10 Inexpensive Reception Food Ideas That Don't Look Cheap

Posted by Chef Dan on October 8, 2014 at 12:30 PM

One of the most important aspects of wedding planning is sticking to your budget. It's easy to underestimate how quickly costs can add up – especially when it comes to food. You also don't want to seem cheap with your food selection. Finding that happy medium can be difficult. Keep your guests happy and satisfied with the following inexpensive reception food ideas that won't break your budget:


1. Shrimp Cocktails: A classic dish at any upscale event, shrimp cocktails carry an expensive connotation. However, catering shrimp may be much more affordable than you may think. Served à la carte, it's easy to provide guests with fresh shrimp without having to waste any food. As an added bonus, shrimp cocktails require very little preparation while still tasting great!

2. Pâté with Toast Points: This fancy-looking appetizer is comprised of cooked ground meat and spices, served as a spreadable paste. Presented elegantly on a platter, this French delicacy will have your guests feeling like royalty.

3. Rolled Sandwiches: A very versatile appetizer that lends well to variety. They can be made beforehand, and prepared according to a wide variety of tastes. Various meats, cheeses, vegetables and dressings can be added to this recipe to create a range of flavors. When presented this appetizer can also be very visually pleasing! Main Course

4. Breakfast/Brunch: Everybody loves breakfast food – omelets, wild rice sausage, cheesy hash browns and Bloody Mary’s are always a winning combination. Elegant and affordable, the breakfast/brunch reception works well for couples looking to forego the traditional reception activities.

5. Pasta Bar: Pasta is an inexpensive dish that goes a long way. Having pasta alone does carry a “cheap” connotation, which is why adding meat to the basic pasta recipes adds flair guests are expecting, without blowing your budget. Let your guests interact directly with the Chef to make their very own pasta creation. Choose from a wide variety of meat, seafood, vegetables and seasonings, along with a choice of pasta and three homemade sauces.

6. Barbeque, Picnic or Potluck: If you prefer juicy burgers and sweetcorn over chicken and vegetables, this option is for you! Perfect for casual or outdoor receptions, this suggestion can be a budget-friendly and (with a little culinary creativity) gourmet meal.

7. Themed Stations: Having different food stations offers your guests a variety of options. Pork Prime Rib, Grilled Chicken Breast, Pasta Bar, and Picnic Buffets – the possibilities are vast. Each station can offer smaller portions of varying foods, which is perfect for picky eaters (and your pocketbook!). Desserts

8. Cheesecake: This classy dessert is deliciously stylish in any setting; an upscale restaurant, or easygoing outdoor occasion. Is it pie? Kick the sophistication up a notch with chocolate drizzle or fresh fruit garnishes.

9. Brownies: Every chocolate-lover's favorite, brownies are impossible to turn down! Warm, gooey and irresistible, these desserts are an extremely versatile option for any event. These tasty treats are perfect bite-sized options for both casual and formal events.

10. Homemade Apple Cobbler: A decadent combination of light, buttery, flaky crust and sweet, richly spiced warm apple filling. When presented, this country classic can provide an elegant addition to your traditional desert menu.

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