There are many reasons as to why you may not need to provide food for all of your guests. The food aspect of your wedding is often the most expensive part, taking a huge chunk of your budget. Especially for those who have tighter budgets, it is important to know the reasons why you do not need to cater to everyone at your wedding.
Did you know on average only 80% of your invited guests actually attend the wedding? There are many factors which could deter someone from attending, those include location, cost, holiday entitlement (mostly for weekday weddings), the no children policy, clash with own dates, or other personal reasons.
We have found the perfect formula to calculate the number of guests who will actually attend the wedding, try it out!
Firstly, separate your guests into ‘out of towners’ and local guests, add those numbers into the following formula then you have the average number of attendees.
(# of out of town guests * 65%) + (# of local guests * 90%) = total # estimated to attend.
For example, I have 82 out of towners, and 147 locals. (82*65%) + (147*65%)= 148.85/149 guests. This means on average 80 of my guests will not attend.
You should also consider the idea that some of your guests may have had a little too much alcohol before the wedding breakfast, therefore, will be avoiding food entirely. Or, you may have some fussy guests which may leave their meal as they cannot stand the set menu provided. Because your food is the most expensive part, why leave room for waste both financially and physically?
We have collated some general guidelines to follow in regards to how much food is assigned for each guest. However, although there is a LOT of room for guests not to eat the wedding breakfast, it is always best to over prepare than leave a few people with no dinner for the night- hungry guests are not ideal.
Appetisers – Consider how long your guests will be waiting between the end of the ceremony and sitting down for the wedding breakfast. If there is a large gap, provide extra starters in order to keep guests happy, the shorter the lower the amount needed. On average, most guests will eat between 6-8 canapés per hour, but consider the size of the canapé as the smaller they are the more will be consumed. Did you know, appetisers often keep your main meal cost down as guests will eat on average 10% less at dinner?
Salad – roughly 1 cup per person in regards to portion size. Usually, one lettuce will feed 5 people, make the contents as fancy as you like but remember the more additions the more expensive it will be.
Bread rolls – 1-2 per guest with 1-2 mini butter portions.
Main entree – We suggest 6-8 ounce serving for each person, one of the best ways to decrease cost is to decrease the amount of meat and increase the vegetable/sides- meat is the most expensive part, therefore, decreasing size will save you £££.
Dessert – TIP: consider a dessert buffet to keep costs down rather than having a bigger wedding cake to pass out to guests. The wedding cake itself will be expensive, therefore making the cake smaller is ideal.
If you would like help with your wedding catering needs, check out Our Suppliers list!