"Food is essential to life, therefore make it good" Truett Cathy
Well said Truett! And since food was essential at our wedding, we made it good! Wil and I had all of our absolute favorite foods served: Chick-fil-a chicken strips and nuggets-with Chick-fil-a sauce of course, Mcalister's chicken tortilla soup, Silver Spoon's spinach queso dip, Panera Bread cinnamon crunch bogals (just like the bagels except in little balls), mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, brownies and funfetti cake! Not only was it a unique way to add character to the wedding, it was cheaper than using a caterer. Here's the breakdown: (All of these prices are based on serving a little over 200 guests.)
12 trays of Chick-fil-a chicken (7 strips, 5 nuggets) x $70.24 ($64+ $6.24tax) = $842.88
38 quarts of Mcalister's chicken tortilla soup x $7.70 ($6.99 + $.71tax) = $292.60
20 quarts of Silver Spoon spinach queso (chips included) x $14.19 ($12.99 + $1.20tax) = $283.83
Mashed potatoes/Mac and cheese bar $350
Panera Bread cinnamon crunch bogals $111
Coffee/tea/water/flavored creamers $130
Cheese and cracker trays $130
Food Cost: $2,140.31
Our wedding was at a resort, so thankfully they had tables/chairs/plates/cups/silverware/etc. for us to use. The food was set up at stations using warming/serving trays as well. (We picked the food up from the restaurants and transferred them to the warming trays.) We were able to get the tables, chairs, etc for free, so the only added expense was the labor. $940 went to the servers for room set up/take down, food preparation and service during the reception.
Food + Labor
GRAND TOTAL: $3,080.31
This is for a full meal and dessert for a little more than 200 people.*
Yes, that still is a lot of money, but it is way below average for full meal for a 200 person wedding. It averages to about $15 per person, and we had plenty of leftovers for the out of town guests to munch on the rest of the weekend!
* We had a friend make the cake- and she paid for the ingredients as a wedding gift- so that cost is not added into the budget, but at around $1.20 a box you can't go wrong! (****Please please please use rainbow chip icing with your funfetti cake, its soooo much better than funfetti icing!)
*A couple of our cousins made the brownies for Wil's grooms cake, and they also paid for the ingredients as a wedding gift.