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wedding food - buffet?
how much?


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#1 stressnless9

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:24 AM

Morning!

Trying to work out what our wedding will approx cost.

We have decided on a buffet for our wedding, we have a lot of fussy eaters,vegetarians and some with food intolerances so this would work best for us. We are having around 70 people, anyone have any idea of cost? we have the option of getting the place we will be having reception to cater or get our own.

The food won't anything too fancy or out of the ordinary!

Edited by stressnless9, 21 February 2013 - 08:25 AM.


#2 live_love_laugh

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:30 AM

It all depends on where you are having the wedding and what you want to eat. Anywhere from $20-$120pp. I'd do the legwork to chat to the venue/caterers to look at your options.

#3 laridae

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:31 AM

Surely the place can give you a per head quote for food?


I did similar, was $35 per person.
Another option (if you don't want the venue to cater), is to have a catered BBQ - they do options for vegetarians as well.  We have one for our work xmas party every year.  


#4 Apageintime

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:36 AM

It would depend on location and food. I cater buffet lunches fr work occasionally with about that many people. Can range from $40 per head to $150 depending on where it is and if there are any special requirements (ie Halal or Kosher or seafood only etc etc)

#5 Psyduck

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:39 AM

Personally I think the opposite is easier a set menu. The venue caters for allergies/vegos and they get a special meal.
At mine we had 7 special meals and they were more than happy to make something up for them.
My sister has her own mini gluten free cheesecake instead of a slice of one.
I think it saves you paying for dishes that won't necessarily get eaten. for example you only have one gluten free dish in the buffet for example that will be the only thing a person who can't eat gluten can eat.
It cost me no extra to have special meals made up for my guests with food issues original.gif

#6 JoMarch

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:44 AM

When we got married, a buffet was going to cost about $60-70 per head.  It actually ended up cheaper to have a set menu (I know this isn't always the case), so we went with that in the end.  We used our cake instead of dessert which brought the price down as well.

#7 Z-girls rock

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:51 AM

QUOTE (Drakk @ 21/02/2013, 09:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Personally I think the opposite is easier a set menu. The venue caters for allergies/vegos and they get a special meal.
At mine we had 7 special meals and they were more than happy to make something up for them.
My sister has her own mini gluten free cheesecake instead of a slice of one.
I think it saves you paying for dishes that won't necessarily get eaten. for example you only have one gluten free dish in the buffet for example that will be the only thing a person who can't eat gluten can eat.
It cost me no extra to have special meals made up for my guests with food issues original.gif


agreed

#8 *LucyE*

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:55 AM

I agree that a set menu is easier when catering for food issues. It also minimizes cross contamination risks.

We had a degustation menu and because seating was set, it was easy for staff to deliver the special meals to the right person with the minimum of fuss. We had 70 guests with 15 of them requiring special meals (and not all the 'special' meals were the same. We were really appreciative of the chef and all the trouble he went to.

#9 Floral Arrangement

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:02 AM

My experience of a buffet was pretty negative at a wedding. We were the last table "allowed"  to get up to get our serve and there was literally nothing left and we waited a long time for our turn. So make sure if you have a buffet that you don't go the cheapest option where there is not enough food for everyone.

If you start ringing around, surf the net and look at menu's and price ph you will get an idea of what will suit you. Pays to do your homework.

Weigh up a set menu against a buffet as well. If you have a buffet consider pre dinner canapes.

Edited by FloralArrangement, 21 February 2013 - 09:02 AM.


#10 stressnless9

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:03 AM

oh wow i didnt realise there was such a difference in what it could cost! i thinking ringing would be easier and try work it out!

We are pretty set on buffet though, and have spoken to family (the fussy eaters & vegos) who said they would be happy with buffet and food intolerance friends said they are happy if there is meat & veg because they are plain eaters anyway.

I have been to a few set menus and i didn't enjoy it very much (because im fussy) but i really enjoyed buffet although i get im not going to make 70 odd people happy.

I think ill have our cake as sweets too.

Thanks heaps!

#11 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:04 AM

I agree a set menu is easier.

I have looked into this recently in Vic, every place I looked at offered vegetarian and allergy-free meals as part of the package.

I have several celiacs coming plus half a dozen vegetarians. It's still easier to go set menu.

the places I looked at ranged from around $70 pp for 2 courses up to $250 pp for 3 courses plus canapes. We will be somewhere in the middle original.gif

The buffet I looked at was a lot cheaper ($40 per head?) but it was a carvery buffet so you only got one choice of meat (beef) plus a variety of side dishes - hence the cheapness i assume.

Any catering company or restaurant/wedding venue should be able to give a price per head for 1 - 3 courses, most these days offer vege meals anyway (it's cheaper than meat meals) and the allergies have to be dealt with by the chef in a professional venue (my BIL is a chef and he says if it's an allergy there's no getting around it, you have to make the meal allergy proof).

Congratulations biggrin.gif

#12 stressnless9

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:08 AM

QUOTE (FloralArrangement @ 21/02/2013, 09:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My experience of a buffet was pretty negative at a wedding. We were the last table "allowed"  to get up to get our serve and there was literally nothing left and we waited a long time for our turn. So make sure if you have a buffet that you don't go the cheapest option where there is not enough food for everyone.

If you start ringing around, surf the net and look at menu's and price ph you will get an idea of what will suit you. Pays to do your homework.

Weigh up a set menu against a buffet as well. If you have a buffet consider pre dinner canapes.


agreed! i honestly would rather pay extra and have leftovers than not have enough! Skimping on food & drinks isn't an option for me LOL.

I will check out set menus, just from my experience it hasn't been good.



#13 hodgepodge

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:09 AM

Lots of catering companies have their menu prices on their websites - there really is a huge price range depending on how many options you wish to have.

I too would have the cake as dessert - cupcake towers make this even easier as everyone can just take one, no cutting, plating and less cleaning up. Your gift to guests could be a flavoured chocolate hearts in a little bag so if someone doesn't want cake then they have chocolates to eat biggrin.gif

#14 Bluenomi

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:26 AM

I've never been to a wedding buffet where there has been enough food for the last table. They always miss out on the nicest stuff and chances are the food for the people with allergies has been eaten by everyone else.

A set menu is much safer. You know the vegos and allergic people will get their food and they will usually charge less for kids as well

#15 livvie7586

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:36 AM

OP, the only piece of advice i can give you if you do go with a buffet is to get the vegos etc up when the bridal party goes up.  that way they can make sure they get at least one plateful of food they can eat (because surprisingly vego food quite often goes before everything else)

#16 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:42 AM

QUOTE (Drakk @ 21/02/2013, 06:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Personally I think the opposite is easier a set menu. The venue caters for allergies/vegos and they get a special meal.
At mine we had 7 special meals and they were more than happy to make something up for them.
My sister has her own mini gluten free cheesecake instead of a slice of one.
I think it saves you paying for dishes that won't necessarily get eaten. for example you only have one gluten free dish in the buffet for example that will be the only thing a person who can't eat gluten can eat.
It cost me no extra to have special meals made up for my guests with food issues original.gif


I agree. This is what we do for events (we have vegan, diabetic, coeliac,dairy and soy free, and a combination)
I'd also be worried about cross contamination (someone putting the regular servers into the special intolerance foods)


#17 Queen Yoda

Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:44 AM

QUOTE (stressnless9 @ 21/02/2013, 08:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Morning!

Trying to work out what our wedding will approx cost.

We have decided on a buffet for our wedding, we have a lot of fussy eaters,vegetarians and some with food intolerances so this would work best for us. We are having around 70 people, anyone have any idea of cost? we have the option of getting the place we will be having reception to cater or get our own.

The food won't anything too fancy or out of the ordinary!

when we got married 10 years ago, we did a buffet because I can't stand alternate drop.  Plus, we figured it would encourage mingling between guests, which it did.

So, after the ceremony, we had drinks and canapes.  Then we headed into the main room for dinner (main meal + dessert + wedding cake). From memory, the buffet was $59/head (10 years ago) and had 4 meats, 6 hot vegetable dishes, 4 salads, breads + 4 desserts.  And there was absolutely plenty to go around - tons of food.  We didn't have any vegans, but we did have vego friends come to our wedding, so they loved the vege dishes and salads, plenty for them.  Hot meats were served on one table, hot vege dishes served on another table, salads and bread served on a 3rd table.  They cleared up before doing desserts and setting up the wedding cake table. We were able to keep the left over salads and desserts (if we wanted).  

And we were very impressed, as were our guests.  Quality of food was good, hot foods were served hot, cold foods were cold (not room temp) and they brought out small dishes frequently rather than have a single massive dish stay on the table for ages.  It worked really well with our wedding but we only had 38 people, so I'm not sure how it would go with a much larger wedding.

It was cheaper than doing a set menu, but it wasn't half price.  Maybe 15% cheaper??  Mind you, we also paid for canapes before dinner, so that probably made it equivalent.

If you go too cheap, it will either be crap food or not enough.  Or both.

#18 Fluster

Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:53 AM

We did a banquet, so each table got a mini buffet.  We paid around $40 a head for adults, half price for kids under 13.  Ethnic restaurant, no set seating.  Weddings are painful enough without being seated next to someone you don't like/don't know.

#19 spear_maiden

Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

HI OP

For our lunchtime wedding, we opted for a large range of canapes, then set menu of 3 options for mains.  Rather than alternate drop, guests chose the meal they wanted.  We were strict vegos at the time, plus we had a few guests with allergies/intolerances and a vegan.  We felt it was safer for guests with allergies if we offered set meals to be made up, rather than buffet.

If you're super keen on a buffet, is there any chance the caterer/venue could do a special small buffet for those with allergies with vego options on their also and those guests choose their meals first?  Or have a set meal for those with allergies/vegos and buffet for all other guests?  

Not sure on price sorry.

Cheers.

#20 Floral Arrangement

Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

The best shared food reception I have been to is my brothers wedding was a degustation meal with platters of food brought to each table to share. Amazing food.

Look up degustation as a search. The food is varied and would cater to all needs.

To add our food was regional Italian at the reception I am talking about. So you would look for the type of food your guests would enjoy. The mini buffet table mentioned above sounds similar.

Edited by FloralArrangement, 21 February 2013 - 12:02 PM.


#21 Magnus

Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:06 PM

I've had the same problem about their not being enough food left (or the popular dishes being gone) at the end.

I also went to one buffet where I found that the foods supplied didn't go together very well and also didn't go with the wine. I just ate a normal serving, but ended up feeling quite ill. I'm sure any competent catering place would ensure this didn't happen, though.

#22 ekbaby

Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:19 PM

We had a buffet style lunch for about $35 / head (this was 8 yrs ago though). We went through a catering company that did catering for other functions (workplace, parties etc) not just weddings, and that several locals we knew had used before and could verify that the food was good. We had a cold lunch (it was the middle of summer) with 3-4 proteins (cold BBQ chicken, ham, maybe rare roast beef? ) and at least 4 salads (potato salad, asian noodle salad..at least one of the salads included vego protein like tofu or chickpeas). We also got canapés to hand around before the sit down lunch, this was an extra cost. There was plenty of food. The catering company was very flexible with menu options eg a choice of 10 salads and you could pick 4, or if you felt your guests would eat more salad you could order extras on the side- same with the canapés.

#23 *Enigma*

Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:44 PM

We had an afternoon reception so we had large platters on the tables for about $35 a head and about half that for kids. For around 50 people we had that much left over! (wich we took home)

That said we only had to cater for one vegetarian and the platters had vege quiches which were a favourite of hers original.gif I think the platters also had party pies (for the kids) BBQ chicken, spring rolls, dim sims and some other finger foods.

This was 10 years ago

Edited by *Enigma*, 21 February 2013 - 12:45 PM.


#24 Gudrun

Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:21 PM

We went to a lovely wedding just last Sunday.  It was at the couple's house.  So caterers came to them. Don't know what it cost.   However it was basically finger food, no table seating.


There were two 'grazing tables' with yummy antipasto, cheeses, pate, breads etc for befores and six different dishes came out from the kitchen for after.


Wedding cake was made by a friend, lovely moist confection.  It was topped with Chantilly cream and fresh berries for sweets.

#25 librablonde

Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:29 PM

I went to a wedding on the weekend and it had a buffet dinner. It was very basic but totally delicious: a variety of roasted meats and gravy for the carnivores, separately roasted veggies and salads for the vegetarians,  loaves of cheap bread, a bunch of sauces and salad dressings and wedding cake for dessert. The hosts supplied free beer, wine and soft drinks/juices and if you wanted spirits or cocktails you bought your own from the bar. Everyone left feeling very full, satisfied and we all had a great time at this wedding. It was a much more relaxed, happy experience compared to some of the "fancier" weddings that I've attended.




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