How do I save money on catering?Q. How do I save money on catering?

A. First, find out if there is a minimum that you must spend, either a per-person amount or a total amount so you know what your bottom minimum is.

If you are using an in-house caterer, you can opt for an afternoon reception and use the lunch menu, limit food to hors d’oeurves for either an afternoon or late evening reception, have a buffet versus a sit down dinner, or limit selections to less expensive options such as pasta or chicken based entrees.

If you are using an off-site caterer, additional options include making your own punch and coffee, since prices tend to be more than $1 per serving.

Finally, you can also save on beverage costs by limiting alcohol to only a couple signature drinks, only serving a champagne toast, limiting serving time to a couple hours, or forgoing alcohol altogether.