A usual hotel facility will usually charge anywhere between £13-£17 per head for a finger buffet. They will also usually want you to cater for a minimum number, eg 75%. If you were having 120 guests, you would be looking at spending £1170! This for a couple with a budget of £10,000 is over 10% of the total budget.
When considering what to do for the evening reception there are a few things you need to consider,
How many more people will there be to the evening reception?
How far are my evening guests travelling?
When would my daytime guests have last eaten?
There are plenty of options available even within the restrictions of a hotel.
One of the cheapest options available is to provide bacon and sausage (vegetarian options) rolls. Usually you will still be looking at approx £5-£6 per head. However, if you were to not serve your wedding cake with coffee and serve it with the evening buffet, this would fill out your evening fayre.
Another cheaper option, if the venue allows is to have a hog roast. I have paid as little as £400 for a full hog roast, with baps, apple sauce and crackling for 200 rolls. Ask the venue to supply 3 large bowls of different salads at about £10 per bowl and for less than £500 you have an impressive evening buffet which will feed everyone.
For those of you who are restricted by the budget and simply don't have the money to spare, ensuring there are plenty of bowls of nibbles around for people to eat as well as the wedding cake will help at least soak up some of the alcohol. Look at serving giant pretsels, tortilla chips and dips, grisini breadsticks to add something a bit different to the usual bowls of crisps.