(Closed) How much are you spending on catering? Is it worth it?

posted 10 years ago in Food
  • poll: What would you do? Feel free to leave advice in the comments please!

    Cheaper normal food

    More expensive fun stations

  • Post # 17
    1484 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I don’t know how helpful knowing my budget will be: $14,000 includes the venue (reception, ceremony, getting ready rooms) all food, alcohol, rentals, and sweet extras. The problem with hotel wedding packages is that they bundle everything up. 

    That said, your choice depends on the feel of your wedding. With a German dinner, people may wonder why it’s the only German thing, but if you add more “personalisation” you run the risk of throwing a theme wedding. 

    We just made our menu selections yesterday and decided to pick very European apps (beef Wellington, goat cheese crostinis, etc) because we thought it enhanced the feel we were already looking for: formal, elegant, old money.

    Good luck!

    Post # 18
    5191 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

    We love food, are known amongst friends and family for our cooking and baking skills, and are huge proponents of eating organic and local. So, quite naturally, food was a high priority for us. I would rather spend more on food and less on invites or attire because food is for the pleasure of the guests, whereas many other poarts of the wedding are for the pleasure of the bride and groom themselves.In My Humble Opinion, throwing a good party means focusing on making your guests happy, and I ALWAYS want to throw a good party. 🙂

    Post # 19
    1540 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    We’re splurging on food because our guests know we’re foodies and are prepared to come hungry. For us, we’d rather spend the majority of our budget making the guests happy and comfortable. If it’s not a priority for you, I see nothing wrong with spending more elsewhere as long as the normal food is still tasty and offers a variety of options that will leave your guests satisfied. I would be annoyed as a guest though if you skimped quality and comfort for something I wouldn’t care about.

    Post # 21
    401 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    I would go the cheaper option..sure the stations might be fun, but are they $2000 worth of fun? That’s how I look at it. You could put that extra $2000 towards other fun stuff, like a photobooth or caricature artist!

    Post # 22
    6375 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    I intend to spend about 60%+ of our budget on food and booze… after all, they’re the main things when you’re hosting an event, right? to put it in perspective, I aim to spend up to US7,500 on food and drink, out of a budget of about US12,000.

    Post # 23
    9913 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I honestly hate buffets, but of the two, I’d pick the second.  It seems more interesting, more unqiue, and less blah. 

    I spent about about 35% of my budget on the caterer (so food, linens, service, non-alcoholic bar) and will be spending a bit more when I add in all the alcohol and cake. 

    Post # 24
    42 posts
    • Wedding: November 2012

    I’m conflicted about food as well. The menu I discussed with my parents yesterday was chicken, potatoes, vegetables and rolls- how uninspiring right? I thought it was OK, but today I’m thinking that just doesn’t reflect my taste at all.

    And I have to add- food prices are ridiculous. I think I would end up with a better variety and much less money spent if I asked everyone to bring a dish in leu of a gift.

    Post # 25
    47 posts
    • Wedding: November 2012

    #2 sounds fun but be careful because linens can be more expensive than you imagined. We are trying to keep our wedding at 12000 so I think we are going with Blue Mesa. We will have beef/chicken fajitas and everything that goes along with that plus a bunch of sides. They are providing staff, all equipment, linens, basic drinks(tea etc.) and it is about 2500 including tax for 120 people.

    Post # 26
    2015 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    We’re spending $1500 of our $8000 budget on food. 

    I think the second option sounds more fun, but, also being from the midwest, it seems kind of high to me for a company that does not even provide linens. I guess it would depend on the number of people attending your event.

    Post # 27
    46 posts
    • Wedding: January 2012

    I’d go with choice #1.  I love buffets with the variety of food offered; it’s more interesting and gets people mingling.  Seated meals can be good, but boring and limited; and although stations can offer variety, they’re often more expensive.  But in the end, will people really remember how it’s served? I just remember if the food is good – or bad! 

    Post # 28
    12 posts
    • Wedding: April 2012

    We made the food the focus of the reception.  People love eating…and they will appreciate that much more than they will the decorations, favors, etc.

    Post # 29
    283 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I chose option 2.

    Food is the one area of the wedding I will absolutely not scrimp on. Your guests will remember the quality of the food more than they remember other details like linens. And if the food is really good, they will talk about it long after the wedding is over.

    Post # 30
    545 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    I hope you’re shopping around : )

    Caterers are out to get your money, probably more so than any other vendor.

    Just because you have chicken, starch, and beef, etc doesn’t mean it will be “boring”.

    What KIND of chicken? There is a big difference between the usual herb roasted chicken breast, and a dill weed roasted chicken breast that is stuffed with let’s say mago chutney. I’m just trying to say, if your caterer allows you to “spice up” your food and get creative then the menu doesn’t have to be super boring.

    I’ve seen crappy serve stations. At first glance I thought cool, different stations!…and then got closer, sat down and thought meh this food is not that great.Typical overcooked wedding food that’s been sitting out and tastes like stale twizlers. Ick.

    Having stations does not always = awesome food.

    Food is PRESENTED nicely with stations, but unless you give specifics, it appears you might be making a decision based on presentation alone. Don’t be fooled by the concept. Make sure the food at the stations has a good composition and looks appealing once it’s ON the plate. Otherwise you’re just paying for extra equipment and people to man each menu option.

    Something else to compare is WHO is making all the food? What are his/her credentials and culinary accomplishments? How much experience does he/she have cooking for large groups of people? Is it a skilled chef working with chicken, beef, etc. as opposed to a typical caterer offering european food?

    I think you should ask to see pictures of their food on a plate, or actually taste the food.

    Also, how many guests do you have? What is the actual price per person?

    I tried to, and I could not allow myself to spend that much money on a caterer.  I looked into it and the food, no matter how nice it sounded, was just not worth it. For my wedding I cut the guest list and hired a private chef who is classically trained in french, caribbean, and latin cusine. His food looks like a work of art. He will do hot hordeourvs for cocktail hour, my mom and I are making fun cold ones the night before that he will serve with the hot ones. I can do a buffet style or plated dinner. I can dream up any menu I want because I am paying him per hour, and I am paying for all the ingredients. We’re buying and setting up our own drinks. I will probably total $1200-1500. Plus, I’m making my own linens, and will be purchasing plates and silverware (probably from ikea, not sure yet) and then selling them on cl or something after.  He is also doing plated desserts and my mom and I are making other wonderful recipies to fill up a desserts table.

    P.s: there will be no mason jars present. lol.

    Post # 31
    2623 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I think it depends how important food is to you and your family. Fi and I spending a good amount on food and drinks, we know our family are very much into food so it’s important and we are willing to pay for it.

    The topic ‘How much are you spending on catering? Is it worth it?’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors