Save money on catering: ask about kid food!

June 18 |
Photo by gamene, used by Creative Commons license

Here's the deal: you're having your wedding catered. Your guestlist is starting to look big, and it's filled with children! You need to save money, but you have all these adorable kids to feed, and only so much cash on hand to spend on fancy stuff like wild salmon and kale caesar salads.

Well, here's one clever solution, courtesy of an Offbeat Bride named Tammara:

Check with your caterer for kid-friendly alternatives on the menu. Our caterer is providing chicken fingers for our little guests, and the kids are not included in the overall headcount for the "adult" meal and bar.

BLAMMO. Kids get fed, and you save cash. Talk to your caterer!

  1. Yup this is important! Fortunately our caterer asked about kids, but I wouldn't have thought of that if she didn't ask. The kids' rate was a little less than 1/5 of the rate for adults, which I think was mostly because they don't get to use the bar. Really drives home how expensive an open bar is!

    1 agrees
  2. Also, if you're having a bar ask if you can pay the "non-alcoholic bar" or "soda and juice" price for the kids.

    1 agrees
  3. Great tip!
    Ask about the suppliers menu as well, for things like the photographer, DJ etc as their food is likely to be cheaper as well.

    Our venue has a different price for Children's food and drink depending on their age, which is also helpful.

    0 agree
  4. I would just add to be careful not to pick the children's option for older kids who may have bigger appetites than you realize. I always ate a full plate of food as a child and I liked pretty much all the foods kids are supposed to hate (except brussels sprouts, cause vegetables shouldn't smell like feet). If I had been lucky enough to be invited to wedding at eleven or twelve, I would be pissed to show up for dinner and be fed five chicken fingers instead of salmon like the adults were. And then there are the toddlers who may only eat three bites off their parent's plate and don't need a separate meal at all. I think the safest bet is to ask their parents what their kids eat.

    8 agree
  5. Yep, this is good advice. We're doing a pizza buffet, and our caterer charges kids under 12 half of the adult rate, and kids under 4 are free. It's going to save us a TON of money, because children make up nearly 25% of our guest list.

    4 agree
  6. Or you could serve everyone kid-friendly food! My husband would have loved to just have a BBQ wedding (everyone loves hamburgers and hot dogs) or pizza-fest for all. We went the expensive route instead (and the food was awesome, although burgers, hot dogs, and pizza are also awesome), but if we had served just simple food with large age range appeal, we probably would have saved a lot of money.

    1 agrees
    • We're having hamburgers at our wedding — because they are my favorite and IT IS MY SPECIAL DAY (which is what I've said to everyone who has mentioned that they are not wedding food) — and we've STILL had a few people who were upset that there was no kid's option. One family member in particular has insisted that we offer another option for her kids (they want chicken nuggets), but I'm a notoriously fussy eater and my fiancé says that anyone pickier than me is on their own.

      1 agrees
      • As a picky eater myself, it makes me ridiculously happy not only to see all of these weddings with food fit for people like myself, but to see that other picker eaters are getting MARRIED. Do you know how many times I've been told no one would ever marry me because of how I eat? Look who's laughing all the way to the isle with a grilled cheese in hand. Take that, jerks!

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        • Yeah, it's funny, because my fiancé isn't picky AT ALL. He says the fewer weird things I eat, the more weird things he gets to taste. It works out well for everyone.

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          • Yes! My husband will eat anything that sits still long enough, and I'm like, "So these five items are enough for the rest of my life, right?" We go to restaurants or weddings, and I just pass him whatever I don't want. It's perfect!

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  7. I work for a caterer and we do kids meals at every wedding that has kids. We even do a little kids meal and a big kids meal if the couple wants. Little kids get breaded chicken tenders fries and a fruit cup and the big ones get grilled chicken and veggies. We have extra food too, so if you run into a situation where your big kid got little kid sized food and they are still hungry just ask for more.

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  8. The picture you guys chose to illustrate this article is pretty funny – I'm sure there are exceptions, but I would guess that many 2-8 year olds would not find chicken breaded with big chunks of spicy jalapeno to be particularly kid-friendly!

    4 agree

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