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How Much Does It Cost To Cater A Wedding

Book Your Wedding Catering Early

How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

No matter how long your engagement is, Francois urges couples to book catering early, especially if you intend to wed during the peak summer season or over a holiday weekend. The most sought-after chefs and companies can sell out months, if not years, in advance.

Francois says the same goes with your cake if you plan on ordering from a bakery, since many will charge a rush fee if advance notice isnt given at least a month or so before the big day.

Consider Catering From A Restaurant Or Corporate Caterer

“For smaller weddings, restaurants make a great choice for good food at a more affordable cost,” says Devony Wilmot, a bride who planned her dream wedding at a Texas Hill Country estate on a budget.

If you have a smaller guest list, Wilmot suggests looking for a restaurant with a private dining room for hosting the reception. “To further lower costs, ask the restaurant if you can order several entrees off the regular menu rather than using the catering menu,” says Wilmot.

You could also look into catering from a corporate catering service rather than one that only specializes in weddings. For her 150-person wedding, Wilmot chose a caterer who owns a cafeteria in a government building. “Her focus was on corporate catering and therefore her rates were much lower than wedding catering rates,” says Wilmot.

How Much Most Couples Spend

For the cost per person, its quite difficult to estimate the rate that prevails today. Some peg their budget at $20 per head at the cheaper end of the catering spectrum or go as high as $100 per person. On average, American couples spend $4,000 for wedding catering for a hundred guests. The range of catering expenses as of 2020 ranges from $1,800 to $7,000. Some couples shell out as high as the $10,000 and even reach the $20,000 mark.

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Wedding Catering Cost Guide

Costs displayed in graph are based on spend from thousands of couples who recently reported pricing for this service within their WeddingWire review. Pricing varies based on factors including, but not limited to, vendors experience, level of expertise, event guest count, date, and geographic region.

What Time Do You Start Getting Ready For Wedding

How Much Does it Cost to Cater a Wedding?

A lot of brides and their bridesmaids overlook planning for the morning of the wedding day. Yet think about it the getting ready portion of your morning could be quite lengthy if the ceremony starts later in the afternoon. Many wedding ceremonies are planned to start around the 2:00 to 4:00 pm time-frame.

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Other Factors That Affect Cost

If youve done the math for wedding catering costs based on the figures mentioned above, you could be ready to move forward with a decision for your reception. However, there are a few additional expenses youll need to work into your budget:

  • Staff to handle food service, including captains, executive chefs, assistant chefs, and event managers and,
  • Bartenders and servers, for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

These professionals work at a rate of ranging from $40-$50 per hour, and theres usually a minimum number of hours. In addition, you might include a tip for your wedding caterer, which is a common courtesy for professional services.

Need Help Finding Catering For Your Party

Roaming Hunger can help you find a great food truck for your party, no matter what the occasion and size. For more information just go to our Private Party Catering page.

Once you give us some basic information on when and where your event is, your dedicated catering manager will help you get the best options based on your needs. All youâll need to do is pick the menu packages you like and weâll handle all the logistics. We also protect every single catering with our 100% Roaming Hunger Service Guarantee.

Food trucks are an affordable catering option. Click the link to learn more.

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How Can Feast It Help

We’ve catered for hundreds of weddings, and our expert team will work closely with you, listen to all of your requirements and curate your booking from start to finish. Why not book a free consultation with our wedding planner, Natasha, to get you started? Natasha will find the perfect wedding catering to suit your tastes and budget so you can concentrate on writing your vows and throwing the event of the year! BOOK A FREE WEDDING CONSULTATION HERE.

Or, if you’ve already got a good idea of what you want, submit an enquiry and our suppliers will send you some quotes! SUBMIT AN ENQUIRY HERE

Why Should We Hire You

How To Figure Out How Much Your Destination Wedding Will Cost

When you choose your caterer, youre ultimately hiring someone and that makes the relationship much like a job interview. Your caterer should be able to illustrate their strengths, explain their ethos, and provide a convincing argument on why theyre the best company for the gig.

If the caterer cant clearly communicate what really makes them shine, they might not be passionate about their craft, Wigfield says.

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Whats Included In Wedding Catering

Depending on the caterer, these are some of the items included in a catering package.


Wedding food cost and price should be included in your package, depending on your catering style.


its highly likely your caterer will oversee the beverages, including both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, depending on the package. If this is the case expect to spend more for these packages. If you have your own venue you could have a choice of doing BYO and pay a corkage fee, or hiring a different supplier or mobile bar for beverages.


This includes staff from cooks to servers and bartenders. Staffing will depend on the catering style that you choose as well as the number of guests you have for a wedding. Depending on the type of catering you choose you may also require less staff such as servers. For example, a food truck or buffet option requires fewer servers than a sit-down meal does.


Anything from chairs, tables, dishes or glassware can be provided by your caterer. If it doesnt match your wedding style, you can always hire these rentals with a different supplier, but most venues will provide them.


Suppliers may charge additional fees and costs like corkage fees or cake cutting.

Its also important to note that your wedding cake is generally not included in your wedding catering. While your catering may include desserts, youre better off going to a wedding cake supplier who specialises in that area.

Average Cost Of Wedding Catering In 2022

Before diving into the specifics of your wedding catering budget, you might want to know about overall catering costs. First off, how much you spend on your wedding catering completely depends on the number of guests you have, the type of meal youre serving, and the location of your wedding.

That said, the average cost of catering for a wedding with a guest list of 100 usually ranges between $8,500 $10,000, according to Jessica McTaggart of Pink Champagne Events in Denver, Colorado. Although, if youre looking for something like you might see in certain popular wedding magazines, you can expect to pay closer to the $20,000 mark, notes Meggie Francisco of Meggie Francisco Events.

Also Check: A Practical Wedding Budget Spreadsheet

How Much Does Wedding Catering Cost In 2022

One of the most important factors in your overall wedding budget is the cost of the food. Not only is catering a big piece of your wedding budget , its also one of the most enjoyed parts of the reception for your guests.

While guests may not remember the particular details of your wedding dress or the song that played when you walked down the aisle, they will certainly remember the amazing meal they ate or the type of wedding cake you served. So, how much exactly does wedding food cost in this day and age? And, most importantly, how do you stay on budget?

Lets go over all of the ins and outs of wedding catering. This includes your options for serving the meal and everything you need to know about factoring in the costs of alcohol, dessert, and even what linens and table items youre going to need at the wedding reception.

What Does Wedding Catering Include

How Much Does Wedding Catering Cost?

The food, beverages and service at your wedding are the main components of wedding catering. Every caterer provides you with the available packages and prices to help you select your needs.

A great caterer will work with you from start to finish in planning your wedding catering, selecting or customizing a menu to fit your vision and executing high quality service on the day of. You should be confident in your caterer to provide the type of food and service planned and discussed in your meetings. With Deco Catering, you can rest assured that youll be taken care of throughout the entire process.

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How Can You Save Money On Wedding Catering

  • Your wedding catering costs will depend on the time of year, the menu you choose and your style of food service.

  • Some caterers will offer special pricing in the off season. If youre on a tight budget, think about having your wedding at an off peak season, day or time.

  • As long as the food is hot and fresh, dont worry if you cant afford gourmet. Stick with less expensive options, like chicken or pasta.

  • Buffet style food service is the least expensive option. If you choose a buffet you can offer lots of delicious food at a great price.

What Comes In A Wedding Catering Package

Whether your wedding venue has an in-house caterer or you need to hire an outside catering company, there are a number of industry standards that you can expect.

For instance, your wedding catering cost will likely be on a per person basis, meaning the more guests you have, the higher the bill. Many wedding venues and caterers also have a food and beverage minimum. That means you have to purchase a minimum amount of food and drinks to secure their services.

While wedding catering packages will vary slightly depending on the vendor, most will include:


The most obvious part of any catering package is, of course, the food. Youll be paying for any food your guests eat from the cocktail hour and main meal to a help-yourself snack or dessert table later in the evening. In most cases, your wedding food bill will not include the cost of a wedding cake. While many wedding caterers can provide a traditional wedding cake for an additional fee, not all offer this service. Find out if your caterer has experience with wedding cakes or if youll need to hire a baker.


In most cases, your caterer or wedding venue will provide all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for your reception as part of your wedding catering cost.


Servers, bartenders and, of course, cooks will be part of your wedding catering cost as well. This is an area where you wont want to skimp. Make sure there are enough servers to provide a good experience for your guests.


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How Wedding Catering Costs Work

Finding your perfect wedding caterer should be high on your to-do list! This goes for couples that are doing everything on their own or those who have hired a wedding planner. According to many checklist out on the web and my own personal experience in years in the catering industry, booking your caterer should be done right after you locked in your day with your venue. Caterers, specially the good ones, tend to get booked months even a year or 2 in advance. Guests not only want to witness your love, as a couple, come together, they are also there for the food. Making the reception meal one of the most important highlights of your special day. Youll discover that one of the biggest memory guests will have about the reception will be how Good or Bad the food was, so the wedding dinner must be top notch.

In recent years I have witness the wedding catering industry expand to include many types of menus and styles of serving. Everything from traditional sit & serve, buffets, carving stations to taco trucks and fresh donut stations. This can make figuring out your wedding catering cost a bit more complicated. But let me make it simple for you. Here is what most caterers, including myself, usually need from the couple.

  • How many guests are you inviting?
  • What menu would you like to serve?
  • How would you like the food to be served?
  • Tips On Finding The Right Wedding Catering

    How much does the average wedding cost?

    Do they clean up afterward? Are they familiar with vegan, kosher, and other diet requirements important to your guests? Do they come recommended by someone you trust and have good online reviews?

    Choosing a wedding caterer is just like most decisions.

    The winning caterer:

  • Has to be within your budget
  • Have a track record of success
  • Be able to adapt to the unexpected.
  • Most importantly, there has to be a certain level of trust and understanding. It also doesnt hurt if a caterer happens to have a Specialty Dish that youre in love with.

    An important wedding step are interviews, and caterers are no exception. Do your research to make sure that all of your boxes are checked and create a shortlist of options. From there, set up some interviews and tastings to make sure that their claims are legitimate.

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    What Dictates The Price

    Per caterer Jon Weinrott, the typical wedding catering package includes cocktail hour appetizers , the main meal , and passed desserts. At Peachtree, beverage costs are separate , and a cake can be brought in from another vendor.

    Meet the Expert

    Jon Weinrott is the co-owner and president of Peachtree Catering & Events, a boutique catering firm based on Philadelphias Main Line.

    Service style will have the biggest impact on your catering bill. The more waitstaff and equipment required to distribute a meal to guests, the more costly it will be. This is why family-style servicein which large dishes of each menu item are passed around the tables, as you might at Thanksgivingis typically the most expensive service style. Each table gets serving containers and serving silverware, along with enough staff to get the family-style platters to each table without taking too long, explains Buono.

    You might be tempted to inquire about cutting down on waitstaff to save money, but remember that your reception only lasts a limited amount of timeand guests should spend more of it dancing and celebrating than waiting for their food.

    Seasonality can also have a big impact on pricing. A Saturday in the spring or fall, for example, is considered a premium date, and securing one will come at a cost. But if youre willing to book a date thats less popularlike a Friday or Sunday, or something in the winter or summerit could come at a lower rate.

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