Let's face it, the minute you stick the word "wedding" into a conversation, prices double. And aside from your significant other, food is the most important part of a wedding, right? Well, a stylish wedding does not need to cost the farm. Here are five ways to cut costs and increase style, when it comes to the other star of your big day, the eats.
1. You may ask yourself... how did I get here?
Where are your parents or your parents' parents from? Pick a piece or all of your culture and celebrate it at your wedding with your family recipes. Be sure to enlist the good cooks in your family to help. At my friend's Matt & Carina's wedding, they served Carina's mother's spinach & cheese and chicken & beef empanadas in honor of her Argentinean parents. Her sister made her grandmother's famous 'bonbones' (a unique twist on the bon bon) It was the most memorable wedding food I have ever had, and best of all, they included little cards crediting the family cook, which made the experience even more intimate and authentic.
2. Let them eat ice cream
Three words: Ice cream sandies. I'm not talking about your parent's ice cream sandwich-- the 2.0 varieties are composed of atypical ice cream flavors (think: salted caramel) sandwiched between two freshly baked cookies. If you really want to impress your guests, forgo the expensive designer ones* and enlist a few friends to bake a few batches themselves. Scoop some great ice cream between two cookies and throw in the freezer and you're there. Dig into the seasons (fall = fig balsamic ice cream). If you're worried about transporting and ice cream drips, buy a regular cake and not a wedding cake; price tags are often inflated when the word "wedding" is included.
*CoolHaus (the best of the best in ice cream cookie sandwiches) is about to launch an online store.
3. Pick your very own poison
Even if the bespoke cocktail trend annoys you, there's likely a drink that gives you some sentimental or nostalgic value. Identify 2-3 drinks that fall into that category and that you, as a couple, enjoy. Make display cards for the bar naming the drink and briefly explaining the significance. With three delicious drinks, you can forgo a full bar and accent these hard headliners with beer and one or two white and red wine varieties, depending on your budget. Skip the French champagne and opt for Prosecco. It's dry, delicious and much cheaper. Throw in some Lambrusco (red bubbly) if you want to get crazy.
4. Go cheese
The genius and simplicity of several classy cheese plates in lieu of traditional hors d'ourves is oddly unexploited. Go to Costco, grab some big hunks of cheese and crackers and place them on a long slab of wood. I found this beautiful one at crate and barrel. Your guests won't feel overly full from expensive, dainty and highly caloric hors d'oeuvres and they will likely have their appetite intact for dinner.
5. Rehearse this word: pizza
For your rehearsal dinner, go for pizza and beer. It is understated and fun, especially if you finagle a good local pizza truck into making a house call or serve your town or city's best pizza. No one will lament having to enjoy the talk of the town's pizza and wash it down with great beer. Best of all, you will spare hangovers and prime your guests' palates for fancier food on your big day.
Click through the slideshow below for wedding day pizza inspiration. Photos by Sara Remington.