One of the foremost important factors in your overall wedding budget is that the cost of the food. Not only is catering an enormous piece of your wedding budget (if not the biggest), it’s also one among the foremost enjoyed parts of the reception for your guests.
While guests might not remember the actual details of your bridal gown or the song that played once you walked down the aisle, they’re going to certainly remember the amazing meal they ate or the sort of bride cake you served. So, what proportion exactly does wedding food cost during this day and age? And, most significantly , how does one stay on budget?
Let’s re-evaluate all of the ins and outs of wedding catering. This includes your options for serving the meal and everything you would like to understand about factoring within the costs of alcohol, dessert, and even what linens and table items you’re getting to need at the marriage reception.
Average Cost of Wedding Catering Services in 2023
Before diving into the specifics of your wedding catering budget, you would possibly want to understand about overall wedding catering services cost. First off, what proportion you spend on your wedding catering completely depends on the amount of guests you’ve got , the sort of meal you’re serving, and therefore the location of your wedding.
That said, the typical cost of catering for a marriage with a guest list of 100 usually ranges between $8,500 – $10,000, consistent with Jessica McTaggart of Pink Champagne Events in Denver, Colorado. Although, if you’re trying to find something such as you might see in certain popular wedding magazines, you’ll expect to pay closer to the $20,000 mark, notes Meggie Francisco of Meggie Francisco Events. Here at 1979Hawaii, we offer wedding catering services or catering to any other events at an affordable price. We work with our clients to work within the range of their budget.
Choosing a Wedding Caterer
Selecting a wedding caterer is one among the foremost exciting (and delicious) parts of wedding planning, and therefore the professional you select can potentially make an enormous difference in what proportion you spend for the large day.
When you’re trying to work out who to rent for the work , make a meeting with the highest two or three caterers you’ve found in your research. Then, look for a time to debate the sort of wedding food you would like , how you’d love it served, and (best of all) do a taste test of the food.
During the meeting, attempt to get a way of the sort of wedding food they concentrate on (and whether it aligns with the type of food you want) and understand their price ranges.
Typically, a caterer will structure their budgets on a “per head” basis, or what it’ll cost you to feed each guest at your wedding. The typical cost for wedding catering per head ranges from $50-$150, counting on the factors below.
Cost Factors for Wedding Catering
You know that the food for your wedding are often expensive, but what exactly determines the cost? Here are five components to account for when budgeting for your wedding catering.
1. Your Guest List
There are tons of things that enter the worth of wedding catering, but the most important variable is your guest list. Simply put, the larger your guest list, the larger your catering budget.
Although there are ways to chop costs if you’ve got an outsized guest list (serving brunch rather than dinner or serving appetizers during a buffet-style rather than a plated dinner with several courses), it’s ultimately getting to be costlier than if you narrow down the guest list.
2. Your Wedding Venue
Another cost factor for wedding catering are often your particular wedding venue. Some wedding venues either have restrictions on hiring an outdoor caterer or have preferred vendors that they’re going to only prefer to work with. this might , of course, be costlier than another caterer you were eager to hire.
Before you sign a contract together with your wedding venue, make certain to seem it over closely for any restrictions on hiring outside vendors and if they charge any extra fees if you don’t work with an in-house caterer.
3. The Food Service Options you select
In addition to the amount of individuals you invite to your wedding and any restrictions your wedding venue imposes on events, the food service options you select have an enormous effect on the general cost of your wedding catering.
Here’s an inventory of food service options, what they mean, and therefore the average costs for every of them, consistent with Carroll:
Plated meals: this suggests that when guests sit down at their tables, wait staff brings them their meals in courses. Though the prices for this sort of service can vary counting on the amount of waiters you’ve got and therefore the quite food you serve, the typical cost for plated meal catering is about $100-$200 per person.
Family-style catering: More relaxed than plated meals, family-style catering is when the wait staff delivers meals to every individual reception table, but the guests serve themselves. the value of family-style catering can run you anywhere from $120-$150 per person.
Buffet-style meal: once you serve buffet-style, your guests will line up and serve their own food and take it back to their tables. A buffet-style meal will cost you, on the average , about $50-$100 per person.
Food stations: A food station-type reception is when guests can walk around and substitute line to urge various sorts of foods at different stations (such as a carving station, macaroni and cheese station, and dessert station). While the value will largely depend upon the type of food stations you’ve got , it’ll likely be within the $50-$75 per person range.
Hors d’oeuvres: a few can either prefer to serve hors d’oeuvres before the most entrees of the evening or because the entire food event. (Think heavier appetizers like fried chicken, egg rolls, vegetable or cheese trays, etc.) Do you have to serve hors d’oeuvres by themselves or with a meal? You’ll expect to pay $60-$85 per person.
Cocktail hour: Before the most meal during the reception, many couples prefer to invite their guests to a cocktail hour. This includes drinks and appetizers and is usually hosted during a space before they get to the reception. The value will depend upon what percentage bartenders you’ve got (The more you’ve got , the costlier it’s .), what percentage appetizers you serve, and whether or not you’ve got an open bar vs. a signature drink (A signature drink can cut costs.). On the average , you’ll expect to pay around $35 per person for a cocktail hour.
Brunch: Serving brunch rather than dinner can cut your costs down significantly since breakfast foods are more easily scalable and typically cheaper.
4. Budgeting for Alcohol
Another part of the catering cost is alcohol. If you propose on serving alcohol at your reception, you’ll expect to spend quite a pretty penny — especially if you’re having an open bar option.
Full bar: A full bar, on the opposite hand, is when couples have a good range of spirits, beers, and wines for guests to drink — but not a vast amount. Budgeting for a full bar is often tricky because it is often difficult to understand what proportion each guest will consume.
5. Paying for Dessert
Everyone likes to cap the evening off with a touch slice of bride cake , but what proportion is that this getting to set you back?
The average cost of a marriage cake, as per Carroll, is $7 per slice. So, if you’ve got 100 guests at your wedding, you’ll estimate a $700 cake. But don’t ditch any extra fees that your venue or caterer may have, like a cake cutting or cake serving fee, which might be the maximum amount as $1-$2 per guest.
6. Glassware, Flatware, and Linens
You can’t exactly serve any food on your day if you don’t have reception accessories like glassware, flatware, and linens. While many caterers and venues will have these prices factored in with the general cost per head, it’s worth asking if there are any extra fees for these things .
7. Don’t Forget Gratuity
Finally, when you’re configuring wedding catering services cost, don’t ditch the value of gratuity for employment well done. Catering may be a tough business and weddings are one among the busiest, most stressful events caterers handle in their jobs. Gratuity is usually included within the cost of catering. But if it’s not, then you ought to allow 15-20% of the bill for the chefs and 10% of the liquor bill for the bartenders.