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Wedding Catering Sydney | Dessert Table by The Grounds Catering

How much does wedding catering cost?

Ahhh weddings – there’s a whole lot to consider for couples these days, including supplying family and friends with the highest quality, tastiest food in the land. And while it’s true that guests do often remember weddings based the food that was served, the good news is that a great meal doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

So, what defines “not a fortune” anyway? How much exactly does the average Australian couple spend feeding their wedding guests? It’s a tricky one, as wedding catering has a lot of variables, but according to the ‘Easy Weddings 2018 Annual Australian Wedding Survey’, the average price couples spend on food is $9,100 – at around $75 per person. In the survey, 59% of couples had table service, 24% went with a buffet, and 17% served finger food. Now, nine grand may seem like a lot of money, but once you consider all the variables affecting catering costs, it starts to make more sense.

What factors affect the cost of catering?

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.

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.

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.

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).

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!

It’s important to be upfront about your budget.

Know your catering budget from the outset – don’t order a big package and then try to cut costs down the road. Research the different types of catering options available to you. What amount can you realistically spend? What things are deal-breakers for you? And what will work best with the people you’re inviting and the day you’re planning?

A lot goes into planning, preparing and serving food for a wedding. It’s easy to overlook the details, so it’s important that you talk to your caterer or the staff at your wedding venue to know exactly what options are available for you.

Yes, there’s a lot of nightmare clichés out there, but ultimately planning a wedding should be fun! So, take the time to enjoy your food and cake tastings, design your menu and get things just right. If you cherish the process, the result will be so much more rewarding for you, your partner, and all your guests on the day.

Want to know more about Sydney wedding catering with The Grounds?

Contact us on 02 9699 2225 or email catering@thegrounds.com.au and say “I do” to having your bespoke wedding catering in Sydney arranged by The Grounds Catering.

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