WTH Caterers?? How much are you all paying?

posted 3 years ago in Food
Post # 3
9859 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@YogaFaerie:  Including rentals, staffing and food we’re at almost $180 a person…there’s no liquor in that either.

Post # 4
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@YogaFaerie:  Try looking into restaurants that also offer catering, rather than traditional wedding caterers. We researched a local Tex-Mex place that offers catering on the side and they could provide a taco bar for $15/person!

Post # 5
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@YogaFaerie:  we paid $160 pp and we are having 165 guests. We are having our wedding at a catering hall. This includes the wait staff, tables/chairs/choice of linens. ALso includes open bar, top notch cocktail hour and 4 hour reception with a 3 course dinner, dessert and wedding cake.

Post # 6
215 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@YogaFaerie:  that’s a lot! Here is what our catering is. We are doing buffet style with soup being served at the table. Their food is really good too. I’d keep looking, unless you live somewhere expensive. We are having 50 guests 



Post # 7
1416 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

We got a steal on our caterer. The package we are looking at going with is about $21 a head. That includes 3 tableside hors d’ouerves, 3 passed hors d’ouerves, a carving station, dinner rolls, pasta, a mashed potatoe station, assorted veggies, another meat, and tea, water, punch, coffee, and side sauces. Then linen, glassware, silverware, china, and napkins are 262.50. So overall when you add tax, gratuity, and their set up and breakdown fee, it’s about $34 total per person. Not bad, not bad at all. 🙂


We were gonna get married somewhere else, but the cheapest place we found only offered a fruit platter, tea, a meat, veggies, and salad at $50 a person. The set up wasn’t as nice and that didn’t include anything else. And they had plastic silverware, you had to upgrade $5 a person to get real silverware. So we changed our venue based on the caterer alone.


Post # 8
789 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

we’re paying $14.95pp plus a 10% or 15% fee. 

With the fee for the site we’re paying $64pp


Post # 10
1155 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@YogaFaerie:  Yes, that’s a lot, and I definitely empathize with your sticker shock!! I’m not sure what area you’re in, but our city is expensive and that’s pretty run-of-the-mill. I had several caterers tell me it was impossible to put together a dinner for less than $85/person in just food costs alone. Eff that!!

We ended up finding a great caterer who is charging us $87/person for everything — food, bar setups, staff, linens, tax, gratuity. Only things not included in that figure are alcohol (which we’re providing) and cake (which another vendor is handling), but the caterer does not have any cake cutting/corkage fees. When you add in the booze and cake, we are at $100/person. 

We got off pretty light for our area, and even so, it makes me a little weak in the knees to do the numbers!

Post # 11
671 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

55 Per person, not including drinks.

Post # 13
518 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My venue does the catering; ours will be $65 pp for food, and either $30 pp for open beer/wine, or $35pp for beer/wine/liquor.  So that’s $95 + tax + service charge pp.  I think it comes to $117 or so per head.  Ridic.  But this does include all linens (in every choice of fabric imaginable), plates, silverware, serveware, wait staff, etc.

Post # 14
37 posts
  • Wedding: June 2014

You’d think that if a nice restaurant (which also pays the overhead for their staff, venue, linens and whatnot) can serve meals at $40/person + some more to cover tip and alcohol, then a caterer should be able to manage a similar quality for a similar price.  It’s not like their costs start to multiply when they’re dealing with a large group–you’re giving them loads of advance notice, and they’re surely offering a more limited menu, rather than at a restaurant where they don’t know how many customers they’ll get, how long they’ll stay, or what people will order, and they still need to prep food and staff appropriately for any possibility.

It’s just part of how anything with the word “wedding” in it automatically gets a 100% markup.

Post # 15
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@YogaFaerie:  We paid 14.99/pp before service fee/taxes and got a three-course, sit-down lunch. After booze, hors d’evoures and taxes, I think we paid $23-ish/pp.

Definitely look online! A LOT of places have menus with prices listed there.

Post # 16
247 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

We are getting married on a ranch with the reception in a barn. We are paying $9.99/Person. Catering will be about 2,000 and that includes delivery, set up, serving, and tear down. We are getting sausage, brisket, turkey, potato casserole, jalepeno beans, Mac and cheese, broccoli salad, rolls, tea and water, condiments (onions, pickles, jalepenos, and BBQ sauce) and plates, napkins and cutlery. Wahoo for Texas BBQ joints! 

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