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All weddings have a budget, some more than others, but all with a maximum that can be spent. If you want catering for your wedding, regardless if you are spending $5,000 or $40,000, you will have options. You will need to decide on the type of reception you want to have. In addition, your reception should coordinate with your wedding.

For example, if you have a formal wedding, then you would want a formal reception. If you an outdoor wedding, then you could go with a reception that is casual. You also need to consider the time of day, the number of guests, and so on. Although a four-course meal may be more challenging, if you want something formal that will be reasonably priced and elegant, you might consider a nice buffet.

You want to work with a reputable catering company that will work with your ideas and budget. The best advice is to keep your reception nice but simple. For example, you do not need a dozen different salads and five meats. Instead, you can choose two popular salad choices and two or three meats and everyone will be happy. Keep in mind that if you are having a dinner, it does not necessarily have to be a hot dinner. If you are having a late afternoon reception, you could have a nice array of salads, various cheeses, cold cuts, pickles, and so on. If you prefer to have an ethnic reception, you could set up a nice buffet to accommodate. For example, you could have a Mexican, Greek, Italian, or Asian buffet. Buffets are also nice in that people can come back for seconds if they want. Just make sure you tell your caterer to stay open so they do not pack up immediately after everyone leaves. You will probably be charged a little more but your guests will be appreciative.

Determine what the caterer does. For example, do they prepare, setup, serve, and clean up or do they just make the food, leaving you to find servers. If you do need to find your own servers, you will need to talk to family and friends to see if anyone can help. A final consideration is what to do with any leftover food. Some caterers throw it away because they do not want to take on the liability if someone else eats it and becomes ill. Try to work with a caterer that will sign a waiver, allowing the food to be taken immediately to a halfway home, nursing home, or woman's shelter. Even when working with a caterer, remember that this is your wedding and while you may need to comply with some of their rules, you also want to ensure that what you want is provided.

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