Post # 1
Hullo! I was wondering, how much more expensive is a kosher reception, if I want the food to be good enough that my non-observant family likes it? My Fiance is set on having it be kosher, but I keep hearing that “it’s expensive.” hmm.
Post # 3
my cousin’s wedding in august was kosher. i was told that it was about 25% more. not just for the kosher food but having to have the kitchen koshered and pay the guy who stays in the kitchen to make sure the rules are followed etc. the food was decent w/ choices between fish and chicken. the choices for venues were also very limited, but if you’re in a big city this probably won’t be as much of an issue.
Post # 4
It depends where you are and the venue you are getting married in. If I were getting married in a venue that I could bring in any outside caterer, then I found the kosher prices were pretty close to the fancy non-kosher caterers I would have used. Sadly the place I am using has an in house caterer so I am paying a huge 25% upcharge per person and then per everything from the cake, to the drinks. So a lot of factors come into play.
Post # 5
- Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden
You can always opt to do a vegetarian with fish meal. We are doing a kosher meal and though it was a little more, by nyc standards, not too much more than it would have been
Post # 6
There’s kosher as in meat and milk can’t be in the same meal, and then there’s cooking in a kosher kitchen, serving on kosher plates, with kosher flatware (or disposables). In NYC I’m sure kosher catering isn’t hard, but I can’t imagine doing that here. Even our rabbis don’t have a kosher kitchen, but they don’t cook meat and milk in the same meal. It would have been easy for us to have a vegetarian / fish meal, but impossible to do true kosher. We are trying to not have meat and milk in the same dish.
Post # 7
Having a kosher caterer does significantly raise the price, but (the ever present catch all) it depends on many variables.
First: Kosher meat – this can be split into a few different categories. Thinking of having Glatt? It will cost you. Thinking of having Orthodox supervision? (usually that goes hand in hand with Glatt) That will also cost you. Conservative supervison tends to be slightly cheaper, but depending on the crowd may not meet the right criteria.
You could save (some! nominal! barely!–at least in my experience) going the dairy/fish route. I am personally vegetarian and am having the wedding exlcusively such (although, I was convinced to share and gave into to having fish-which I do not eat) However, my father needs supervision, so again – ask your Fiance, does he need a mashgiah (the “guy” alluded to in previous posts) or can it be, all else equal, ‘kosher’ without – using exclusively kosher prodcuts, maybe not exclusivley kosher utensils.
Another option is kosher style, meaning no shell fish, ham, meat and milk would be served together, but as the name suggests this is not actually kosher.
In terms of “good enough for my non-observant family like it” – that part is easy! Many kosher caterers have stellar reputations for having excellent food and presentation. Possibly the upshot for having it be more expensive.
Good luck with these. If you are in the NY/Philadelphia area and want some suggestions, I’ll be happy to send some names/contact info to you.
Post # 8
Gentile here: I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a kosher meal in a restaurant, at least, that I didn’t think was on par with what you would get anywhere else. Granted most of my experience with kosher eating is in NYC, but hopefully that will be a little reassuring.
Post # 9
@ monitajb – great comment and so true. My FI’s family is Catholic and have had (since we’ve been togethers) more exposure to the world of kosher eating. I’ve never heard them say anything but good reviews!
Post # 10
I’m not sure how many of your guests must keep kosher, but if it’s a small amount, then sometimes caterers will offer “box dinners” for those that keep kosher. They do it in a “box” with plastic silverware because of the silverware and plate restrictions.
Something to think about is that if you do a kosher meal with meat, you have to do a non-dairy cake, which generally are not so yummy. If you do a vegetarian meal, you can do a regular cake (much yummier).
I would find out how kosher it should be. Is it orthodox or conservative? If conservative, you may be able to get away with a fish/vegetarian option. If Orthodox, you may can likely get away with a strictly vegetarian or fish meal.
Post # 11
Depends where you are, whether you want to go meat or dairy/pareve, number of courses, etc. In my opinion, it isn’t much different than regular catering.
When I went to look at places, before I could get around to asking about food (specifically, subbing my own caterer), we were getting quotes between 110-125+ per person. My kosher caterer is charing us $85 a head (minimum of at least 90 guests) and even when you add for a few other extras, it’s still much less and we are conforming to dietary law.
Do your research and be thorough and then if you can’t find a decently priced place to do the entire affair, seek out options for those that keep kosher (and ask these guests if they’ll be okay with what you are thinking).
Post # 12
Thank you so much for the advice! We are not just looking for kosher style, my fiancee wants (ideally) glatt kosher, because he feels like the wedding is so important he wants to do everything he can to follow the laws, but of course if it’s not feasible we will have to compromise.
I have an appointment with a caterer in a week, we will see how it goes!
Post # 13
Good luck! I bet if you speak with them before hand and express some of your reservations they will prepare a good proposal that both you and your finance will like!
Let us know how it goes.
Post # 14
Just wanted to share an update, in case someone is going through a similar situation. When I began planning, I was really concerned about being limited to a kosher caterer, but I actually found a lot and they have pretty varied menus, I haven’t tasted the food yet, but so far I am relieved that they actually exist! Also, I found it much easier to focus on caterers, not venues, and then just ask caterers which venues they work with and see those. Work in progress!
Post # 15
where is the wedding? i think it’s doable to have a comparably priced kosher caterer, but the mashgiach (and extra rentals, if the venue you have supplies its own cutlery/china, which you couldn’t use) is where the price goes up. so cut an hors d’oeuvre and call it good. alternatively, if you get hitched in a synagogue then you could get a better rate (by using an in-house caterer) though then you may not have the most stylish of venues.
in NY i’d recommend prestige. they were affordable for other family celebrations that we had and really yummy.