All About Wedding Catering

posted on 5 August 2013 by The Tie The Knot Team
posted to Wedding Tips & Advice

All About Wedding Catering

I was recently asked to cater for a wedding. Around 150 people, with a budget of R8000 – which includes drinks. To save you the calculations, the budget works out to just over R50 per person – which is, well, pretty darn tidy.

It got me thinking about wedding catering and a few of the more budget friendly options that could help you save a few Rand with your menu. Now, I’m not promising you’ll be able to feed everyone on R50 – but every bit helps, right?

Canapés vs starters

This one is tricky. Your guests will likely need something to nibble on while you and your husband are getting your photographs done –so canapés are the obvious solution. Generally, this is then followed by a (at least) three-course meal. Is it all necessary? Probably not. Bread or starch-based canapés will generally be the cheaper options : think bruschetta topped with sundried tomato and mozzarella, small tartlets or mini chicken pastries. If you cater on enough canapés per person, you could also ignore the starter option completely. Guests won’t be ravenous.

Main course options

Anything very “meaty” will generally be the more expensive option: steak, lamb shanks and sadly now even the previously more unloved cuts of meat (shin / neck) are becoming more popular and expensive. Fish and chicken would be the most budget friendly and can be equally delicious.

Desserts and Wedding Cakes

If you’re trying to keep the budget down, there’s no need to serve both – if you plan carefully. If your wedding cake is a deliciously rich chocolate fudge cake or carrot cake – you can easily serve this as dessert. With a fantastic cup of after-dinner coffee, there will be no complaints from your guests. If you’d like, you can also offer chocolate truffles, petits fours or even shortbread biscuits with coffee, if you want something a little extra-special, and budget allows.

As your food costs will generally be the biggest at your wedding, it pays to give it some special thought and attention, as it will also be one of the biggest areas where you are able to save.

All About Wedding Catering

Read more from Candice as she planned her wedding in our Bride to Be section.

Photographs courtesy of Candice Bresler ©

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What Do You Think?


  1. 6 Aug 2013
    Helen says

    We served our wedding cake and cupcakes with tea while we had our photos taken – this meant the cake at least got eaten (so often its not if left to the end of the evening) and it gave guests something to nibble on before dinner!


  2. 6 Aug 2013
    Christina says

    If you have a wedding in Winter you can always opt for soup, save money that way too. :)


  3. 6 Aug 2013
    Ruth says

    How on earth do you achieve R50 pp??? And why will our catering be about R200pp??? And that’s 250-300 guests. This is the scariest part along my dress. Culture and tradition really puts pressure on us. But I realised that we could just skip the starter and have enough canapés while we have our photoshoot. and maybe simple chunks of bread and bread sticks on the table. But not a full blown bread table, Just a nibble. I have about 6 more months to go until my February 22nd wedding. Cannot wait! I have been reading your posts almost everyday for a few months now and I loved the posts from the Candice and Lauren, and tips from different service providers. Great job!


    • 14 Aug 2013
      Candice says

      Hi Ruth, thank you for your great comment and support! Please also let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to read about / have advice on and I’ll see what I can do to help :)