Of all the things your guests will remember from the wedding experience, your food is at the top of the list. Thanks to this, you’ll spend a nice big chunk of your total budget on your wedding catering. The average wedding catering cost in the U.S. is about $4,000 with most couples spending between $1,800 to $7,000. If you’re in my ECourse, The Project Block System, you saw my nice long video lectures about why catering is so important…
What does a Wedding Caterer do?
A caterer provides the preparation, delivery, and presentation of food for your wedding reception. Caterers come in all shapes, sizes, and menus. If you’ve ever attended a bridal shower, fundraiser, rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, or a bar mitzvah that had beautifully prepared and presented food, chances are that event was catered. The catering is a huge piece of your Wedding Planning puzzle and you want to have the best people on your team. It’s really the opening act of your entire reception.
How do I find a wedding caterer?
Like all Wedding Vendors, the best place to start is by referral. I’m sure you know someone who has a great recommendation just waiting for you. Did you attend any weddings last year and like the food? Reach out to the couple and ask who they used. You can also look at your favorite restaurant. I’m willing to bet they have a catering menu too. For more details on finding, interviewing, and hiring your caterer, read up on Dream Team Vendors:
What is a catering package?
Catering packages are a convenient and affordable way of selling catering to wedding clients. The main difference between packaged Events and non-packaged Events is the way pricing is handled. Catering packages allow for inclusive or per-person pricing for the client, with an internal revenue breakdown for the hotel, if they are connected. Some caterers can give you price breakdowns based on your guest list where certain bulk meals/entrees are more affordable due to the quantity they can make at once. Review your contracts carefully and make decisions based on those price quotes. For example, Macaroni and Cheese sides are going to be more affordable than another, fancier side dish because it can be made in bulk with few ingredients.
What is a full-service caterer?
Full-service means exactly that: The caterer and company are responsible for the full catering experience. They manage every detail, from cooking and serving the food, to cleaning up at the end of the event. This is the main point I cover in the Project Block 12 Teachable Lecture; Who cleans it all up?
How much does full-service catering cost?
Prices vary depending on guest count, location, and event type, but the average price range for full-service catering typically runs about $40 a person (for a plated meal), and $28 for the buffet. For formal dining, these are starting prices. If you’re working with a low budget and wanting a simple menu, the average cost for a wedding caterer is $20 per guest. The price of catering can vary greatly by state and even city.
How do you save on wedding catering?
The most affordable foods to cater are rice or noodle-based cultural cuisine. Mexican, Indian, and Thai dishes are delicious and affordable. Or, if you’re hosting an event during the day, serve brunch and breakfast items.
How do you calculate food for a wedding?
To calculate how much money per person you have to spend, take your budget and divide that by your number of guests. For example, a couple feeding 125 guests on a $5,000.00 budget will have $40.00 per person to spend on the food, utensils, and equipment. This number will help you determine the type of menu to prepare. For your convenience, I put a budget calculator on Sheet 2 of my FREE Guest List Excel Spredsheet. Join that Mini-Series to access it.
FREE ECOURSE: Guest List Excel Spreadsheet Mini-Series
Is it cheaper to do a buffet at a wedding?
Is a wedding reception buffet always the cheaper option? Most of the time, a wedding reception buffet is indeed less expensive than a plated dinner. While you’ll pay less in staffing and rentals for a buffet-style meal, you’ll need slightly more food since guests are serving themselves. Portion control isn’t usually monitored unless you’re having a meat slicing station. With this, you can control the most expensive item on your menu.
How many items should be on a wedding buffet?
Most buffets have at least 2 main dishes. Having 3 is considered generous. At the same time, there are some caterers who only give 1 main dish option, which I think defeats the purpose of serving a buffet.
Do you need menus at a wedding?
Wedding reception menu cards are not a requirement, but they are great for communicating the details of the meal to your guests. … Guests with dietary restrictions and food allergies will appreciate the heads up about what’s on the menu so they can plan ahead and enjoy the meal without stress. You can skip menus if your buffet is properly labeled with signage. I’ve written a bonus post about how to write menu signs.
How to Coordinate your Wedding Catering
In The Project Block System we call the entirely of catering, Project Block 12. There are a lot of moving pieces and even additional rental contracts. You can learn all about it and more by enrolling in The Project Block System, or reading more around the blog.
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