There is nothing quite so important as feeding your wonderful guests at your wedding. Yes, there are many valuable factors that require your attention, but keeping all of your beloved friends and family members fat and full is an absolute essentiality. The trouble is…how much is it going to set you back? A wedding is expensive enough as it is without having to fork out thousands on food, surely?
Well, you may or may not be surprised to learn that couples are spending a fair amount on average on catering. And rightly so! Don’t forget that many of your guests are taking time off, travelling far and wide, and putting a lot of effort into showing up for your special day. The least you can do is treat them to banging feast!
To give you an idea, in 2016, the average spend on wedding catering in Australia was around the $8,000 mark. That is nationwide. But what about the individual states? Which one applies to you?
Aus Capital Territory: $11,000
Northern Territory: $6,500
The average cost per head for wedding catering
So, what is the average price per head for wedding catering? As of 2020, the average cost is around the $9,891 mark for wedding catering, which is a fair jump from $8k in 2016. Let’s say that you need wedding catering for 100 guests…That will wedding catering cost will average out at around $98 AUD per head, for food. That’s not a terrible amount of money to spend on sharing your special day with all of your friends and family when you break it down.
Of course, the cost to cater a wedding for 100 is all well and good if you have 200+ guests! If times are tough and you don’t fancy spending too much money, let’s hope that you have a couple of no shows.
The average wedding catering cost for 100 guests
Again, the average wedding catering cost for 100 guests is approximately $100 AUD.
The average wedding catering cost for 150 guests
If we were to go on the average wedding catering costs for 150 heads, we’d have to go off the national average that we have which is $9,891. However, the problem with that is that it ends up being cheaper than if you were to have 100 guests $66 AUD per head. You see the problem here?
That being said, the larger the order you need to place, generally the better rates you will receive from your wedding catering company. Thus, the catering for 150 guests’ cost being $66 per head, could in fact be a reasonable estimation.
The average cost of wedding catering for 200 guests
The same applies for the average catering cost for 200. $50 per head certainly sounds incredibly cheap when catering for 200 people at a wedding in Australia! That being said, it really depends on the style of catering that you decide to go for. For example, if you hire a food van or perhaps go for a buffet style wedding catering service, then all of a sudden $50 a head doesn’t sound unreasonable.
Here are 6 tips for wedding catering on a budget
1 – Lock down special offer rates
This might take a bit of doing but it is possible if you have plenty time. You can go to wedding expos and events in your local area and see what you can find. That being said, the best deals are typically secured when you make a decision and book it on the spot. If you would prefer to take your time and plan meticulously then this might not be the best approach for you.
2 – Opt for budget friendly food
Nobody wants to be seen as being cheap, but a wedding is an incredibly expensive event. There’s no shame in opting for slightly cheaper foods in order to keep the costs down per head (e.g., pork, chicken, potatoes, vegetables, etc).
3 – Skip a full-service dinner
Again, going for cheaper alternatives like a buffet style dinner without the need for much in the way of staffing is a great way to save some money on your average wedding catering costs.
4 – Get married on a weekday
It’s not ideal, but it’s certainly cheaper getting married on a weekday. Not only that, but if you are really stingy, you might get lucky with a few people being unable to get the day off work!
5 – Disposable dinnerware is an option
You don’t have to rent fancy china for your wedding feast. There’s no shame in paper plates!
6 – Casual cocktail hour
Having fancy food and expensive cocktails after the feast isn’t necessary if you want to cut back a bit. Simple snacks like and regular alcoholic beverages is a viable alternative.
As it stands, the average cost for wedding catering per head in Australia is between $50 and $100, depending on your headcount of course (among many other factors). In any case, these are just approximations and should not be taken as gospel. In order to get the most accurate numbers you will need to shop around in order to get the best wedding catering service without exceeding your budget.