A wedding is an extremely important moment, so the wedding catering cost is usually at the forefront of the couple's mind when planning. Since you'll have to feed all of your guests, you'll need to determine the average cost per plate for a wedding reception. This depends on the type of catering, reception, and cuisine offered. So, how much is it to cater a wedding of 100?
Catering for 100 people typically ranges between $5,000 to $10,000. Expect to pay about $7,000 on average.
Before you can crunch the numbers and figure out a budget, you'll need to get a headcount early. But if you want a good metric you can start by using 100 guests.
Even if more people are added to your guest list, you can still easily adjust your budget. We'll break down everything you need to spend on, such as the cost for the wedding caterer, food, staffing, rentals, and alcohol needed for about 100 guests.
Cost for Service
First, you need to figure out your service style because that will determine the wedding catering price. Typically, if you go for a traditional service, it will be quite luxurious. If you need to bring down the costs, you can go with more affordable options such as a buffet, hiring a food truck, or even having service stations.
However, even if you do a buffet-style service, you should always have at least one server available to tend to your guests' needs. This could be as simple as collecting empty plates and replacing buffet items. A server can run about $25 to $30 per hour. Typically, they'll work at least four hours, meaning you should budget at least $100 or more. But if you are looking for higher-end services, you'll likely need to pay your servers higher rates and hire more staff members. For 100 guests, you may be looking to pay at least $2000 for catering services.
The cost of food at your wedding will vary significantly depending on whether you chose a sit-down coursed meal or buffet style. Always try to budget the sides, appetizers, and desserts along with your main entree selections. Realistically, you should budget at least $3000 to $4000 for food.
Bar services aren't necessary, but it's a nice touch to the wedding. However, if you want to save on wedding expenses, you can always go with BYOB instead. Even if you decide to go with BYOB, you will likely have to pay venue fees. They may even require that you hire a bartender to ensure that no guests will over-serve themselves. In this case, you should budget at least $150 to $300 for fees or hiring a bartender. Also, take into account the cost of alcohol and a single-day ABC license which usually costs around $100.
In contrast, a full bar service can run up to $2,000. Or you can choose a beer and wine bar for about $1,200 to $1,500. Although it may seem like an expensive cost, it's very convenient to have a bartender serve the alcohol for you.
There are many rentals that you'll likely need to pay for in your wedding. This can be everything from flatware to glassware. In addition, you'll likely need linens and actual tables to be rented as well. The cost of rentals will vary on the styles you choose from, which the theme of your wedding can determine. Expect to budget around $1,000 for the rentals category.
Once you add up all of these different categories, you can expect to set aside about $5,000 to $10,000 for a 100 person guest wedding. Of course, you should expect that things may come up, so it's always good to have a bit of extra money to set aside. The more prepared you are and the better you plan, the smoother everything will go.