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#1 Simplify your menu
Weddng dinners used to have a minimum of 10 dishes to imply the wealth and generousity of the couple and their famalies, and how grand a fest it is! But couples can stick to 8 dishes (a lucky number in chinese culture!) and cut costs by having two dishes less. For lunch or casual dinners, opt for buffets instead of a sit-down as these are a lot more friendly for your pocket.
#2 Smart menu planning
Most Chinese wedding dinner menus offer dishes that have auspicious meanings for the couple. If you’re not fussy about these things, you can opt for dishes that cost less. Pick one or two mains that are pricier and stick to more affordable fare (like noodles and vegetables) for the rest of your menu. Do the catering yourself. Cut costs for your reception and lunch celebration by having your family and friends chip on with the food and desserts! With more people taking up cooking and baking courses, you’ll be able to find contributions easily!
#3 BYOB Benefits
Always check with your venue if you can BYOB. Friends and family can contribute bottles, and you can get them to buy you more from duty-free shops if they’re coming home from an overseas holiday.
#4 Have a pour service
A pour service for your sit-down meal will help you save tons instead of placing wine or champagne bottles on each table. This will reduce wastage form leftover wine if guests don’t finish the bottles at their table.
#5 Toast the good stuff!
Keep your best wine or champagne for the toast. After downing the more affordable stuff during dinner, yor guests won’t know the difference.
Image: Her World Brides
#6 Cake it simple
I always believe weddings should have a real authentic cake instead of the mock-up ones that most venues use for the newlyweds to cut. This may save them money but it does spoil the real meaning behind the cake-cutting tradition. If you’re planning to have a real wedding cake for your wedding, you don’t have to have a large creation with many tiers; opt for a smaller version that can be just as pretty. For the guests, have your baker create mini or cupcake versions of your wedding cake – these will be more cost-effective. Avoid all the frills and decorative details to save more.
#7 Kid’s meals
If you’re having kid’s at your celebrations, you may want to consider a cheaper and more kid-friendly menu for them. Work with your caterer or venue to create a simple menu featuring perhaps a maximum of 4 dishes that kids will love.
Image: Her World Brides
#8 The dessert buffet
Forget the wedding cake servings! Treat your guests to a dessert bar and buffet which you can stock up with contributions from friends and family as well! Most local venues and caterers now offer this option as well.
#9 Waste not
The best thing about a dessert bar is that you can pack any remaining sweets, cupcakes and other delish delicacies into pretty boxes and give them away as favors or gifts to the kids. Or you can keep them for yourselves to snack on after the wedding!
#10 Alternative sweets
There are so many pretty and creative alternatives to the wedding cake these days. Why not have macarons, doughnuts, cookies or even stack loaves of your favourite cake as your wedding cake? These will definitely cost a lot lesser than the usual customised wedding cake.