Post # 1
So FI and I have about a $15,000 budget for our wedding. So far we’ve booked our venue for $1600, photographer was $2000 and my dress was $1300 +tax. For venue and photog, that’s about the cheapest you can get around here. The only photographer I found who was cheaper was $1500 but had never shot a wedding before!
So for food… we’re not having a traditional dinner, but instead having a later ceremony (6pm) and were planning to have ample hors d’oeurves, maybe food stations, platters etc and a late night buffet at approximately 9:30pm.
We met our first caterer tonight and she suggested about 3 food stations, 6 passed hors d’oeuvres, and then we talked about a poutine bar and possibly a Canadian Dessert bar as well.
She told us that for about 125 people (we are inviting 150, hopeful that less come) she guess this would cost anywhere from $6500-$9000. I was expecting that not having a buffet or plated dinner would save us money… I’m not sure if this projected approximate cost is including the poutine/dessert bar or not… but I was shocked.
we were hoping to spend somewhere between $4000-$5000 on food….
Is this a good price or is it high? Keep in mind we didn’t even pick out what the stations or HD’s would be, just that thats how many we’d have…
Post # 3
So it’d be about $52 to $72 per person for heavy hors d’ouerves and a few food stations. I think that isn’t completely unreasonable when you factor in paying the staff who will mann the food stations and pass those hors d’ouerves around.
Post # 4
I’d say that’s pretty good. Remember that the stations in a way are replacing the main meal so it’s kind of the same amount of food/effort that you’d have for an actual buffet or sit-down. And hopefully that includes most of your rentals (linens, flatware, plates, chairs, tables), staff, service charge, and maybe tax. If it doesn’t include those things then the price is going to go up even higher.
Post # 5
You might actually save more by offering a simple dinner (chicken/fish/pasta) and skip the hors d’oeuvres and stations (and maybe keep the dessert and poutine bar). Hors d’oeuvres take a ton of time to prepare and that’s probably what’s driving up the cost.
Post # 6
Yeah, like a PP said, I think staffing costs really get you. We originally wanted to do a late hors d’oeuvres reception, and the food itself was going to cost about $1,000. Once all of the staffing and tax was added, it was about $3,000. We ended up going another direction with the food.
Post # 7
@MrsPhilly: Passed hors d’oeuvres are killer. Maybe stick to some hors d’oeuvres stations, followed by a buffet dinner. Others are right… the staffing kills you. So for every passed hors d’oeuvre, you have to have another staff person (or two if you include one in the kitchen). Plus somoene has to make/assemble all those detailed little foods. Plus someone at each of the food stations.
A buffet is usually the cheapest option for food– I think you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck.
Post # 8
The only thing is we really don’t want a sit down dinner. No buffet, no plated dinner. I was just planning hors s d’oeuvres, platters, and then the poutine bar/dessert bar at 9:30… But I’ve gotten a lot of people telling me what a terrible wedding it would be and I’d be a selfish bride for doing so. So I’m perplexed as to what to do… But it was only our first meeting. Once I’ve met several caterers I can hopefully make an informed, budget conscious decision
Post # 9
@MrsPhilly: for point of reference buffets are more money than plated dinners because the kitchen does not know how much food people are going to take. they have to make extra. with a plated dinner, there is a set amount per person.
i would think the same rule applies to stations. they don’t know how many each guest is going to take. plus a buffet is usually serve yourself where stations typically have staff running them.
6 passed hor d’ourves is also extra staff passing them around.
i think your quoted price seems quite reasonable for what you are getting.
ETA: one of my favorite weddings I went to was one similar to the one you described. but it worked for that couple and their guests. it doesn’t work for everyone especially if you have a lot of older guests.
Post # 10
@MrsPhilly: Can you inquire about appetizer sations instead of passed appetizers? something like this, it would cut back on the staffing cost. I went to a wedding in Montreal like that and it was nice they had a table for cheeses, one for some seafood, some sushi, and then a few actually stations where they cooked/served to you like roast beef and cooked shrimp.
The station below is a multi one but you get what I mean.
Did your quote include alchohol? If not thats REALLY high, else its normal.
I have 4 course + unlimited apps + open bar + midnight seafood/sweets table for $100 a head in Toronto including the room rental/staff etc.
Post # 11
I think it’s reasonable (though on the high-end), but I think you could find better (depending on your city).
You are looking at $52-$72 per person. Does that total include all service charges, staff, and taxes? If so it is pretty reasonable. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a better deal, I think you easily can.
Hors d’ouevres, stations, and that type of thing generally cost the same amount as an actual meal so don’t think you will save any money by doing apps and stations. Buffet dinners (a few entrees, sides, salad) are usually the cheapest options.
Keep looking, there is no reason you can’t get multiple quotes and go with the best option. But you are not going to save money by just doing hors d’ouerves and stations.
With my caterer if I wanted to do 6 basic apps (plated) and 1 station I would probably be looking at $25 or more per person. Their basic buffet dinners are $20 per person. So you can see how you probably don’t save any money going that route. Plus service charge and tax (about 29%) on top of that total.