Saturday, December 26, 2015

How much food do I need per guest when catering my own wedding?

Having the right amount of food for your self-catered wedding can be tricky - you don't want to overspend and have too much food left-over, but you also want to make sure you have enough food to keep all of your guests full and happy.

Here is our recommendation of how much food you should prepare for each person attending your wedding or reception.  Keep in mind that you will always want to order a few extra plates in case any of your unconfirmed guests decide to show up.  You can always adjust this number based upon the number of guests who didn't RSVP and who you know won't be in attendance.


If you don't plan to serve dinner within the first hour of your reception, we recommend that you have some finger foods or appetizers available to help hold your guests over as they wait.  Here are some examples of how many appetizers you should have prepared:

  • 40 pieces of vegetables with 1 pint of dip, 2 ounces of cheese, and 1/2 lbs. of crackers per 10 guests.
  • you should serve dinner 30 minutes to 1 hour after you first begin to server appetizers. 

The Main Course

When preparing the main course, you should include at minimum of one main entree and 2 side dishes for each guest attending your wedding.  It is also recommended that you server a salad with bread at the beginning of the meal.  If you serve appetizers before the main meal, you can serve smaller portions for the main course - appetizers tend to be less expensive so having your guests fill up on appetizers will lower your main catering costs.

You should serve the following portions to each guest:
Main entree (meats) – 6-8 ounce serving
Side Dishes – 4-6 ounces per person for 3 side dishes
1 side salad
Non alcoholic beverages - 16oz per person


While it may be the sweetest part of the meal, many of your guests will skip this course.  If you are serving cake, we recommend you have enough for every guest (even though many of them won't eat any).  The difference in cost between a cake for 100 and 150 people is pretty minimal, and many of your guests will enjoy the option to take home an extra slice.  Here is how much cake you should have on hand if you want to have a slice available for everyone:

Cake:  2.3-3 oz. per person


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