Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

How much are you spending p/person for food and drinks?

We are in the process of booking our venue and I am getting a couple estimates.

The 1st estimate we got was $93 per person including social hour, dinner and drinks.

It seems really to me, especially since we plan on 250 guests.

Re: How much are you spending p/person for food and drinks?

  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    You might want to cross-post on your local board; they can probably give you the best information on prices. That said, the other ladies here can give you some tips on how to save money.
  • Agree with @OurWildKingdom but I will say that we are spending ~$100pp on food alone. We are only having 60 people so I had no problem with this figure but I would certainly rejig if we were having more people. I think price is dependant on geography, catering experience (are you having steak and lobster or chicken) and the extras like additional courses and side choices.
  • edited April 2016
    You're going  to get responses all over the board here depending on the time of day, style of reception, and location. I paid roughly $95/person for 4 courses, top shelf open bar for 200 people. We had a Friday night reception is Buffalo, NY. Our price was driven in part by upgrading the bar and the meal selections we had. It was all inclusive so we didn't have to pay for linens, centerpieces, setup or takedown. 
  • ei34ei34 member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    H and I received estimates between $90-150 pp for cocktail hour, dinner, dessert, with open bar, in NYC and Long Island.  The particular venues and Friday vs. Saturday effected the price.  Food/drinks was the most important part of the wedding budget to us, so it was where we started once planning.

    Ditto @OurWildKingdom- your local board may give you an better idea of what going rate in your area is.
  • Sounds like for $93 you're also getting rentals: cups, plates, napkins, chairs, tables, servers etc.

    My wedding was on family property so my caterer only charged $38 per adult for food but I had to buy or rent alcohol and mixers, tent, dance floor, tables, chairs, tablecloths, plates, cups, and pay the batenders and caterers an hourly wage.

  • edited April 2016
    Idk what it will be per person yet but we have saved, in a separate account, enough for 100$pp if we have 100 people. That would be for cocktail hour and dinner along with taxes and fees.

    Eta: also includes tables, chairs, silverware, cups, and servers. But not linens for some reason.
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    H and I paid about $225 per person for super heavy apps and premium open bar. In downtown Chicago.
  • It really depends on the "What are you getting for the money".  The nickel and dime items really add up in a hurry.  Does this include your cake/serving, all gratuity/taxes/service fees, etc.? If not, remember that can increase the price by 50%, so it may come down to cut the guest list or find a new venue.

    Depending on where you're at in the country really can impact the cost pp.  I agree with the PP, post this to your local boards and you'll get better responses.  That said - if you can't work out the math for that number ($93/pp moves to $120 if the standard "fees/taxes" many venues charge get added on) regardless of where you're at in the country, if that venue doesn't fit your budget, that's o.k., look for one that does!  A wedding is not worth going into debt over, have the wedding you can afford even if that means booking out the local Lion's Club/VFW/KC/Community hall and adding some upgrades like renting/buying bulk linens and having money leftover is absolutely viable especially with a group that size.  Really think about your priorities and your real working budget.  The food and drinks are where the bulk cost of the wedding is!

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  • We did things budget friendly and our venue said you could bring in our own drinks and use any catering we wanted which saved a lot of money. Our food/drinks/cake came out to $25 per person. But it was beer/wine/soft drinks, BBQ buffet, and cupcakes (partially purchased with a Groupon) which are cheaper ways of doing things. The food was $18-19 of that price (and I swear like 40% of that was catering fees)
  • TyvmTyvm member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    Food will likely be $25/person, plus no more than $6/person on cake, and another $20/hr/person for open bar (although we're considering paying by consumption), $7.5/person for plates & glassware. Plus a bit more for an appetizer station. And then the serving fees. 

    That's not including renting tablecloths, which are a necessity. The venue's about $3,300 and includes tables & chairs. 

    But, yes, per person prices vary widely depending on what you're getting for the money...

    k thnx bye

  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is going to vary greatly based on your location, venue and time of year.

    Our venue offered an all-inclusive price (cocktail hour+ dinner+ late night buffet + open bar + linens + simple decor) for ~$60, tax included. It was more of a basic package, but it had everything we wanted. We also got married in January.

    A lot of "wedding" venues in my area will offer a basic all inclusive package for $59.95 per person, where as some other places we looked at started at $80-100 and beyond. Many places offered food and drink at the $80-100 price point but did not include anything else.
  • julieanne912julieanne912 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited April 2016
    Yeah this is a pretty broad question.  Ours was around $46/person which included the food (buffet BBQ) with a few servers (mainly there to keep things tidy and clean up), bartenders, plates/utensils/cups, non-alcoholic drinks, ice and drink mixers, and all the fees from the catering company.  

    We purchased the alcohol separate and I have no idea where we ended up with that, because we returned what we didn't use and I didn't keep track.  

    Dessert was one of the cheapest things we did... was around $3/person total for some cake, and lots of little mini desserts.  And there was tons left over.
    Married 9.12.15
  • I don't know my final answer because we still have some unknowns, but I do know the food. For food I think it will be roughly $25 per person. That is what the caterer told us. It will be a barbecue with Italian style foods so pretty casual. Like Italian sausage, chicken, macaroni and cheese, antipasto salad, etc. It will vary because I think I might delete the meatball sandwich option and add a vegan pasta salad or something. But it should still be close to $25/person.

    We haven't decided on a dessert. I know I don't want a wedding cake because it sounds like too much hassle and I don't want to pay someone to cut a freakin cake for me. So I might do cupcakes or some other dessert and don't yet know what the cost will be. I don't know. I just want it to be yummy and simple and easy to manage.

    Alcohol will be wine and beer and one signature cocktail (gin based), but I haven't figured out how much to get yet and we will just buy it all from Sam's Club or something. So I don't know the cost of that either.

    We are inviting about 60 people. 

  • we paid 85.00 pp that included tax service charge, full open bar hot and cold appz 5 course dinner, dj cake and centerpieces were also included in this total. and we live and got married in central connecticut 
  • WallflowerWallflower member
    10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited May 2016
    I'm spending about $70 p/p on food and beverages, including alcohol, tax, and service. That's three apps and a buffet with artisan bread, salad, beef, chicken, and two sides.

    Incidentally, we are having Whole Foods cater and I'd highly recommend it. Really great pricing and the best wedding catering I've ever had.

    Our cake is about $7 p/p.

    Our venue has a bartender so I'm purchasing all the alcohol seperately, which helps.

    That cost doesn't include dinnerware though.
  • We spent about $160 per person for cocktail hour, three course dinner, and drinks for the evening (including taxes and tip).  We're in an "affordable" area, but only had 36 guests - so we were able to really splurge on food (which was one of my top priorities).  Cake was another $10/person
  • In my area, outside of Philadelphia, the lowest all inclusive price I could find was $70 per person.  We ended up at around $30 per person, by using a venue that let us bring in our caterer.  They provided alcohol, drinks, glassware and tables.  We provided nice plastic plates, silverware, linens, sterno+chaffing racks, serving utensils. and cake and rolls from BJ's.  The caterer just brought the food.  
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