Anyone not doing tea & coffee after meal?

Polly27Polly27 Posts: 659 New bride
Have been looking at ways to possibly cut down on the price of food and drink. My h2b has suggested not having canapes, but as we're getting married at 12 and probably not sitting down until about 3.45 I think the canapes are a must to stop the guests gnawing their own arms off

To me the most simple thing to remove is after dinner coffee and tea, but this hasn't gone down well with my mum who thinks my older relatives will be expecting it! What do you think?


  • SarahMor84SarahMor84 Posts: 1,493
    I think it is up to you, most people do like a nice coffee or tea after their meal and some people would expect it however if it is not provided then it is not the end of the world.
  • I used to work somewhere where coffee was a flat £2 pp, however, a couple of brides said they just wanted to pay for the guests that said they wanted it. So we went round with it, and said "would you like coffee?" and only poured for those that did. We then did a quick count and both times we did this only half to 2/3 had it, saving around £100.

    Or maybe you could ask your venue if they'll do a coffee station, but for a lesser percentage of guests. eg 25 of 80 guests.

    Maybe another option could be to ask the venue if they have a cheaper option to canepes. (Canepes are fiddly, time consuming and expensive to make and serve so are normally overpriced) Like a buffet of cheese and crackers, bread and dips etc.

    If you want canepes as you don't want guests to be hungry while they wait, (good idea IMO!) then how about doing more filling ones and skipping the starter? This could save 20% on your food bill.

    If you want to reduce the food bill, talk to your venue, they may have good ideas that still keep their margins, your guests needs and your budget in mind.
  • lindsayulindsayu Posts: 1,939
    We weren't going to have any but my mum has insisted on it, and some things I'm letting her decide as they are paying about a third of the venue (including food/drinks etc) bill. With any 3 course meal at my venue coffee is included, though we're not having a traditional 3 course meal so it's not included. The venue have been flexible though and said that we wouldn't have to pay for the tea/coffee in advance, they'll just count up how many people who have it and invoice us for it. We're not having table wine either as the last wedding I went to half of the table weren't drinking (due to driving or just going easy) and I reckon another quarter were only drinking it as it was free. Meaning approximately two [people per table actually appreciated it. We're buying a welcome drink and a toasting drink, and if we can afford nearer the date we're going to add a jug of sangria on to each table. We're only ordering food for 80% of evening guests. What about not having a dessert and serving wedding cake instead? You could either save the money or ask for canapes in place of dessert.

    We have exactly the same problem though, that we'll prob eat about 4pm and I think we really need to give them canapes straight after the service or they'll be starving (and drunk off one drink haha!) but it is so expensive. Our venue charges £6pp for canapes based on 4 or 5 each, but that's £600!! We would have loved a cheese & biscuit table in it's place but they charge about £11 pp for their standard cheese course so we worked on doing that between 3 people, but when we asked about portion size it worked out at about £3.50 for one slice of cheese and a biscuit! Wonder if you could get around this by asking if you could have cheese wedding cake as well as a wedding cake, then "deciding" to serve it earlier instead of canapes??!
  • dawnio1977dawnio1977 Posts: 374
    i am in a similar boat, our venue wants £4.50 per tea or coffee!!! shocking.

    We have agreed that instead of paying for 100 regardless of whether people want them, it will be available at the bar upon request (free to the guests). Its really the older relatives who would appreciate one, and I will just make it known that it will be there if they would like it. i wont over advertise them at that price! image
  • leighh5ukleighh5uk Posts: 278
    do you really think that people wont be able to last under 4hours with nothing to eat?i dont think its that long personally but some places have options of nibbles like nuts, kettle chips and olives rather than actual canapes x
  • I know it's a lot of money but personally I love a coffee after a big meal! I went a wedding last year and we were the last ones to be served coffee (we waited AGES after the meal) and everyone on the table was really really flagging. I wouldn't say I expect coffee but I always really really appreciate it!
  • mrsC2b2012mrsC2b2012 Posts: 734
    when is your wedding, my venue advised that as our wedding is in august, not to have it offered, but if people ask they will serve it, (and charge us the next day) neither me or H2B drink tea or coffee, and its our wedding day and we are paying so we can choose lol! i understand in some cases, if parents are paying portions then they can have a say =)
  • DuddersDudders Posts: 1,659
    If it's not your cup of tea (no pun intended!) don't do it. I got the same thing off my mum that the older guests will expect it. I think a lot of people won't so it will be offered on the day and we'll just be charged for those that have it.

    I know what you mean about the canapes, and I hadn't originally planned to have them. As we get married at 12:30 and my mum (again!) helpfully pointed out that most people will either be staying at the venue or travelling a couple of hours in the morning so they'll otherwise not eat for about 6 or 7 hours after breakfast = very p1ssed guests very quickly!!! Going to have to suck up the £5 a head - might only cater for 80% though and definitely won't go for the usual fare that people don't eat 'cos they don't know what it is!!
  • Polly27Polly27 Posts: 659 New bride
    Thanks for all the advise, glad to know I'm not the only one who's thought about it. Think the coffee station sounds like a good idea. I've got 153 adults and 10 children to the wedding breaksfast so any money saved will be appreciated, image !

    None of our parents are contributing to our wedding (well h2b's are giving us a £1000 and my brother has bought my dress but the rest is down to us) so it is our decision but I still would like to try please everyone so the coffee station seems like a good compromise.
  • Yep, I think that's a really good compromise, I think paying for everyone to have tea or coffee is a waste image
  • RowenaFWRowenaFW Posts: 2,078
    I'm really not sure if we're doing coffee or not. I like it, but I doubt I'll notice the difference, and my fiance doesn't like hot beverages of any kind. The older guests may expect it, but we're having a very young crowd in general... hmmm
  • To save money we've opted for canapes during the drinks reception in place of any starters for the meal - but then we're having quite an informal "family-service" style posh BBQ for the main, so it is a little more natural to miss the starter.

    We're offering tea & coffee and just paying for those who want it.
  • july2011july2011 Posts: 817
    I proposed to save a couple of hundred by not having tea and coffee, but my mum said "it's a nice way to end the meal" and I got talked back into it again.

    As a guest, I wouldn't notice, but I guess there are coffee addicts and other people who wouldn't dream of having a 3 course meal without a coffee at the end
  • Have you considered serving your cake as dessert? The venue may charge to plate it, but with 163 guests you could save a lot here.
  • postscriptalexpostscriptalex Posts: 1,069
    Our reception is in a gastropub and although we aren't having a traditional full course meal (a bbq and posh buffet instead) our venue have allowed us to offer guests tea or coffee at £1pp - we will just let people know that they can order it at the bar alongside any other drinks. I doubt people will really drink a hot drink but who knows!

Sign In or Register to comment.