Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

How much to budget for hors d'oeuvres vs main meal?

Howdy! 
Just got engaged in December and are getting married in October 2014. My fiance (as well as my parents) and I are learning the confusing world of wedding planning. Just gotta jump right in! 
We are planning on getting married in Grapevine, TX  (right near the lake). It will be in the mid-afternoon on a Sunday (ceremony around 3; so the reception will probably bump into dinner hour) . We are having a confusing discussion on catering. Budgeting for about 110 people. 
Buffet (thinking pulled pork BBQ as the theme is Hawaiian) is not too bad (quoted $10-$15 per person), but the appetizers/hors-douerves are almost as much as the meal! (fruit/veggie trays, a few hot passed apps) Is this normal? We are also anticipating a lot of fruit/cookies/cakes because we hope to have a chocolate fountain, so we are budgeting that as well. 

Whole catering budget should be around $2500 total. (Food+fountain+fixins for chocolate fountain). 

Re: How much to budget for hors d'oeuvres vs main meal?

  • Our main meal was more than that per person, but we had 7 passed hors d'oeuvres for $9 per person I remember.

    Considering though, that the total is so reasonable, I would fuss over how they distributed their costs. 
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    thedoc617 said:
    Howdy! 
    Just got engaged in December and are getting married in October 2014. My fiance (as well as my parents) and I are learning the confusing world of wedding planning. Just gotta jump right in! 
    We are planning on getting married in Grapevine, TX  (right near the lake). It will be in the mid-afternoon on a Sunday (ceremony around 3; so the reception will probably bump into dinner hour) . We are having a confusing discussion on catering. Budgeting for about 110 people. 
    Buffet (thinking pulled pork BBQ as the theme is Hawaiian) is not too bad (quoted $10-$15 per person), but the appetizers/hors-douerves are almost as much as the meal! (fruit/veggie trays, a few hot passed apps) Is this normal? We are also anticipating a lot of fruit/cookies/cakes because we hope to have a chocolate fountain, so we are budgeting that as well. 

    Whole catering budget should be around $2500 total. (Food+fountain+fixins for chocolate fountain). 
    Yes, that's normal.  Appetizers/hors d'oeuvres are a lot more time consuming to make and their price usually reflects that.  It's one reason we tell people who want to have a reception at a meal time but only serve appetizers in order to save money that they're likely to end up either having way too little food or spending more than they would have for a buffet or plated meal.



  • Viczaesar said:
    thedoc617 said:
    Howdy! 
    Just got engaged in December and are getting married in October 2014. My fiance (as well as my parents) and I are learning the confusing world of wedding planning. Just gotta jump right in! 
    We are planning on getting married in Grapevine, TX  (right near the lake). It will be in the mid-afternoon on a Sunday (ceremony around 3; so the reception will probably bump into dinner hour) . We are having a confusing discussion on catering. Budgeting for about 110 people. 
    Buffet (thinking pulled pork BBQ as the theme is Hawaiian) is not too bad (quoted $10-$15 per person), but the appetizers/hors-douerves are almost as much as the meal! (fruit/veggie trays, a few hot passed apps) Is this normal? We are also anticipating a lot of fruit/cookies/cakes because we hope to have a chocolate fountain, so we are budgeting that as well. 

    Whole catering budget should be around $2500 total. (Food+fountain+fixins for chocolate fountain). 
    Yes, that's normal.  Appetizers/hors d'oeuvres are a lot more time consuming to make and their price usually reflects that.  It's one reason we tell people who want to have a reception at a meal time but only serve appetizers in order to save money that they're likely to end up either having way too little food or spending more than they would have for a buffet or plated meal.
    Eaxctly This.  The catering for our upcoming wedding broke down in a similar way.  It was about half Hor-Doerves and half acutal meal. 
  • I am getting married in that area too, and it's pretty normal for my venue as well. If you are having evening reception you might just think of a full on meal. Doesn't have to be plated (unless you want that but is sometimes more $$) just heavy enough so guests aren't starving and high tailing it to Micky D's afterward. I am having Appetizers/hors d'oeuvres for cocktail hour and a buffet for dinner as it will be dinner time. Sometimes getting apps/HD's are more expensive than a meal, and generally do not fill up guests as much or last long. Hope that makes sense.
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