Practical Weddings: Five Ways to Cater on a Budget


“Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks.” –Lin Yutang

Throwing an elaborate and lavish wedding is already expensive by itself.

In fact, an itemization of the things you would need to spend on from the event venue down to the catering would show you the extent of what you would have to be spending on. However, this is not always the case. Sure, you may need to cut down expenses here and there, but there is no absolute need to compromise what your dream wedding would be. One of the crucial aspects that make a wedding so expensive is the catering. After all, most caterers would charge you an exorbitant fee for every guest you would be feeding considering that they would be doing more than just serving your guests food. However, it is not so much that caterers would be charging their clientele with a premium but more on the fact that couples who do avail of their service do not know how to strategically plan their catering that they would end up having the best price possible.

Fortunately, with the recent rise of affordable catering, the thriving market has created a demand for exceptional catering service sans the exorbitant price. Today, affordable catering is widely available. If you wish to have catering that exceeds your expectations and stay within budget, here are some of the things you should consider:

1.) Know your guests

Have an estimate of how many guests would be attending your event. By having a rough idea of how many they are, you can accurately estimate how much food you would need to order with the assistance of your caterer. Overestimating the number of your guests might cause you pay a little more but that is at least a little better than not having enough food on your function. Moreover, it is imperative that you note down any dietary requirements or allergies your guests might have so that each and every one of them would leave fed and satisfied.

2.) Find the best caterer for you

The caterer selection process can be a bit overwhelming considering that there is a myriad of options available. However, it is best to choose the caterer who is comfortable with supplying you with the food you want and an event your size. Remember, established large-scale caterers might not be so receptive in catering a small function and might price you a premium just to cover your event.

3.) Skip the extras or at least keep it to a minimum

Sure, it can be tempting to go with a caterer that can provide you with almost everything that you need. However, do note that more often than not, these caterers would charge you a lot more than necessary considering that they are doing so much of the extra work. More often than not, it is more cost-efficient to just go with a caterer who provides solely food and look for other vendors for other elements. In any case, it is best to ask yourself whether you really need those extras. By choosing the services you avail of carefully and eschewing aspects you do not necessarily need, you can significantly reduce how much you pay.

4.) Find the right venue

The catering and venue aspect of your wedding event go hand in hand. Indeed, selecting the appropriate place to host your event can contribute to achieving your budget goals. Remember, your caterer would likely charge you a bit more if you selected a venue that does not come with the equipment they need to prepare their food. In this regard, it might be best to choose a venue that complements their hosting service with a catering one. Today, quite a lot of venues would offer you great deals on function rooms if you can guarantee a certain number of heads.

5.) Book in advance

This one is self-explanatory and needs no further elaboration. The reality is, the closer to the event you book, the more your caterer would charge you. Moreover, by booking ahead, you would give your catering partner and yourself a wide berth in planning a menu for your event.

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Weddings Sins That Will Make Your Lola Gasp

It’s 2017, and it seems we forgot our values and traditions of weddings. Millenials have embraced the liberated culture of the West and have forgotten local traditions that are unique to Filipino culture. Thus, you may be guilty of committing wedding sins even when you aren’t aware. 

Read on to find which of the forgotten traditions will save your Lola from the heartache even if you are getting married in Intramuros – Casa Manila style.


Placing The Groom’s Name Before the Bride in Invitations

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The bride and her parents’ name should be written first. They are the host and share a large portion of the expenses. 

Your Lola and titas will agree to this because they’ve been through it. They definitely understand the delegation of responsibilities. Therefore it is tradition to have hers before the groom’s and his parents’ name on the invitations.

Thank you letters should print the groom’s name and his family before the bride’s name to show their support and acceptance to the ceremony and its proceedings.


The Bride Coming Before the Groom

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Ladies come first, but this isn’t one of those times. It’s bad luck for the groom to arrive after the bride. This is a grave sin for both couples, so be wary on your big day. 

Coordinate with each party and find a way to communicate if your partner is on his or her way. Be mindful of the time during preparation. Oversee any hindrance that may come along the way, be it traffic jam, a car breaking down, weather changes, broken zipper, lost pair of shoe or worse, a lost wedding ring.



The Bride Wearing a Pearl Jewelry

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It’s not pearl but look at what happened to Ariel because of the necklace.

As much as possible, pearl fanatics are discouraged from donning their prized accessories. Pearls resemble teardrops, and it is said that wearing pearl accessories will bring you tears. Unfortunately, they aren’t tears of joy.

Avoid wearing a string of pearls or pearl earrings on your wedding day. Doing so will bring sorrow and tears to your married life. Spare yourself and your future family from despair by following the tradition. Don’t come running to abuela, we warned you.

Like all events, there’s proper etiquette for guests. This case, the proper decorum also stems from our culture and traditions. Read this in case you get invited to someone’s big day.


Giving Sharp Objects as Gifts

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Give appropriate gifts. Remember when she thought forks were used for combing hair?

It may be tempting to give a set of knives to your BFF chef getting hitched this weekend, but doing so will bring bad luck. 

Sharp objects like scissors and gardening tools are home essentials, but there are other home necessities like appliances, pieces of furniture and home décor that are better given as presents to the newlyweds. They will greatly appreciate the gesture even if it’s not in the registry.

Giving a set of knives is also creepy, don’t you think?


Dress Code

The bride should be the most beautiful woman on her day. The groom is the most handsome man in the room. Not you nor your date

A wedding is a formal event, so dress accordingly. Some weddings have a theme indicated on the invite. Hence, respect the couple’s wishes what attire should be worn.

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Avoid stealing the spotlight and earning an eyeful from the elders by wearing skimpy dresses. Opt for modest clothing options. Don’t wear revealing, skin-tight dresses or short-sleeved casual attire. Polish your black shoes and style your hair to look clean and presentable. The guests’ appearance reflects the bride’s or the groom’s personality and any undesirable traits will reflect negatively to the in-laws.


Party Pooping

A wedding is also a celebration – feast of life, love, and unity. Don’t be a spoil sport by refusing to partake in the games and festivities. You’ll be putting down the energy and the mood of the couple. The goal is to attract positive and boundless energy for them. Do not be the cause to negate them.

These are some of the customs and traditions that are not observed by couples during their matrimonial rites. Guests also have to look out for these practices and make sure they follow the practices when gracing the event with their presence. If you want a refresher on other practices that are a must, head on to Casa Manila Museum. It features the lifestyle of elite Filipinos, who were conscious of social etiquettes and graces. It’s great place be purified and instill the traditions in yourself. Lola will be so proud.

Personal Checklist: Getting Best Value Caterers for Your Wedding!

Your big day’s fast approaching, and you’re doing the final check of the event must-haves and must-dos – guest list, events place, technical support, program flow and performances.

There is just one more thing left – a catering service.

Food and beverage are make-or-break factors that can dictate your event’s success, and as a host, getting a reliable one that provides competent service and delectable food is a MUST.  Have a quick look at this sample checklist you can use to narrow down your options!

Word of mouth recommendations

An online search may be faster, but when it comes to the real deal, talking with actual customers is still a better choice. Call a friend or colleagues who have hosted an event before and list down some of the catering services they recommend.

Caterers who leave your friend nodding in satisfaction will most likely be your thumbs up choice.

Food & Beverage

How else can you decide if their menus is a go without actually tasting it? So go ahead, give the service a call and schedule a tasting day. Highly commended ones are more than willing to do this for you. Ask them to prepare their best or request a cuisine. Bon appétit!

Chef  & Staff

Before, it’s about looking for services with the LONGEST years of catering experience. Now it’s more on the BEST CHEF & STAFF in town. The length of years a company has in the industry doesn’t necessarily translate to the tastiest food variety.

If you want appetizing selection fit for the occasion and nutritional requirement, a top-of-the-line chef is your go-to pick!

Attention to details

While caterers are the primary in charge of providing your event’s menu, always be reminded that you are the boss. You’re the ones who provide the theme and specifics the service would need in preparing their menu. It’s always an advantage to go for those who show the willingness to listen to your request, ask relevant questions and provide you with the best available alternatives.

Event Specialty

‘Aren’t all caterers the same?’ You ask.

Yes and no. Yes, they both offer food for a variety of occasion, and no, they don’t specialize on an entirely the same nature of events.

Some services specialize in huge gatherings such as company parties and seniors prom. Others focus on smaller events like family reunions and exclusive birthday parties.  There are even those who only cater to event deliveries and don’t have the setup and staffing included in their package.

Enjoy the smooth flow of the celebration and pick the service that specializes on the occasion you are hosting.

Liability insurance

Regardless of the event type or size, we want to see the best of it and make our guests satisfied. But whether we like it or not, bad things happen at times. Surely, we wouldn’t want to bear the responsibility of answering for damages incurred by our caterer, right?

Before saying yes to a deal, verify the presence of insurance including its coverage. This protects you from any liabilities in case the service incurs some errors resulting to guest accidents and the like.

Contract details

Lastly, read and understand the contract. It’s a requirement, and all catering services are mandated to offer this to their clients. The contents may differ, but the salient points such as the cancellation policy, damages, additional payment, and inclusions are all detailed in this document.

Don’t hesitate to raise points of clarification when you find vague conditions you find hard to understand. Be informed. It’s safer that way.

Special occasions will not be complete in the absence of food and beverage. Create a checklist of the most recommended services and drop them a visit!