Catering Costs

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
1294 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

It’s all about the location, I think. I live in the middle of nowhere and most caterers are half that, unless you go full service gourmet. But yeah, that’s pretty standard.

Post # 3
3825 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Depends what is included but this doesn’t seem outrageous. In fact if you are having a plated dinner this is very good for where I live. Say you have 6 staff members at $120, that’s $720. Divided by 100 guests is $7.20 per head. So a total of about $37.20 per head. That’s very reasonable for dinner!

Post # 4
244 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I definitely think location plays a huge role, as $30/head seems like a steal to me. We paid $127/head for a plated dinner and had an open bar. Weddings really are ridiculously expensive!  

Post # 5
2793 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

Think about it: what would it cost you and your fiancé if you went out for dinner at a nice restaurant, with food of a similar type to what you’re getting for your wedding? More than $30 each, I’d bet.  We paid $80per head (including open beer and wine bar) and that was not the most expensive venue we looked at by a mile, although it did include furniture and crockery/cutlery/glassware and linens.

Post # 6
13888 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Depends on where you’re from — I couldn’t get a normal meal out (salad, entree, dessert, glass of wine) for $30 at a regular restaurant, and we paid 3-4x per person what you’re being quoted (not including the open bar cost, either).  

Post # 7
325 posts
Helper bee

Wow! $30 per head is quite cheap where I’m from! Many catered buffets from good caterers are around $50/head. I can’t get a lot for $30/head. So yeah, that’s reasonable to me!

Post # 8
233 posts
Helper bee

Seems reasonable to me. That is on the low end of things in my area, that would get you standard wedding food around here. I’m paying $105 a head for 4 passed apps, 2 stations, salad, and entree. I think the catering staffing is built into the venue fee 

Post # 9
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

I don’t know where you live, but here in Alberta $30 CAD a head would be incredibly cheap for wedding catering. 

Post # 10
2072 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

It IS insane but what can you do besides shop around?

Expect catering to be the bulk of your budget.  It really depends on the area but yeah $30/head is pretty cheap[ in my area (Md, DC, VA).  I suggest you research other vendors in your area and get quotes so you have something to compare with. (Some may have pricing on their websites…those are the ones I got to first)   Or


Post # 11
338 posts
Helper bee

30/pp is extremely cheap for my area-The lowest I could do with a catering staffi n my area is $75pp. Are you in a rural area? Also 120 per staff, even if they were getting all of that money (which they won’t be) is only probably 11/12 an hour. They are probably not seeing anywhere close to that, so that figure makes sense to me. 


catering is expensive though, and probably going to be at least 1/2 your budget no matter what. I’d look for more quotes though! 

Post # 12
99 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I guess it all depends on location. I would think this is a steal. I am from the NY/NJ area weddings are insane.

Post # 13
8268 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I think it depends on the food, but overall $30 sounds awesome. $120 per staff member is also very reasonable. 

Make sure to look for taxes or additional service charges or gratuity added in so you can budget the total amount.

Post # 15
261 posts
Helper bee

That is beyond affordable IMO. I’m so jealous!

I’m being quoted at $205 a head…

Why are these things so pricey?!

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