Columbus Caterers Share Money-Saving Tips

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
dock580 catered Simone and Noah Brader's winter wedding, where guests enjoyed a dessert table featuring their favorite sweet treats.

Food and drink costs-especially if you've invited a large number of guests to your wedding-add up quickly. While it's great you want to treat your guests to a delicious meal, don't blow your entire budget on food. Fortunately, there are smart ways to save without sacrificing on quality or style. We asked some of the city's top caterers to share inside tips for saving where it counts.

Dinner

"Beef prices are so high these days, we're starting to see a lot more people who are willing to look at alternatives to the beef-and-chicken option at their wedding," says Stacy Terman, director of special events at Milo's Catering. "They might offer pork tenderloin, fish or a nice pasta dish instead."

Another way to save? Opt for a picnic-style menu, says Sarah Selhorst, director of catering and sales for Bosc & Brie. "It doesn't have to be inelegant," she says. "I've planned some lovely pulled-pork dinners."

Dessert

Simplify the cake, suggests John Hoyt, director of catering at Carfagna's. "Do a small cake or a cake topper, and then focus on the dessert table," he says. "A lot of couples have started focusing on big dessert tables rather than elaborate and expensive wedding cakes. Instead, they focus on cupcakes and cookies, which are very accessible. Large cookie spreads are very important to Italians. We often have relatives make and bring platters of cookies, and they look quite impressive all laid out."

Drinks

Find a venue that lets you provide your own alcohol. Says Selhorst: "You can still pay for service and glassware if you want, but buying your own alcohol can save you thousands of dollars."

"It's not standard to see a full bar with 10 types of liquor anymore," adds Jenny James, catering sales manager at Cameron Mitchell Premier Events. "People are doing what they can afford and what they like. If the couple likes Manhattans and Cosmos, that's what they're going to offer. Guests will take it or not, but most often guests do like it and they know why they're drinking it."