In the last blog we talked about how much wedding catering costs and what is included. Today, we'll talk about the different ways to serve food at your wedding reception and the average costs per person for those options.
What are the different ways to serve wedding reception food?
When determining your wedding food cost, a big factor will be how you’re planning on serving the meal. There are a few serving style options for weddings:
Plated: Otherwise known as a sit-down meal, your guests will be served their meal at their table by a member of the wait staff. There may be a single entrée option served or several entrée options, which your guests can either order in advance (usually on their RSVP card) or at the event. This is the most formal and traditional of wedding serving styles.
Buffet: For a more casual serving style, guests serve themselves from a buffet station. Fifty percent of couples choose a buffet-style reception.
Family-Style: Servers provide large platters of food to reception tables, and guests pass the trays around and serve themselves.
Cocktail-Style: A more modern service style, food is served via passed hors d’oeuvres and at stations. This allows guests to walk around and mix and mingle during the reception instead of sitting at their tables.
What is the average wedding catering cost per person?
The average wedding catering cost per person varies depending on your wedding’s service style. For a plated meal, the average cost of wedding catering in the U.S. is $41 per person. For a buffet, the average is $28 per person.
Is a wedding reception buffet always the cheaper option?
Most of the time, a wedding reception buffet is indeed less expensive than a plated dinner. While you’ll pay less in staffing and rentals for a buffet-style meal, you’ll need more food since guests are serving themselves. To keep your buffet budget-friendly, avoid serving costly foods (shrimp, for example) buffet-style or have a staffer on hand to serve your guests from the buffet to keep the portions under control.