Post # 1
Hi guys! I’m new to the boards. I was looking at food stations for my wedding because I thought it would be a really fun/possibly less expensive alternative. However, my caterer just quoted me about 5,000 more than I was expecting. She recommended that with 150 people, we should pay for the total amount at all 3 stations. For you guys who have done stations, did you pay for the full amount of people at each one? We’re looking at doing 3 stations… Burger sliders, street tacos, and pasta bowls. We’re also planning on having passed hors d’oeuvres.
Thanks for the help!
Post # 2
I am not having food stations but when I go to a buffet setup I usually grab one of everything so I think your caterer is right to assume everyone takes one.
Post # 3
How big are the portions? If they’re huge you could probably get away with paying less, but my guess is that the caterer knows what she’s talking about and that they’re on the smaller side.
Post # 4
usually people will not only take one of each station but if it is serve yourself they will take multiples which is why you usually need more food for a buffet type set up (or station) than a plated dinner…. also people might go up for seconds or thirds (or fourths…)
perhaps you can ask that they serve half portions? so that if people want to taste a bite of everything (this is usually me!) they don’t waste as much food (I feel bad throwing food out but I don’t want to stuff myself if I don’t love something or there are other options I want to try)
Post # 5
This really varies. Our venue charges more per person for plated service. My sister’s venue charged more for buffet. Ive heard it go either way. The idea is that played requires more staff; but buffet require more food (since it’s not portioned). 5k more is absurd though, unless your wedding is HUGE. for reference, my venue charges $10 more per person for plated; my sister’s up charged 15% for buffet. Both northeast venues, so pricey area to start.
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club
stations cost more because its per person for each station. It is usually priced $X per person for slider station, $Y per person for taco station… etc.
Post # 7
Just spoke with my caterer and she said that for 150 people, they would prepare 188 burgers. Which, I could see why shes recommending the full amount at each station, now. I don’t think this is going to end up being the caterer for me, unfortunately. They seem to be nickle and diming everywhere. They charge $18 per vendor meal, where as many other caterers in the area provide them for free. They also charge $25 per linen, which seems unreasonable if I’m already paying them thousands for food.
Anyways, thanks for the help guys!
Post # 8
Sorry, I experienced the same. My venue is owned by caterer so they’re exclusive for the venue. They broke down pricing as just food, staff (chefs, servers, bartenders), rentals (linens, silverware, plates), and alcohol Our caterer had some really cool station options such as sushi, liquid nitrogen desserts, etc but it was really expensive, probably more for corporate gatherings since things are made on spot. We went with buffet which was tasty, but less spendy.
Post # 9
I ended up choosing a buffet dinner with two main dishes per person because it was less expensive than the station package my caterer offered!
Post # 10
When you are checking out other caterers etc, remember that it is often less expensive to buy your linens. You do have the extra work of pressing them before the wedding, then laundering them after, but you can recoup some of the initial cost by selling them.
Check out sample prices
There are lots of other wedding linen suppliers.
You can also check http://www.searchtempest.com Many brides sell their linens after the wedding.
Post # 11
I briefly considered food stations for the same reasons you mention, but quickly realized they are much more expensive than other alternative options, so I nixed the idea. We’re having a fully seated/plated meal and quite frankly, with our venue (an old mansion that is now a members-only club), it just seemed more appropriate for the evening.
I still love the idea of stations!
Post # 12
What I had heard about stations is that they’re also more expensive just because they require different/more staffing, since there has to be a person there making/serving stuff the whole time. Staffing usually tends to be one of the more expensive aspects of catering, unfortunately.
Post # 13
We are doing stations and will have three stations (a carving station with steak and chicken options, one with salmon, and a make-your own risotto bar). We are getting a huge amount of food with this option and the staffing part of it does seem more involved than a buffet or a seated/plated meal. We are spending just over $5K for 90 people on catering. It was splurge area for us, not a budget one.