• Hues of Vintage

Average Cost for Wedding Catering and Considerations When Booking a Caterer in 2020

So you are having a rustic wedding and are now thinking about the food and drinks? Naturally, you are wondering what the average cost for wedding catering is? We are totally DIY-ers too. But when it comes to the food and drinks component, you definitely want to enlist some help for your wedding. Preparing food for your wedding and enjoying yourself will really be too much. Allow yourself the capacity to let your hair down on the day and enjoy your wedding day.

Your largest cost:

Catering will most likely be one of your largest costs. Not surprising really as it is a ingredient and labor intensive component. If you look around though, you will find a wedding food idea and a vendor that will be just right for your style of wedding and your budget.

Once you have even a rough catering cost, enter it into your FREE wedding budget worksheet.

What else can they do for you?:

To make the catering component less costly, the smaller number of vendors you have that supply your wedding the better as with every vendor there comes transportation costs and costs for set-up and pack-down. So to mitigate the costs for the caterer, do some digging and find out what else, aside from the food that they can provide. Items of consideration would be serving ware, crockery, cutlery, tablecloths, table runners, tables, vases, flowers, other table decor, napkins. Services of consideration include clean-up and garbage removal. Although, for a caterer clean-up and garbage removal should be included, but it is always good to double check.


What is the average cost for wedding catering though? This is the question you are probably asking yourself. Here are examples from real weddings. Grazing tables:

Grazing tables look absolutely amazing and will allow your guests to pick and choose what they eat. It is also easily the most pinnable wedding catering concept on Pinterest in 2020.

Plentiful Catering in Melbourne, Australia set up a wonderful sprawling grazing table, with the tables edges decorated abundantly with eucalyptus leaves. Their eye-catchy grazing tables include organic triple cream brie, a local feta, blue cheese, balsamic cheddar, artisan sourdough bread, Belgian cocholate, prosciutto, fresh fruit, berries, nuts, dips, activated charcoal crackers and Spanish olives.

To act as more of a main meal, you could ask the caterer to add additions like quiche to the grazing table.

Their pricing is:

For 20 guests, you will need 1 meter of grazing table. This is AUD$600 (USD$380).

For 100 guests, you will need 5 meters of grazing table. This is AUD$2100 (USD$1,330).

We think this is really reasonable for this many guests. Once you have even a rough catering cost, enter it into your FREE wedding budget worksheet.

Crowd-pleasing wedding food:

Let your mind be guided outside of the box by your and your guests’ taste buds. Think about what you and your guests really love to eat. For one of our team member’s this meant Mexican for her wedding.

Find the caterer in your city that offers the most authentic food and has a small often family based team to support him or her.

For Mexican catering, for our team member’s wedding,

Including starter, main, service staff, coffee & tea and delivery 1450 Euros (USD$1,600) for 60 guests.

When you find the right caterer, it really is possible to create a wonderful food experience on a more modest budget.

Once you have even a rough catering cost, enter it into your FREE wedding budget worksheet.

More formal dinner reception:

If you are going to have a more formal dinner reception, the average cost is from US$100 to US$150 per person.

Less formal lunch reception:

If you are thinking a less formal lunch reception, the average cost is from US$60 to US$80 per person.

Once you have even a rough catering cost, enter it into your FREE wedding budget worksheet.


'Drinks Package' or 'On Consumption' is what you will need to decide upon.

Drinks is a cost that can definitely add up quickly but it can be manageable if you own the task of choosing between a drinks package or choosing to pay on consumption. Another option is to find out if the venue allows you to bring your own drinks. If they do, find out who can help you serve these drinks, whether that be a staff member from the catering company, a staff member of the furniture supplier company or your wedding day coordinator (if you choose to have one). Or will you set up a drinks station (link) and guests will just serve themselves.

Make sure that you have garbage bins available so guests can also clean up any empty bottles after themselves. Again, ask the caterer or the furniture supplier company to have the garbage bins available and ask them to also do the post-event garbage removal. If it is the furniture supplier doing the garbage removal, but all worth it.

A drinks package costs approximately USD$10 per person per hour. This means that guests can drink unlimited from a limited drinks menu that you have pre-selected with the venue or the caterer. This normally includes beer, wine, soft drinks, juice and water. Only you will know your guests well. If they are the type that tend to drink quite a lot, a drinks package might make sense. Also, an evening reception normally means more alcohol consumption than a lunch-time reception.

Otherwise, you can pay for drinks on consumption. This way, you only pay for drinks that the guests consume. You can try to negotiate with the venue or the caterer, whoever is supplying the drinks, that if the drinks bill goes above what you would have paid for the package that you just pay for the package price.

Even if you pay for drinks on consumption, it is recommended that only a limited drinks menu is offered. Otherwise, if guests order cocktails or long drinks, this would hike your costs up dramatically. So decide on a limited menu with the drinks provider before the wedding. To work out the approximate costs of drinks, factor in how many drinks your guests will drink an hour, multiplied by the number of hours of your reception, multiplied by the number of guests, multiplied by the average cost of a drink from your drinks provider. Guests normally will not drink more than two drinks per hour.

Once you have even a rough catering cost, enter it into your FREE wedding budget worksheet.

Cake and dessert:

The price of your wedding cake and dessert will depend if you get one cake that is large enough for all your guests or if you will set up a dessert station. The dessert station will be less costly in terms of the desserts themselves but there will be much more labor involved. So see if you can involve your wedding day coordinator (if you are having one) or a crafty friend or two.

Couples spend approximately US$500 on a wedding cake. But if you have a dessert station, you could get a much smaller, one-tier, cake, does not even have to be a designated wedding cake, just a good, looking tasty cake for you and your husband-to-be to cut, and have cupcakes or doughnuts alongside it. Presented in a rustic style, dessert stations are always a crowd pleaser. You could even ask your favorite aunties to each bring a cake each. They will be flattered that you rate their cakes so highly!

You can really get creative with your wedding food, drinks and dessert. Don’t feel like you have to do what everybody else is doing. Be that bride that does something unique. Try to think of crowd pleasing food, not stuffy food and you will be absolutely fine. We have compiled a list of wedding food ideas (link) for you to find inspiration.

In the meantime, you are likely to be thinking about your wedding dress. Here are some articles with inspiration: Top 10 Boho Simple Wedding Dresses Under $500:

Top 10 Boho Simple Wedding Dresses Under $400:

Top 10 Boho Simple Wedding Dresses Under $300:

Download your FREE wedding budget worksheet:

Love, Hues of Vintage xx


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