Post # 1
From your research or maybe what you have heard around town lol, which tends to be cheaper. A venue with an on site caterer provided by them. Or finding a caterer outside of a venue.
Ive narrowed venue choices down to about 14 and some provide a caterer and others dont, Id rather pick the cheaper option but Im not sure how easy it is to find a caterer for 100pp or lower with cheap service fee charges.
Also, what about venues who do not provide a bartender or bar. Is it cheaper to find a venue who provides that or go looking myself
I made the poll where you can vote multiple times so you can answer about both the caterer and bartender
Post # 3
@SaugaBride: where I live, i found that hiring a caterer was equally expensive as booking a venue that provided catering.
When we first started planning our wedding, we were doing it all on our own and we found a few places that were basically empty halls, no tables or chairs, they were called women’s clubs. ANd you would have to pay a site fee of like $2K-$3K. We would then have to hire a caterer, rent chairs, linens, we would have to buy all the liquor and it would have been very difficult bc I have no idea how much liquor to buy for a 165 person wedding!
So we ended up going to a catering hall. Where everything was already there, tables, chairs, linens, bar, the works.
I think in other cities our first idea would have worked, but living in NYC, everything is so pricey, its ridiculous.
Post # 4
It completely depends on the quality of the venue and caterer – you could get a cheap venue and cheap catering that costs much less than a venue with catering included, or much more expensive. It has to be the right balance and each option needs to be calculated on its own with comparative quality. With that said, you can get really good packages from some venues with catering included but you might have to sacrifice a lot of quality.
Post # 5
@SaugaBride: While it definitely depends, I think you can probably get lower pricing with an independent caterer (or much higher prices, but I think included caterers are usually in the middle). I’m in Chicago, and for our ~130 guests, the lowest pricing was going with an independent caterer.
I didn’t come across any venue/caterer combos that just didn’t have bar at all (so either it was an inclusive package or the caterer provided it) BUT some venues allowed us to provide our own alcohol. So I have a mixer package for $5/person that includes all the non-alcoholic drinks and the bartender, but we will provide the alcohol, which is definitely a savings.
If you want more detailed info (I made a bilion comparison spreadsheets) let me know! I was really confused too so I know where you’re coming from!
Post # 6
@SaugaBride: It varies greatly. We booked a venue that doesn’t provide anything besides tables and chairs and a kitchen basically. We are buying our own alcohol (hoping to make a few trips to Quebec and the states since booze is cheaper there than in Ontario), and we can choose a caterer who fits our budget and makes the kind of food we want, rather than being stuck with just a couple choices. So, for us, independent was better, but we were lucky that we could even get our venue because it books so fast and so far ahead.
Post # 7
Depends. Just get quotes.