Insider Secret – Budget for Food & Beverage
Chicago is a city known for culinary masters and we find that many of our couples prioritize the food and beverage experience at their wedding. We want to share some helpful hints as you review venue and catering proposals for your special day.
Before you begin thinking of your menu and specialty cocktails, we ask our clients to find their comfort threshold for their wedding food & beverage. A great way to start is to think about this scenario: If the two of you were to go out for a nice dinner in Chicago…have a cocktail and an appetizer, a salad course, a bottle of wine, entrée and dessert…how much would you expect to pay for this night out? Now multiply that by 150 guests…or 250 guests. That begins to put things into perspective as you map out how much you will pay for food & beverage on your wedding day.
Besides the guest count, here are other items that will affect your food & beverage budget:
- Chicago weddings are known to be open bar weddings – that is about 4 hours of alcohol being served to your friends and family – with a separate wine service for dinner. Some venues require that your alcohol or mixers are purchased through them, so make sure they provide you pricing in their proposal so that you have a complete understanding of your commitment.
- Beef and some Fish/Seafood entrees are going to be more expensive than a Chicken entrée and when given the choice, most guests will opt for Beef.
- Everyone loves the idea of Food Stations, but they are actually more expensive than a plated dinner.
- While specialty cocktails and late night snacks are a popular option, you never have to apply your full guest count to these items…not everyone will try these.
- Review your proposal carefully to understand what rental items (i.e. tables, chairs, linens, etc) are included in the cost.
Your guests will remember the food & beverage experience at your wedding, so take the time to understand the costs involved in feeding 150 or 250 guests and then you can have fun with your menu choices!