How to Predict Your Wedding Catering Cost

September 19, 2018 by Just Marry!

How to Predict Your Wedding Catering Cost: Tips and Tricks from the Recently Hitched

Tips and Tricks from the Recently Hitched is a series featuring real advice from real newlyweds. We’ll share their tips and offer a few of our own tricks, sometimes bringing our vendor partners into the mix. Together, we’ll make sure you have the best planning experience—and wedding day—possible! Be sure to stalk us on all of our social media platforms to discover different ways we address every topic in this series.


If you’re an engaged couple wondering how to predict your wedding catering cost, you’ve come to the right place! Today we have the pleasure of featuring some of the most helpful catering tips you’ll find anywhere. Special thanks to contributor Jennifer Ball with Knot Your Average Events. When it comes to figuring out what your wedding catering cost will be, here is what Jennifer shared with us:

“Advice I have learned just this summer alone from one of my weddings is something any planner and/or couple should note: DON’T go cheap on the catering and food! People will remember leaving hungry or hung over from not eating, plus they’ll remember if you ran out of food or if the food was horrible.

A few other things to consider when predicting your wedding catering cost:

  • Start your day off with a hearty meal and a bottle of water!
  • Provide breakfast if hair and makeup begins early.
  • Send biscuits over to the guys before they go out golfing or for their morning activity.
  • Have lunch delivered where everyone is getting ready and include your hair and make-up team in the headcount.
  • Send a pizza or subs over to the venue where your vendors are busy setting everything up. IF YOUR “TEAM” IS FUELED your day will be FUELED!
  • Always provide your vendors with a hot meal and a space for them to take a quick break while you are eating (don’t worry, no one wants photos or video of them chewing either.)
  • Offer late night snacks… this is a great time to break out the cheese and crackers and fruit platter to go with wine and desserts.
  • Think ahead…if you have a large hotel room block, ask the hotel to leave donuts or muffins with a thank you card in your guests’ rooms upon their return from your reception.”

What wonderful tips, Jennifer! Thank you for your incredible insights. As for tallying up the above items along with the cost of your reception meal to realistically predict your wedding catering cost, the pricing will range. Things such as the wedding’s location, taxes and service fees charged by the venue or caterer, and specifically what you purchase for each line item will dictate your overall wedding catering cost.

That said, here’s a general guideline:

  • Per, couples will pay on average between $1,834 and $3,056 for their bar service, and anywhere from $30 to $100 per person for their meal.
  • Breakfast for you and your bridal party/biscuits or muffins for the guys: $10-$25/person
  • Lunch for your bridal party and the hair and makeup stylists (if you’ll be taking more than two hours to get ready, it’s courteous to offer at least snacks and water for your stylists): $15-$25/person
  • Pizza/subs for the vendor setup team: $30-$50
  • Vendor meals (usually different food than what you serve your guests for dinner, offered at a discount): $20-$30/vendor
  • Late night snacks: $10-$35/person
  • Ceremony beverages for guests (non-alcoholic): $25-$35/gallon

We’ve got even more things to consider when calculating your wedding catering cost in this handy download, so don’t miss it!If you’d like help with your wedding planning, we can help! Drop by here to review some of our service options, then reach out to our team so we can customize a plan that works for you.

Recently-weds and wedding vendors, we’d love to hear from you with your own Tips & Tricks! If you have a topic you’d like to contribute to a future Tips and Tricks post or you’d like to join the Just Marry! family while planning your wedding, e-mail us at and we’ll get back to you right away!


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