Help! How many to cater for?

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some advice on how many people to cater for at our wedding reception please. We are having a 3pm ceremony at the town hall and then onto a local golf club for the reception. We will arrive at the club around 4:30pm for champagne and photographs so I guess we will be looking to do the speeches around 6pm and then food shortly after.

Rather than having a wedding breakfast and an evening buffet we are just having a hot buffet and inviting everyone to that. We are looking at around 70 people. I know people normally advise to cater for less people than you are expecting for the evening but is this still true if there is no wedding breakfast? And if so what kind of numbers would you advise?

Thanks in advance!! :)


  • megc_2megc_2 Forumite
    142 Posts
    Personally in this situation I think it would be advisable to cater for everyone. Some of your guests won't be eating from 3pm onwards if you don't cater for them all and I would hate to hear later on that some people had been hungry. For your special day, I'd rather provide slightly too much than not enough.
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  • I think in your case it would be wise to cater for everyone. I would also make it clear on the invites when to expect food to be served so people arent expecting a sit down meal right after the ceremony.

    We are planning on having our ceremony / food at a similar times to you and were thinking initially of just offering a main and dessert and then cake later on, but then when we thought about it we realised that some people (men in particular) could still be hungary (or at least not full) so now we are going to serve 3 courses or have canapees out when poeple first arrive.
  • joviejovie Forumite
    122 Posts
    Thank you both. I think you are right and that's a good tip about making it clear on the invitation. I have been to weddings where nobody knew when to expect food or where we had to wait a long time to eat and it wasn't good.
  • I agree that if budget allows, if you are not having a wedding breakfast, catering for the full amount of people would be wise. I once went to a wedding where there was nowhere near enough food, and sadly, that is the main thing I remember about that day! Hungry guests = grumpy guests!
    :cool:"More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them." - Harold J. Smith:cool:
  • edited 22 February 2014 at 1:58PM
    74jax74jax Forumite
    7.9K Posts
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    edited 22 February 2014 at 1:58PM
    We got married at 4 and had a drink reception, followed by a hot buffet at 8.

    I let everyone know who was coming to to the wedding at 4 that it was a drink reception with nibbles and the buffet was at 8, so they could have a lunch beforehand.

    I put on the evening invites that a hot buffett would be served at 8 (a lot of people thought the buffett would be at about 9.30 and so would have had their dinner and not really wanted any).

    We had 120 people attend for the buffet and catered for 85 and there was still a fair bit left.

    Ours was a load of different curry, chilli, bolognaise, etc, so very easy to make loads and a lot of people said they went back for seconds, so lord knows how much would have been left over if i'd catered for the right amount.
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  • paddyrgpaddyrg Forumite
    13.5K Posts
    Can you get a bunch of pret sandwiches in the morning for people who get peckish during the afternoon?
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