Often wedding venues will already have catering packages that you can choose from (they do a lot of these, after all). Typically, the fancier the venue, the pricier the menu.
STYLE OF CATERING
Okay, this is where things can run the full spectrum – as there are many different ways to serve your food. A sit-down meal, where guests are served their meal at the table by a waiter, generally costs the most (add things like entrées and the catering costs will likely go up.) Less expensive options include buffets, family-style meals with large platters of food on tables (guests serve themselves), and cocktail-style where food is served via trays of hors d’oeuvres, allowing for mingling rather than sitting.
DESSERT & ALCOHOL
Naturally, if your catering includes things like dessert and alcohol then this will affect the price in an upward fashion. That said, many venues offer excellent value bar packages and you can likely eliminate the need for extra desserts if you’ve already ordered your wedding cake from a baker.
NUMBER OF PEOPLE
This is of course one of the most important factors when considering catering costs. If you’re thinking of inviting Uncle Larry and cousin Jorja, plus the entire footy team and all of Sarah’s work friends, then that adds to your ‘per head’ costs. Simply put, the longer the guest list, the more you’ll likely pay for food (especially if it’s a sit-down meal).
LENGTH OF FUNCTION
Whoever said ‘time is money’ probably had a wedding with a cocktail-style menu. If you want food to be served all day or all night, then you’ll need to expect a higher price. The same goes for how long the bar is open.
If your caterers aren’t employed by the wedding venue, or you’re getting married in some insta-friendly spot amongst nature, expect that pin on the map to affect the price. If your caterers have to travel far, then it’s likely you’ll be paying for petrol/transport costs.
It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that if you have many guests with specific dietary requirements, then your caterers will need to make different types of meals. This is typically more demanding and time-consuming than making the same meal, so it’s essential to know which of your guests have allergies, are gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan. It will guide you in choosing your menu and ensure everyone enjoys the day!