5 Money Saving Hacks When Planning A Wedding

Having catered on average 90 weddings to date we have picked up some tips and tricks along the way to save money and, being the nice folk we are, we thought we would share them!

So here goes.....

1) AlCOHOL

Probably one of the most important inputs to any wedding right?! Over the last few years we have managed to create a very accurate calculation as to the amount of alcohol actually required. For your drinks reception 1.5 glasses of bubbles per guest will cover you for a 2-2.5 hour drinks reception (once you calculate your guest numbers by 1.5 then divide by 6 glasses in a bottle and that will give you the total number of bottles required). As for bottled beer - 2 bottles per head will see you covered for this.

Wine with dinner - we suggest .75 a bottle of wine per guest (some places suggest half a bottle per head but we have sometimes found that to be a tad on the short side).

Prosecco Tip - stock up on this post Valentines Day when it is all slashed in price! You can thank us later:-)

2) FAVOURS

There is noting worse than walking into a reception room the morning after a wedding and seeing wedding favours  still on the tables after you have no doubt put so much time, energy (and money!) into creating only for them to be forgotten about!

Don't get us wrong we have seen some beautiful, unique, and in some cases yummy, favours in our time and they can be a lovely special touch but our advice? Save your money - more prosecco anyone?!

3) BANDS

Ok this is gonna be a controversial one and will divide opinion but we think with a REALLY good DJ you could forgo a band. Now there are some absolutely fantastic bands out there so I guess this will really depend on how important music is to you and of course the budget you have set aside for entertainment BUT we have seen some weddings absolutely rocking with just a DJ and in our opinion there is only one man for the job  - Colm Donnely DJ4me. As someone planning my own wedding at the moment having Colm as our all-night entertainment is one of the things we are most looking forward to!

4) DECORATIONS

Are you getting married in a DIY venue? If so ask the wedding planner/coordinator are there any wedding decorations that have been stock-piled from other weddings. Again, walking into a reception room the morning after the wedding its always suprising what gets left behind. Adverts.ie is also another great place to find brides selling their pre-loved wedding decorations and hey, we all love a bargain!

5) FOOD PRE-ORDERS

As wedding caterers this is a big one for us! WE HATE WASTE! We offer all our clients a discount to provide us with a pre-order two-weeks in advance of the wedding. This gives us a rough guideline of food orders required(not exact as you will always have people change their minds on the day - lets not go there!) so we can minimise waste - win win!

So there you have it! Hope it helps some of you - if you do end up saving an absolute fortune we accept gifts of all forms:-)

Our Top Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Menu

When it comes to weddings there is no denying that food plays one of the most important roles in the day so its important to put time into working with your  caterer to design a menu that not only reflects the style and theme of your big day but most importantly yourselves as a couple.

Here are our top 5 tips for choosing your wedding menu...

Andrew Holmes - Executive Head Chef

Andrew Holmes - Executive Head Chef

1. MIX IT UP

Here at AHC, we are big fans of sharing food at weddings. We believe it assists as an ice-breaker and is a great focal point to get conversation flowing between guests who may not necessarily know each other that well - if at all. Having Antipasti boards as your starter will do just the job and you can then follow this by an individual plated main.

Antipasti Boards

Antipasti Boards

Including "sharing boards" for dessert acts an a good bookend to this meal. We suggest doing a trio of dessert and including a chocolate, citrus and cream-based dessert so there is something for everyone! Guests can share amongst themselves or keep their own, either way the conversation is kept flowing...

Dessert Sharing Boards

Dessert Sharing Boards

2. KEEP DIETARY REQUIREMENTS IN MIND

Always talk to your caterer about a "silent" veggie option. As this is not a main offering caterers should not charge you for this. Also keep in mind any allergies or intolerances your guests may have and be sure to ask your guests to let you know in advance, with notice your caterer should not have an issue accommodating these guests.

Vegetarian Risotto

Vegetarian Risotto

3. COMPLIMENTARY TASTING

All caterers should offer you a complimentary tasting of your chosen wedding menu so ensure you ask about this. Our clients tell us it is one of the best parts of the wedding planning journey as they get to enjoy the wedding meal without the stress of the big day.

There is no love sincerer than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

4. KEEP IT SEASONAL

When thinking about your wedding menu ensure you take into consideration what produce will be in season. Your chosen caterer should be well ahead of you on this point and should discuss a menu with you that will be seasonal or offer alternative suggestions to ideas you may have that may not be "in-season".

Summer Superfood Salad

Summer Superfood Salad

5. REMEMBER, IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU!

When choosing a menu, something we cannot stress enough is to take into consideration your personal tastes and what YOU want to eat for that first meal as a married couple. Sure its important to take into consideration the vegetarians and what not but to design a menu around what is going to please your fussy uncle is not something you should do!