Post # 1
Hello Bees! So my FI and I had originally planned on a $10,000 wedding for 150 guests. We started out well: found an affordable venue ($1,500) an affordable dress ($1,060) an affordable pair of photographers ($1,600 everthing included) and Dj ($700). We are getting married in California this summer and when we sought out caterers we pretty much freaked out when we saw how much they cost. We searched and searched and it seems a typical low-price caterer around here is about $10,000 for 150 people being served buffet style and with some appetizers (not including any drinks). We found a caterer we really like in this price range, but before we sign the contract I just wanted to hear what other brides were paying for their caterers. Is this amount reasonable?
Post # 3
@AshleyB33: I don’t know about California, but my friend got married on Long Island and the venue and catering (all together) was about $100/person. Not sure if that helps!
Post # 4
I paid over $20,000 to my venue when it was all said and done- that was for food and open bar for the entire time.
That being said, I think that $66.00 per person is very reasonable for catering, depending on what you’re planning on and what you get for that. If it’s a three course dinner, then I would say that’s perfectly reasonable, especially if they let you pick beef as a main course, because that tends to be more expensive. Even if they restrict it to chicken or fish it’s a great deal.
Post # 5
I think it all depends on where you live. We’re getting married in the town that my fiance and I grew up in and where a lot of our family still lives. It’s about an hour drive for us from Indianapolis (where we currently live) but it’s totally worth it because the prices are way less than they would be in the city.
Anyway, we are having a dinner buffet (that includes drinks) for 150 people and it is going to cost us right around $2,700. This caterer actually wasn’t even the least expensive one we could have gone with either. In fact, it was in the upper range cost wise for the approved caterers at our wedding reception location.
I don’t really have a perspective for California caterers but I imagine they will definitely be a lot more than they are here in little old Indiana. 🙂 Good luck regardless though!
Post # 6
Mine is about $12k for 108 people There was $2 built in for table arrangement and drapery to cover the area of the room I wasn’t going to use. There is also a 20% gratuity fee and 7% sales tax.
Post # 7
Mine broke down to about $90 per person for the meal, I think.
Post # 8
Our caterer cost is about $16k for 140 people…but that includes the bar and rentals. For just food, I think it’s about $10k.
Post # 9
It depends. You’ll save a lot of $$ if you can provide/serve your own alcohol. And you can also alter the cost by changing amounts of certain items (increasing starches, decreasing produce and cheeses to garnish only) if you are not concerned about having perfect food. You can also see if your caterer is providing linens and rentals as this can easily be an extra $2k. Break down your contract bit by bit and see if there is anything you can do without or find cheaper elsewhere and remember that everything is negotiable, regardless of what they say right off the bat. Also, labor. Do you absolutely need every person they’re providing?
Post # 10
We got an amazing deal at our venue so our package price should have been much higher than it really was. We paid about $75 p/person including a formal sit down dinner with 3 menu options to choose from, a limited open bar for the entirety of our event (including champagne toast), and a bunch of yummy apps (both stationed and butler passed) for our cocktail hour. In total, our venue bill was about $5300 (for 75 guests) which considering we were married at a hotel, included everything from our ceremony space rental to the tables and chairs.
Post # 11
I will probably end up paying about $12/person. That said, I am in a fairly rural area.
Post # 12
I’m in a pretty high priced area. I got catering proposals between $45-125pp. And the $45 was for some pretty mediocre-sounding food. I mean, I feel kind of bad saying that because we didn’t taste it, but really… I was not excited by the menu.
I got much better results pricing restaurants that also do outside catering. Those started at about $12pp.
Post # 13
I wish I could have gotten some of these prices!! Our dinner was $60/person, then the beer/wine/champagne bar package on top of that was $25/person.
Post # 14
We are doing buffet style with choice of chicken or beef. Not including alcohol our caterer is $14pp. We are having less people attend then I had anticipated, I told them 200 initially and it is looking more like 160-175. All in all I believe that my final bill will be around $3K-$4k. I have to go next week and pay it, so I will have the actual amount then.
I am getting the alcohol through my venue and they quoted me for 200pp(I will have less, and I have not counted in under 21’s yet) for premium bar it is looking like $4800. This has been a bit of a debate between myself and step-dad who is footing the bill. I am fine with going with the $19pp standard bar but he wants the $24pp premium bar. O well, since he is writing the check, I guess I don’t care. And individuals under 21(soda drinkers) it is $5pp.
Post # 15
We just got an email from our caterer today, and with rentals, food, servers, etc.. we are paying about $6000 for our 100 person wedding. We are having a plated sit down meal with a couple options, passed hors d’oeurves, and a mini dessert bar.
Post # 16
If I extrapolated our 69-person guestlist to 150 for our San Diego caterer, we would have spent $5800 on just food and place settings (including service fee and tax – don’t forget the 15-20% service charge in your calculation). That was a simple buffet and 3 passed appitizers. No alcohol was included. It was the cheapest of the caterers on the approved list for our venue.