The question of whether or not to fix your own food for the wedding reception can sometimes be a difficult one. Cost is usually a factor, but there may be hidden costs in doing it yourself that you don’t need to consider when using a caterer. So make some calls, ask lots of questions, and list your options.
First, consider the cost to rent your reception facility. Many restaurants and hotels include in their catering charges the use of their facilities and serving staff at no extra cost – – some will not even consider catering an event at another location.
Next, figure your food budget based on how much you want to spend per person attending. Restaurants and hotels may have a minimum price where an independent caterer can work within just about any budget. Add an extra ten percent for overage and additional cost for gratuity, if appropriate.
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Your caterer will know how much of each item to provide for the number of people you expect. However, a good rule of thumb is two of each item per person.
Independent caterers will bring your feast to just about any location. Their prices quite often will also include extras like table linens, plates, glasses, etc. – but ask just to be sure.
Unless you happen to choose your caterer by attending another catered event, you will probably have no chance to taste their wares in advance.
However, many restaurants and hotels offer buffet brunches and dinners on the weekends. This is an ideal way to taste the quality and variety available through their banquet and catering facilities.