(Closed) If your total for food, booze, and venue was under ~$100pp, how did you do it?

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 2
736 posts
Busy bee

We’re having our reception at an Indian restaurant.  I don’t know the exact price per person yet, but it will definitely be under $100.

Post # 3
243 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

I think it really depends on where you live. Our wedding is an all-inclusive venue that includes the venue fee, food (appetizers, salad, entree, sides), and open bar for four hours at $89pp. That’s with a paired plating option (two proteins on each plate). We’re tacking on extras, but it’s still under $100pp. It’s an old Antebellum-style mansion. There is a 120-person minimum, though, so maybe that’s how we got it under $100pp. Not sure.

Post # 4
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

Ours is way less than $100 per person, and we’re having it at an “inn” (in quotes because you can’t actually stay there).  Honestly, we got the price we did because we negotiated.  We’re having an open bar of beer and wine only.  Normally they have a 5 hour reception and then 30 minutes for the ceremony, but we’re doing a ~30 minute ceremony and then a 4.5 hour reception.  We’re also not having beef, which drove the cost down.  Probably most importantly, we’re getting married at the beginning of March in New England, so we had a lot more flexibility with pricing since it won’t be peak season.  Hope this helps!

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by cairparavel.
Post # 6
2013 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
modernboho:  We’re having a three course sit down lunch + dessert at a very highly rated French restaurant. Because it’s lunch it’s coming in at $47/per person. That does not include alcohol but there is no way everyone will drink enough to raise it to over $100 per person (some kids, some people who don’t drink, and people drink less at lunch). The “rental reservation fee” was $200. 

Places that are “Venues” rather than restaurants charge wayyyyyyyyyyy more for everything and usually have worse food. If I had opted for dinner at the French restaurant we chose it still would have only been $70/per person. 

By the way, we live in NYC and our wedding is in North Jersey about 14 miles west of Manhattan. 

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by swonderful.
Post # 7
2221 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

My venue is $1,000 and can fit 100 people, so that’s $10/pp. It is a farm with a barn that was converted into a restaurant and then into a bed & breakfast. So it’s a “finished” barn. I actually would prefer the unfinished barn look, but budget and time and open dates limited us. 

Our caterer is usually more of a picnic caterer than a wedding-specific caterer. It should work out to be somewhere around $20/pp. We’re having a buffet with bbq pulled pork (my dad wanted a pig roast – it was the only thing he was excited about), pasta, veggies, sorta-picnic food. This could have been even cheaper if we went with their typical catering menu instead of the pig roast. 

We’re going to have cheese/crackers/veggie/fruit trays for appetizers. I forget how much these are but less than $10/pp. 

We can BYOB so we’ll get a keg(200-300?), some cases of wine, and we’re going to have a basic bar (gin/tonic, vodka/juice, jack/coke). I have no idea how much this will work out to be…$10-15/pp??  We also need to hire a bartender… so that’ll be a little extra. And provide our own cups. 

We are going to have cupcakes and cookies for dessert. The cupcakes are like $4/pp and then friends & family will make the cookies so they wont be expensive.  

Sorry I don’t have a *real* total, but I’d guess we are looking at $60/pp?? 

Keep in mind, we’ll probably only have disposable plates/cups/etc. (I still need to check about that… my dad is friends with the caterer so he set it all up. I might see if he can get us Leafware since it’s pretty.) 


I also live in rural PA. 

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by amberback.
Post # 8
6300 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
modernboho:  It’s do-able, you just have to manage your expectations. It’s going to vary a lot by location – not just geographically but the *type* of venue you choose. The only real way to make it happen is to research venues and find out their charges – if possible, give them a pp budget you’d like to stick to and see what they offer. Just keep in mind, a wedding is only as expensive as you make it….but it all hinges on your personal preference and expectations. It’s totally possible with a less fancy venue and basic menu, but probably not feasable at more fancy venue with ugraded menu. The best way to save is to find a venue that includes everything – tables, chairs, linens, etc. You might find you can either stretch your pp budget a bit, or you might find you need to lower your guest list.

Post # 9
2448 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

View original reply
modernboho:  small family owned catering hall. Food and unlimited booze for about $85 per person

Post # 10
737 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

We came in at $88pp for our rustic 70 person wedding in southern california.

we have 2.5 acres in san diego county. So venue was technically free. We did however spend $1500 on tents, chairs, tables and linens from a rental company. And $1500 for fancy two stall portable toilets.

$2500 for food truck catering. Buffet style. included plenty of two choices of appetizers, salad, sliders and fries for everyone. They also cut the cake for is.

we bought all our own drinks and people helped themselves to a wide varietu of options. We also bought some miscellaneous snack foods for theirs and picky eaters

if you want to save costs look into an off season date or a Sunday wedding. Consider afternoon and lunch instead of dinner. Look into food trucks for catering 

Post # 11
1015 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I think a big advantage is being able to select an outside vendor for food! If you can stock your own bar and hire your own bartenders that makes it even better.

We have 100 guests


We saved $1000 by having our wedding on a Sunday. The total room rental fee and tax was $1630. Our bar was $19 a head (flat fee- not per hour), plus $240 for an additional bar tender, and $428 for 20% gratuity, our bar total came to $2790 so the grand total for our reception venue with full open bar service is $4421


For our caterer we decided to go with a very famous bbq place in our city, which not only is a huge crowd pleaser (literally everyone of our guests have mentioned how excited they are for it), it’s also extremely affordable. We are serving smoked turkey, brisket, ribs, baked beans, green beans, salad, and mini deserts for $2100, which includes servers.


So the grand is $6,521; so it’s about $65 per person. 🙂

Post # 12
677 posts
Busy bee

It really depends on location. We did everything for my wedding of 400 invitees for 15,000. That includes photographers, dj, food (2 proteins), flowers, etc. If our wedding would have been in a larger town it would have easily cost  15,000 more. I am a rural location so that helped keep costs down. As our food was only 12 pp.

Post # 13
1344 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012 - Franklin Plaza

View original reply
modernboho:  Hey, where in upstate NY are you? We (and a lot of my friends) got married in the Albany/Saratoga area so I can offer some suggestions if you’re looking around there!

Post # 14
252 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

View original reply
modernboho:  Yay, upstate NY! Our venue charged $61 per person, which included gratuity. That included full use of the ballroom, a 4 course dinner with a champagne toast, and an open bar (wine and beer) for 5 hours.  Our venue was significantly cheaper than anything else we found, and while it didn’t have a lot of the frills that other places did, it was perfect. 

Post # 15
817 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

We should be wellllll under that.

Right now we have catering for $13 — not including appetizers (we’re undecided on what we want to do there)

the venue for 180 guests (ballpark) is $13 per person

and dessert should be about $3 per person

We are only doing wine and beer, and we stock that ourselves, so it shouldn’t be bad at all!

The topic ‘If your total for food, booze, and venue was under ~$100pp, how did you do it?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors