Looking for cheap wedding catering hacks? At Monkey Business Catering, we specialise in providing affordable Toowoomba catering options that don’t compromise on quality. In this article, we’ll share our top tips to help you create a memorable and cost-effective culinary experience for your special day.
The most dangerous food is wedding cake. – Proverb
The informal wedding sweet spot
Weddings … they make up the most fun part of our business and are also the most challenging. So much thought, diligent planning, deep emotion and multiple people involvement is invested in the preparation of weddings. This leads to unique dynamic.
For corporate events we tend to deal with a single person in the planning stage. For weddings we deal with between two to six different people.
From the very beginning of the business, I knew that we were going to specialise in very specific style of events.
Our speciality is the not the extreme phenomenon weddings with complete staff service, venue supplied and everything perfected (the gorgeous Gabbinbar Homestead where weddings start at $40,000 does this magnificently).
Our specialty is the informal wedding; where the bridal couple is using a unique venue (often their own or a family members property), they are delighted to DIY some elements and they are wanting something beautiful but are constrained by a budget (not a ‘cheap and cheerful’ budget but a ‘please don’t ask me to mortgage my house’ budget).
These are my hints and tricks to ensuring that your wedding catering falls in the ‘please don’t ask me to mortgage my house’ budget!
Venue aka location
Cheap wedding catering hack 1: Choose a venue within 20min of the CBD
Choose your venue and its location carefully! The closer they are to a central business location (like a city) the cheaper your food is likely to be.
We cater to a lot of rural weddings as well and they are delightful BUT for every kilometre outside of a CBD location that we travel we charge $2.50 per km.
If the location is far away this can add up quickly. A great example of this is something that is 80km or an hour (one way) from our kitchen. The delivery ALONE is $200.
Service style aka staff
Cheap wedding catering hack 2: Have as few service staff as possible OR have ‘Drop & Run’ catering
Staff is one of the highest costs of operating a hospitality business in Australia. The more staff you have serving, the higher the cost.
The same for your wedding. For every wait staff, bar staff or chef you have on site you will be paying! On average onsite service adds $10 to $20 per person to the overall cost of catering for the style of food we do.
So keep your onsite service simple OR choose not to have any!
Cheap wedding catering hack 3: Limit your hot food options
Hot hood = Onsite service for weddings.
More hot food = More expensive.
It is cold in Toowoomba, just a fact. But for every bit of hot food you have it will increase you per head cost by $10 to $50.
So think creatively.
Have a day time wedding (absolute favourites are the BRUNCH or HIGH TEA ones! Less hot food and really fun menus).
Go with options that don’t mean a staff member has to heat or serve at your location.
In winter for canapes, set up a soup shot serve-yourself-station with soup cauldrons (there are amazing plug in ones). You can also do this with Nachos. Just set up tiny cups or plates to go with it.
For dinner, have hot meals and cold sides. Buffet style will always be the cheapest overall as less staff can serve more people.
And for desserts, give every table a chocolate fondue set that once set they can look after.
Of course I say this knowing:
The one thing that I’m in charge of in this wedding is the food. – R. Marland
So whatever you choose, we wish you an amazing day and an even BETTER marriage.
Monkey Business Catering is a catering company headquartered in Toowoomba, Queensland.