of more elaborate food is the basis of our relentless drive to keep wedding costs down. But if the pit roast isn’t perfect, there are plenty of other ways to cut costs.

Use these tips to get the most out of a smaller guest list and time your wedding or reception for maximum value. They can help you limit food and beverage expenses for your guests and have a minimal impact on how you experience your big day.

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No matter what combination of money-saving strategies you use, increase your pool by asking your guests for monetary gifts in advance instead of physical (or monetary) gifts on the big day.

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Sign up for HoneyFund (it’s free!) and use it to raise money electronically from wedding attendees and people who can’t make it too. HoneyFund takes a small portion of each donation and the rest is up to you. Anything you don’t spend before the wedding on food and drink is yours to spend on gifts for yourself after the wedding – perhaps on a decent honeymoon.

There’s no way around it – more guests mean more mouths to feed and more drinks to pour. The surest way to keep your overall food and beverage bill down is to limit your guest list, even if that means making tough choices about who gets to leave your big day.

One way to avoid these options is to skip the wedding day reception. Instead, hold a smaller party (don’t call it a reception) the day or week after the ceremony, perhaps at your home or in a neighborhood park.

Backyard Wedding Menu Ideas

Limit the guest list to close friends and family and keep the food simple – think barbecue and cooler canned drinks.

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The most important thing you can do to reduce the cost of dinner does not require much effort. Just call the places you’re considering and ask if they allow outside food. If the place requires homemade food, cross them off your list.

If you have close friends or relatives with enough space, ask them to host the reception (and possibly the ceremony, depending on your preference). Reward them by assuring them that the position is more than giving them.

If the wedding is small and their love for you is deep, they may help prepare and serve the food and drinks. Assuming the homeowner doesn’t have acres of lawn for guests to spread out, hosting at a private home may require a smaller guest list.

Use themed food and drink menus that rely on fewer, cheaper ingredients to save money. A consistent theme increases the appeal of basic or boring food.

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For example, fried chicken, fried okra, and macaroni and cheese are more appealing as part of a Southern-oriented menu than the obvious thought at the end of a long buffet.

Skip the expensive extras, which tend to be more options for wedding venues than real added value for the engaged couple. A special example is cutting the cake. If you ask several guests to cut and paste your cake, you get the same product at a cheaper price.

In addition to the huge amount of work required to pour and measure dozens of champagnes, the drinks are very expensive – at least $5 per bottle for off-the-shelf sparkling wine and $5 or more for each the glass for what is given.

Backyard Wedding Menu Ideas

As memorable as your first wedding toast is, it’s not worth the expense. A toast that you and your guests are already drinking. Hopefully whoever makes the toast says something very interesting and no one will notice the absence of bubbles.

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If you have a say in this matter – and for this and other reasons, it is wise to avoid empty places – choose environmentally friendly waste materials. which includes:

If you plan to use food service, ask for a youth discount. Many restaurateurs cut off holidays for children under 12 years old. Some of the most generous providers reach up to 16.

The children’s discount is also a valuable bargaining point. Once you find a caterer that pays less for kids, use that deal as a warning to get similar deals from other caterers you’re considering.

Private hotels generally charge for daytime activities if the evening block party can leave in time. And city parks usually charge a fee to reserve a booth or barbecue.

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Daytime guests also tend to enjoy lighter and cheaper fare such as tea or club sandwiches, entrees (hot dogs and hamburgers), or snacks (chips and salsa). The Wedding Spot has many ideas for wedding food throughout the day.

By eliminating cocktail hour and turning off the dance music for an hour or two after dinner, you can shave several hours off work hours, cutting maintenance and booze costs in that’s it. Guests who want to have a party can arrange their own.

One of the easiest ways to reduce ticket prices between the end of the ceremony and the official start is the reception. These ideas include solutions that you can apply to almost any wedding along with a new idea or two that you may find useful.

Backyard Wedding Menu Ideas

Asking guests to bring their own drinks is not rude. Make it clear on your wedding invitation or website that you will not be serving alcohol during cocktail hour. Then set the stage for a glorious cocktail hour by doing the following:

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If you’re not sold on the BIOB cocktail hour, keep it simple and offer just one drink between the ceremony and the start of the reception. Ideas for offering a drink at a low price include:

Your guests’ tastes will be different, so don’t worry about choosing the right drink for everyone. White wine or hard seltzer is a safer choice since many drinkers avoid beer or spirits (and some prefer not to skip pre-dinner cocktails).

Whether your seat is flying or not BIOB, keep your alcoholic beverages locked away until dinner. Instead, stop drinking alcohol between the party and dinner.

In the meantime, provide a dispenser full of soft drinks, such as sweet and unsweetened tea or water with citrus, cucumber or berries.

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At many weddings, the main purpose of the cocktail party is to keep guests busy while the wedding is photographed. There’s no need to skip cocktail hour if you can get your wedding photos ready before your guests arrive.

Do not delay heavier meals such as pork in a blanket or meat until the guests arrive in the room where you plan to eat.

During cocktail hour, satisfy their appetite with a variety of snacks, such as nuts, pretzels and dried fruit. Diners can have less food during formal hors d’oeuvres, keeping the cost of wedding food down.

Backyard Wedding Menu Ideas

Whether you’re handing out hors d’oeuvres during cocktails or waiting for guests to take their seats at dinner, these tips can keep your wedding hors d’oeuvres costs down.

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Why not offer your own choice for an appetizer? On the wedding invitation and on the wedding website, invite guests to sign up for a homemade or purchased app of their choice.

If you decide to go this route, keep in mind that there may be some hoops to jump and work to do, such as:

An easier twist on the crowdsourcing theme involves asking each member of the wedding party to create their favorite app (or app you provide) for the reception instead of a gift.

But these guidelines also apply. Since there will be a small number of participants, be careful to confirm enough offers. Depending on the size of the group, each participant may need to make 50 or 75 servings to ensure that each guest can try more than one bite.

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