Getting married is truly a wonderful experience; it’s a day people remember for the rest of their lives. People strive to make their wedding day perfect all the way from the time of day to what they wear. But it can get expensive fast. While food is one of those things that can be a big (and important!) expense, it doesn’t have to be - well, it’s still important, but it doesn’t need to be expensive. There are plenty of cheap wedding foods that you can serve at your wedding that are still delicious party-pleasers. Let’s dive in!
Appetizers and Sides: The Snacks to Keep Everyone Happy
While appetizers or sides aren’t essential, they might be something you want to have so that your guests have something to snack on at the start of the wedding reception (and throughout it, too!). Luckily, there are a lot of options for cheap snacks that will also stay tasty and fresh throughout the event. Generally, anything that doesn’t require assembly (i.e. sandwiches) is going to be cheaper as they require fewer ingredients and save on time and labor. Snacks are also much easier to eat if there aren’t multiple components (no one wants to ruin their fancy wedding clothes!). There are a lot of cheap options that fit into this category: mini corn dogs, chips and salsa, egg rolls, taquitos, potatoes (especially mini), and breakfast foods. Who wouldn’t want to eat french toast sticks at a wedding? More and more couples are also skipping the main meal and only serving bites. Having the wedding consist of only appetizers and sides cuts down on food costs further; no need to serve a whole meal to everyone if snacks will suffice.
The Entrée: The Main Attraction
Amidst all the partying people need to eat. Sometimes, that comes in the form of an entrée. Unfortunately, serving a whole meal to people can get expensive really quickly. Luckily, there are ways to get around it. The primary way to keep entrées cheap is the protein you choose. Chicken is one of the cheapest meats, followed by most ground meats. Steak and seafood options will usually cost the most. By serving a more budget friendly protein as a part of your main dish, you can cut down your costs.
Another fun way to keep costs down is making your main meal more like a buffet! Have a pasta bar or taco bar; this way, people can serve themselves exactly what they want to eat. Of course, more options for toppings and mix-ins will increase the price, but having just a few options still keeps everyone happy. No reason to thin your wallet while keeping people’s bellies full!
Dessert: The Big One
Typically, when people thing of “wedding dessert,” they think of cake. But cakes can get expensive; typically ranging from $125 to $700 (or even more), wedding cakes can be an expense that some people don’t want to deal with. Most of the potential swaps for a wedding cake can still be expensive depending on how many you need. Cupcakes and donuts are both easier to serve and typically cheaper options as a “main dessert,” even if they aren't as traditional as a wedding cake.
When one of my sisters got married, my mom made cream cheese mints. As someone with a certified sweet tooth, I can say that these are one of the best desserts I've ever had. While this particular dessert isn’t exactly the most filling, it is a fun thing to snack on throughout the wedding reception. And they are quite easy to make! I am going to entrust you with the recipe I have from my mom (who knows where she got it from?):
- 3 ounces of cream cheese (room temperature)
- Do not use low fat cream cheese as it messes with the consistency
- 2 ½ cups of powdered sugar
- Food coloring and flavoring as desired
- These can be whatever you desire! Have fun with it (especially if you are having a themed wedding!). They are only really called “mints” because of the size and how easy they are to eat; no need to make them actually be mint-flavored.
- Granulated sugar (for decoration)
- Beat cream cheese until soft.
- Gradually add sugar.
- Add flavoring and coloring.
- Knead until the dough is the consistency of pie dough (soft, but still workable).
- Roll into marble-sized balls.
- Dip one side into granulated sugar and place it that side down into a mold. Press firmly in from the edge to the center.
- The mold could be made for cream cheese mints, or even just a small cookie cutter to get it into a shape.
- Remove from the mold onto waxed paper and leave to air dry for several hours.
While this recipe doesn’t make a lot of the mints in its current state, you can scale it up as necessary. It’s an easy little snack to make, and making them can even bring stress relief during the whole wedding-planning process!
Wedding food doesn’t need to break the bank. There are plenty of options for cheap wedding food that will keep your guests and your wallet happy. So relax, take this expense off your plate (pun intended) and enjoy your wedding!
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