Take note: The reception meal is not the area in your budget to scrimp. The meal is one of the things guests remember for quite some time, says Orlando. Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events advises: Plan on spending about $100 to $200 per person. Before selecting buf et, plated or stations, take a step back. Will there be presentations or speeches? Knock those of while people are seated for a plated dinner, often the least expensive option although with limited food choices.
Tracy Mueller of Arizona Grand Resort & Spa in Phoenix says one of the biggest misconceptions among couples is that the buf et is the money-saver. It’s actually the opposite. In a buf et, there are multiple salads, accompaniments and entrees, which we replenish every 1.5 hours. For peace of mind all around, make the caterer’s job a breeze. Advises Orlando, If you plan to bring in an outside company, immediately discuss access to a kitchen and refrigeration.
Make sure the venue can accommodate vegan, vegetarian and kosher diets, plus nut and gluten allergies: Do you want to risk someone going home sick? And while it’s dii cult to imagine guests dropping out at the last minute, plan on it. Taylor suggests asking the caterer or venue, How much will I go over the food minimum based on my guest count? and build in that buf er. Mark the cutof date for a fi nal count on every calendar you own. Also inquire if the minimum varies by the season or day of the week and at what age the charges for children’s entrees transition into adult fees.