Planning a wedding is stressful enough without worrying about the food budget. If you've decided to forego the caterer because you're worried about the cost, it's time to rethink that decision. There are ways to enjoy the benefits of a caterer, without blowing the entire wedding budget on it. Here are four simple steps you can take to keep the catering budget for your wedding under control.

Go Heavy on the Colorful Salads

When it comes to cutting costs for your catering, one of the easiest things you can do is add more salads to your buffet line. Adding fresh fruit and salad will help shrink appetites before you put out the main course. Better yet, include the salads with the main course so that the main dishes go farther.

Avoid the Self-Serve Appetizer Bars

If you've decided to go with appetizers for your wedding, you'll want to avoid the self-serve approach. Many couples provide self-serve appetizers for their wedding guests and then either running out of food or end up with a catering bill that was slightly higher than anticipated. That's because guests tend to overdo it on the self-serve appetizer tables, especially when items such as shrimp and other costly items are provided. Keep the costs under control by providing portioned servings of the appetizers.

Choose a Breakfast or Lunch Reception

When it comes to saving money on your wedding catering, time matters. Planning an evening wedding reception will require costlier food, especially if you're going to be serving dinner. However, planning your reception for breakfast or lunch will allow you to serve less costly meals. Breakfast receptions can include waffle and crepe bars, while lunch receptions can include sandwiches and salads.

Get the Friends and Family Involved

If you're on a budget, but you like the idea of using a caterer, get the best of both worlds by involving the friends and family. Hire a caterer to provide the main dishes and then include a potluck buffet table. Ask your family and friends to provide a favorite dish for the potluck table that includes a recipe. Your guests will enjoy the eclectic collection of foods to enjoy, and you'll receive a full collection of recipes that you can try at home.

If you're trying to stick to a budget for your wedding, you don't need to cut out the caterer. Use the tips provided here to control your wedding food budget without saying no to the caterer. For more information, contact your local wedding catering services.