Post # 1
Hiya, dear Bees!
I have a phone call with one of our venue’s suggested caterers tomorrow, and I’m (stupidly) really nervous! I don’t want to look foolish by quoting something ridiculously out of touch when she asks what our budget is. I don’t even know where to start — I’ve heard figures on the board that seem astronomical, and some that seem too good to be true.
My fiance and I have a somewhat good idea of what we’d like in terms of service and mood — a luncheon reception for no more than 150 guests, served either as a buffet or family-style. Did any of you have a similar setup for your receptions? Were you flabbergasted by your initial catering quotes?<br />I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your advice! I don’t know how we’d get anything done without forums like this one.
Post # 2
I live in NYC but am getting married in NJ about 15 miles outside the city. Rather than going with a wedding caterer we’re just reserving a restaurant (we have a small wedding, about 10-15 people). The restaurant is a highly rated (5 star zagat, 1 michelin star) french restaurant (I’m a food writer). We’re having a gourmet three course lunch that costs $46 per person, not including alcohol.
We definitely got a steal. Working with a catering company (especially one that deals with weddings) means you will have much higher markups.
Post # 3
About $1000 for about 115 people. My dad is a caterer, and the best cook I know, so cooking our reception meal was his gift to us! The money was solely the cost of food. According to him a full roast beef buffet should be charged at about $30pp and a turkey dinner is cheaper, at about $20 pp. A company that is fancier and does a lot of weddings will charge more though.
Post # 4
It depends entirely on where you are and the level of reputation/popularity the caterer has.
For example a 5 star caterer in NYC is going to cost more than a 5 star caterer in (insert the name of a small town in the USA because I don’t know any).
Post # 5
I would suggest you do NOT tell venue it is a wedding. Tell them anniversary party. As time goes on, you can tell them wedding.
Post # 6
My respone would be, “It depends, are you going to put a menu together based on a number I give you or am I going to look at your menu and ‘choose items.’?”
If they’re going to put it together for you, give them a LOWBALL number, let them tell you its low. who cares. tell them ok then I guess I’ll wait for your proposal and talk it over with my fiance. remember these guys are trying to gain your business, its not about you being nervous. they should be the nervous ones.
If they’re going to have you look at their entire menu and ‘choose’ items then dont give them a number. say, you dont know yet because you havent exactly settled that with fiance. They’ll likely push for a number and you can simply and confidently say, I dont know at this time. and smile politely. Then pick your item menus and have them quote it. Then from there you can make changes as you go to drive the price down. gluck!