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Kiara
Just Said Yes November 2021

Wedding (food) Budget is driving me insane!

Kiara, on January 7, 2021 at 12:44 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 8
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Hello! My fiancé and I are planning a big wedding, and sticking to a budget is hard let alone coming up with one. We are planning for a 200 count wedding (we understand that not everyone will come) but how do you budget FOOD for a wedding this size? We are doing Wood Fire Pizza for our dinner service, I was just wondering how you create a budget for that many people.

8 Comments

Latest activity by Violetstorme, on January 7, 2021 at 10:28 PM
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
    • Flag
    It should ve broken down by cost per guest.
    • Reply
  • Shelly
    Rockstar January 2022
    Shelly ·
    • Flag

    Caterers should have a price breakdown that shows the cost per guest! I would def. suggest asking any caterers you're looking at what the price per guest is, that way you have a clear price point laid out for you!

    • Reply
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    A lot of venues or caterers have the per person break down
    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Rockstar July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    Most catering places will give price per person.
    • Reply
  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag
    Caterers usually charge per person so you will have to decide how much you are comfortable paying per guest. Unfortunately, we can't really tell you what that should be because it varies based on location.
    • Reply
  • Crystal
    Dedicated November 2020
    Crystal ·
    • Flag

    Where are you located my husband and I entered a contract for this style and appetizers it was $25/person. We did not get to execute due to covid. Our caterer is in San Diego County, CA. Also... almost twinsies, we got married in November 2020. lol

    If you're located in the area maybe I can sell you guys our contract and help you save some money meanwhile we recoup some of ours. Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • Violetstorme
    Dedicated October 2022
    Violetstorme ·
    • Flag

    If they don't give a price per person, be sure to ask about their charges. Also keep in mind that prices generally don't include taxes, service charges (if applicable) or gratuities. If they have "platter" type options where it feeds more than one person they should be able to tell you how many servings and price for each unit. You'll also need to determine what types of service they offer. If it's basically a drop off buffet service, it'll probably be loads cheaper than a full-service dinner.

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  • Violetstorme
    Dedicated October 2022
    Violetstorme ·
    • Flag

    If you're looking for a mathematic way to figure out the cost of going with a specific vendor, you will need to know a few things. 1) Group Size/Number of Plates or Servings Ordered, 2) Price Per Person, 3) Tax Rate, 4) Gratuities, 5) Any extra fees or any services that you will have to account for that aren't always stated up front. You'll also need to know what their service already includes versus what you'll have to pay extra for that you want if they offer it. If they don't, you then have to consider the price of hiring outside services to accommodate your needs into your budget as well.


    You can also find calculators that do this math for you online. This is ONLY an example.

    Let's say that you order 200 plates, one for each of your two hundred guests for dinner. Your price per person is $15 Buffet Style. You're only paying for the food, included drinks and disposable dinnerware. Your local tax rate on goods and services is 7% and your mandatory gratuities are 21% that the catering company requires on all orders. There's also a $30 delivery fee for your drop off service.


    So if you only paid $15 a person.....

    200 people x $15 per person = $3,000

    Then you find out how much your taxes will be (gratuities generally aren't taxed)

    $3,000 (cost of food) x 1.07 (the percent of tax) = $3,210

    $3,210 (total with taxes) - $3,000 (original total) = $210 (the amount that taxes will add to the bill)

    Now you figure out how much your gratuities are.

    $3,000 (cost of food) x 1.21 (the percent of gratuities) = $3,630

    $3,630 (total with gratuities) - $3,000 (cost of food) = $630 (the amount that gratuities will add to the bill).

    Now that you have your original total, taxes and gratuities you can add it all together.

    $3,000 (cost of food) + $630 (cost of gratuities) + $210 (tax) +$30 (drop off fee) = $3,870.

    But that price changes exponentially depending on the price of the food, and again, what's included in that price.

    If it's $20 a person for the same no-frill sample above, you're looking at $5,150+.

    If it's $25 a person, you're looking at $6,430+

    If it's $30 a person, you're looking at $7,710+

    Just for the food, maybe some drinks included and plastic you'll throw away at the end of the night.

    And that's not including anything extra if they don't tell you it's included.

    Keep in mind this total ONLY included 200 people at 1 portion at $15 a portion. It included nothing extra. No frills, no service, no appetizers of fancy entrees. If you do buffet style, you'll want to order more food to make sure everyone has enough unless you pay extra for outside servers or enlist someone to be servers if not offered to make sure everyone only gets one serving. You'll also need to keep in mind the cost of any rentals you'll need if your caterer doesn't provide them for free or if you want something nicer than what your caterer provides. You can also request a full estimate from your vendor, too.

    TL;DR this is only a way to find out how much you can expect to pay for a specific vendor. You'll need to figure out what you want/need versus what you're comfortable paying and see if your vendor can accommodate that and know depending on the type of service you offer, you may need to order extra to make sure there's enough food. If they can't accommodate your budget, you'll either need to select a new vendor or find somewhere else in the budget that some extra $$ can come into your dinner budget.

    It's not as simple as being "Oh this is how you do it." There's a ton of factors that play into how you determine what your budget is and what that includes.

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