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Tight Wedding Budget? 5 Strategies for Lowering Your Catering Bill

If you want to wow your guests, you could spend more than $12,000 on a wedding caterer, according to The Bridal Association of America. Keep in mind that this amount only includes the food, drinks, cake, and service. You will also have to pay for the venue, for entertainment, and for any other extras. If you don’t have thousands in your budget for a caterer, you’re in luck. There are several things you can do to lower your catering bill. The following are five cost-saving measures you should discuss with your caterer.  Ask for Cheaper Ingredients The first way you can cut costs is to ask your caterer to use less expensive ingredients in their signature recipes and to pass the savings on to you. For example, if they are going to make a particular cocktail for your reception, ask that they use a lower-shelf alcoholic ingredient. You can also ask them to choose less expensive ingredients for food items as well. You usually won’t spend as much for off-brand items, so encourage your caterer to go generic.  Choose In-Season Ingredients Select dishes that utilize fresh produce that’s in season. The cost for seasonal produce is always at its lowest when that particular item is in season. In-season produce is also easier to come by since it is more abundant than off-season items are.  Go for Simple Dishes The fewer ingredients that your caterer uses, the less money they will spend making each dish. And that savings can translate into a lower bill for you. With this in mind, choose menu items that have only a few simple ingredients. The goal is to keep the ingredient list as short as possible by choosing simple recipes and selecting dishes that share the same ingredients.  Book Ahead for a Discount Some caterers will offer you a discount if you book your event well in advance. Be sure to give yourself plenty of planning time and to interview caterers early. When you talk to them, don’t be afraid to ask about discounts or specials for booking with them.  Select the Buffet Option A large portion of your catering bill covers service. If you want to trim away...