How Much Does It Cost To Cater A Wedding?
While every couple wants to host the wedding of their dreams, surrounded by loved ones, the reality is that cost is always a key consideration. Fortunately, there are many tools available to assist with financial issues. The Knot wedding budget calculator and many other resources are useful in helping you manage your expectations and avoid sticker shock.
However, as valuable as these tools may be, most do not dig deep into certain expenditures, such as the cost of wedding catering. Getting a ballpark figure for the entire affair may lead to many additional questions about how much you can spend on individual components. Fortunately, you’re not alone if you find yourself asking: “How much does it cost to cater a wedding?” New York wedding catering services can provide you with a specific quote, but you should at least understand some of the factors that go into the calculation.
Your Vision For The Event
Determining the overall cost of wedding catering starts with conceptual considerations, such as the guest list and venue. If you’re planning on hosting a large number of invitees in a spacious setting, the event will be very different from an intimate wedding at a cozy spot. Regardless, it’s useful to review the highs, lows, and everything in-between for New York wedding catering cost:
- Stationary Platters for Self-Service: Starting at around $6 per person for vegetable and fruit trays, a serve-yourself arrangement is an economical option. You can easily add on a few heartier dishes to ensure your guests don’t leave hungry. A gourmet finger sandwich platter offers variety at approximately $11 each, or you could go for something more exotic with an Asian assortment of appetizers at $22 per person.
- Beverages Only: Does your brother-in-law smoke a mean brisket? Is your cousin a food truck owner? You may get food service offers from well-meaning loved ones who want to contribute, in which case you may only need a tendered bar. On the low end, your cost could be around $5 per person, per hour for juices, soft drinks, and other non-alcoholic drinks. Allow around $22 per guest for the first hour, and half that for each additional hour, for premium bar service.
- Brunch Wedding Reception: If you’ve always dreamed of getting married at dawn on the beach, you might consider brunch to feed your guests after you tie the knot. The advantage is that your liquor costs may be lower since many people won’t go too heavy on alcohol in the morning. You could also reduce your catering expenses for a brunch event, with breakfast and lunch dishes ringing in at around $30 per person.
- Food Service Stations: To offer your guests a more interactive experience, you might consider an array of food stations throughout the venue. Your invitees will also enjoy more variety since even picky eaters can find something to nosh on. The cost will depend on the type and number of stations, but your wedding caterer will provide details in advance.
- Theme Buffet Stations: This arrangement combines the casual nature of food stations with the convenience of self-service – alongside the ability to blend the theme with your wedding vision. These benefits come with a price tag, however, as catered theme buffet stations tend to cost more than other options. Of course, the final bill depends upon the number of stations, the type of food you’re offering, and your total guests.
Other Factors That Affect Cost
If you’ve done the math for wedding catering costs based on the figures mentioned above, you could be ready to move forward with a decision for your reception. However, there are a few additional expenses you’ll need to work into your budget:
- Staff to handle food service, including captains, executive chefs, assistant chefs, and event managers; and,
- Bartenders and servers, for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
These professionals work at a rate of ranging from $40-$50 per hour, and there’s usually a minimum number of hours. In addition, you might include a tip for your wedding caterer, which is a common courtesy for professional services.
Consult With New York Wedding Caterers About Your Budget
As you can see, there are multiple considerations and decisions that affect how much it costs to cater a wedding. At Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering & Events, we work with clients that have a wide range of budgets, so we’re prepared to advise you on how to get the best bang for your buck. Please contact our Manhattan office to set up a consultation today. We can offer more information on New York wedding catering costs and assist with all your planning needs.
What Does a Wedding Caterer Provide?
If you’ve recently gotten engaged, you’re probably already thinking about the wedding ceremony, reception, guest list, and budget. One important question at the top of your mind may involve working with a wedding caterer and what to expect when you hire a professional. The short answer is that a Manhattan wedding caterer can provide anything and everything you need for your big day – or will work with the right partners to ensure the event is everything you envisioned. However, you may want additional details to fully understand what catering companies do and the types of personalized service they deliver.
The definition of “catering” is to provide food and/or beverages, with associated services, at a special event or occasion. Of course, there’s much more to catering a wedding, depending on what you have planned for the event. Some of the basics that you can expect from your caterer include:
Food: Every couple needs to serve refreshments as part of the occasion, and your options may vary according to your style, vision, and budget. However, beyond these factors, your wedding caterer can work with just about any concept or idea you can imagine. Traditionally, many weddings were sit-down, formal dinners with full service by uniformed staff. Your catering company can certainly make that happen, but a professional can also explore such options as:
- A wedding brunch;
- Cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres;
- A food truck experience;
- Heavy appetizers;
- A buffet-style service;
- Midnight toast and small, shareable plates;
- A dessert or candy bar;
- A variety of carving stations and separate food tables;
- A picnic lunch; and,
- Any other food service options you can dream up.
Beverages: Another essential at a wedding is drinks, which may or may not involve alcohol. You might want your caterer to handle all aspects of beverage service, from the beer and wine to the juice, tea, and coffee. Some couples opt for a fully stocked bar, while others choose a service station for the guests to pour their own drinks.
Your wedding caterer will take your preferences for beverages into account. Plus, always remember that catering companies specialize not just in beverage service – but in responsible service. When you’re celebrating your nuptials, you don’t want to be in the position of controlling an unruly, intoxicated guest.
Special Requests and Custom-Tailored Wedding Catering Services
Beyond the basics, you may have additional needs or desires to make your wedding day perfect. Wedding caterers are flexible and dedicated to providing top quality services, so you may have personalized requests for the event. A professional catering company can also work with you on:
- Furniture, including the head table, guest tables, and chairs;
- Décor, flowers, centerpieces, and other style details;
- Service equipment, such as chafing dishes, hot plates, chocolate fountains, refrigeration, and other gear;
- Table cloths, plates, glasses, utensils, and napkins;
- Entertainment, whether you’re having a live band, DJ, karaoke, or other fun activities.
Once you make important decisions on food, drinks, and details, you must consider how the event will unfold and by whom. Many couples take a hands-off approach, understanding that a caterer is in the best position to tackle details with staffing. Catering companies work with partners and placement agencies, so you know the group coming in will be experienced and professional to make your event memorable.
Your catering professional will know what’s best based upon your budget, your preferences, and the venue. Some staffing requirements may include:
- Servers to pass out salads and entrees at a sit-down dinner;
- Employees to handle service and replenishment at stations;
- Professional bartenders that know how to whip up the classics and newest mixology trends;
- Servers to work the room for passed appetizers;
- Interior designers and staging professionals to create the perfect setting for your wedding;
- An emcee or host to guide guests through different stages of the event;
- A photographer or videographer to capture special moments; and,
- Many more.
Trust a Professional Manhattan Wedding Caterer to Deliver on Your Big Day
From the big picture down to the minute details, your wedding caterer is capable of meeting your needs. The key to success is getting started early on the process, so you can sort out the basics, address any special requests, and discuss any extraordinary arrangements.
To learn more about what a catering company provides, please contact Thomas Oliver’s Catering NYC to schedule a consultation. You can reach our office by calling (212) 239-0090 or visiting our website. We can explain our Manhattan wedding catering services and answer any questions you may have.
Should I Serve a Formal Meal or Have a Buffet at My Wedding?
It’s one of the first questions you’ll consider after getting engaged and, for many couples, it’s the most difficult one to answer: What do you do about the post-ceremony meal? Both a formal meal and a buffet have their advantages, but the decision is one you should make after mulling over the pros and cons. A Manhattan wedding catering professional can offer some insight, though some important information may help guide your planning.
Initial Questions About Catering for Your Wedding
Even before getting to the issue of a sit down versus buffet dinner, there are a few considerations to bear in mind. A few factors will have an impact on your decision, such as:
- Your budget;
- The venue for the ceremony and/or reception;
- The number of guests you expect;
- Your theme or vision; and,
- Scheduling and timing.
As you’re weighing the pros and cons of a formal affair and a buffet, it’s essential to keep these logistical concerns in mind. Manhattan wedding and social events caterers are flexible, but they’re only able to work within the parameters that you provide at the outset.
Reasons to Consider a Formal Meal for Your Wedding
To some couples, a sit down dinner embodies the elegance and splendor that’s suitable for the occasion. With a formal meal, you’ll usually work with your caterer on 2-3 courses, offering such options as a salad, appetizer, main course, side, and dessert. Your guests will typically choose from a variety of proteins when they send their RSVP.
This sit down affair is more traditional and structured, which makes it ideal for toasts, speeches, and other events associated with the wedding ceremony. There are additional advantages, such as:
- The setup provides a way for newlyweds to offer thanks and personalized attention to guests as they dine;
- The schedule offers predictability, from cocktails and welcoming to dinner, dancing, and sending the couple off;
- The cost of a sit down dinner tends to be lower than other arrangements, since caterers have an idea of how much to prepare based upon the number of guests;
- Your guests receive their meals at roughly the same time, so no one feels left out and the meal moves at a consistent pace;
- Though options are limited, it’s definitely possible to please all your guests.
On the down side, a formal dinner may not be the right fit if you need to please picky eaters or those with food allergies. Plus, a sit down meal isn’t suitable in certain venues. If you cannot celebrate in an accessible, open space, you and your guests will feel alienated during dinner.
Contemplating Your Buffet Wedding Options
There was a time when a self-serve meal wouldn’t be considered formal enough to celebrate a couple’s nuptials, but a buffet can be just as sophisticated and classy as any formal event. You’ll have to decide how you want to handle seating. Assigning your guests to tables brings the meal more in line with a sit down dinner, while general accommodations are more casual.
For the meal itself, you can determine the details and caterers are flexible for your needs. For instance:
- You may opt for a welcoming reception and cocktail hour, possibly with passed appetizers or appetizer stations;
- If you prefer designated seating, you’ll need to call guests to find their tables; and,
- You can choose for salads and/or appetizers to be passed by servers rather than buffet-style, which provides down time as guests wait to be called to the serving line.
The advantage with a buffet is that you may be able to offer more options, especially with finicky guests. Through consultations with your caterer, you may choose 2-3 proteins, a variety of sides, bread, salads, and other dishes. However, you may be surprised to learn that a buffet-style meal tends to be more costly than the formal affair. Despite the fact that you may need fewer staff to plate and serve as compared to a sit down dinner, there’s less certainty. You and your caterer will definitely want to please all of your guests, but more choices means more potential for waste. Regardless of whether it’s eaten, you’re still paying for the food.
Get Guidance Experienced Manhattan Wedding Catering Professionals
There are many additional factors to consider when looking at a formal meal or buffet for your wedding, so you should trust a specialist to guide you through the decision-making process. For more information on catering options for your big day, please contact Thomas Oliver’s Catering NYC. You can reach our office by calling (212) 239-0090 or visit our website. We’re happy to tell you more about our Manhattan wedding catering services for sit down meals, buffets, and other environments.
Tips for Catering Your New York Wedding
Your wedding day is not just one of the happiest days of your life, it is also an investment in your future. Many people believe that their wedding day is a reflection on how their marriage will continue. Whether you are superstitious or not, making sure your wedding day is a picture of perfection is important to everyone. The food for your big day is one of the key elements in planning because the food sets the tone, the mood and is the anchor for your reception and party. When you sit down to eat with your favorite people on this special day, you want the food to be spectacular. Not only will you be hungry (who has time to eat the day of their wedding??), you will be trying to make an impression on the people that mean the most in your life. They came there to celebrate you and your spouse’s life-changing event and the food you provide is your gift to them. Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering wants you to get the most out of your catering experience with these simple tips below.
Create a budget
Before you decide what to eat, it’s important to plan and budget the amount of money you can spend. Whether it’s a wedding breakfast or reception dinner, it is important to know how much you are able to spend before you sit down with your caterers and select the meal choices. As we work with your budget, your New York wedding caterer can deliver something spectacular and beautiful you will be proud of.
Figure out the numbers
Once you know how much you can spend, determine how many guests will be coming to the event. You don’t need to know exact numbers but by figuring an approximate number, it will give you an idea of what you can plan. No matter the size, no matter the venue, your caterer can pull off something fabulous.
Pick a theme
Selecting a theme for your meal can be a real showstopper. Decide the type of ambiance you want for your wedding meal. Do you want it light-hearted and casual? Maybe swanky and formal? Whatever theme you go with, make sure the food matches. Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering has dozens of themes and menu options that can fit the atmosphere you select. Here are a few options to give you an idea:
Hawaiian Luau: For a backyard or beachy wedding, this is a perfect choice. Hawaiian shrimp creole, grilled chicken breast, wild rice and fruit skewers are delicious and light for outdoor themed weddings.
Mexican Fiesta: Who can resist the flavors from Mexico with our marinated, grilled fajitas and hard shell tacos paired with the freshest toppings, nacho chips and flan milk custard.
Mashed Potato Martini Bar: Wow your guests with this creative meal. Delicious, flavored mashed potatoes served in a martini glass alongside mouthwatering sage seasoned turkey breast, slow roasted pork or garlic and pepper beef.
Buffet stations: To serve parties large and small, buffet stations are a hit. A seafood bar with New England’s freshest oysters, shrimp and clams next to a pasta bar with all kinds of sauces and noodles to please every palate.
Dietary requirements anyone?
Once your guest list is picked, it is important to see if anyone has any dietary restrictions. You want all your guests to enjoy the meal and that is possible with your New York wedding caterer Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering. From gluten free, dairy free, sugar-free and more, we have substitutions to match any restriction and can create specially designed meals around that requirement.
Wedding catering in New York
Making your special day an exciting event you can remember for the rest of your life is what we are committed to. We will help you pull out all the stops. Our team strives to bring the best food in New York City to your incredible day. Call us today to plan your upcoming wedding, we look forward to serving you on this life-changing day.
Exciting Manhattan Catering Themes for your Upcoming Summer Events
When it comes to event planning, the details can seem endless. Preparing and purchasing the food yourself is an insurmountable task, especially when you have other duties to take care of such as decor, paper products or dishes, place of the event, music, entertainment and so much more. Every aspect of this event needs your attention. The stress that goes into event planning can decrease the overall enjoyment you feel once it takes place. One of the best ways to eliminate the stress of event planning is to have a catering company handle all aspects of the food. This frees up your time to handle all the details that will make your event special and memorable. Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering & Events is just what you need to make those aspects come to life.
No matter the event, we can make it extraordinary
Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering & Events is your experienced Manhattan catering service. Setting the mood of your event with themed food selections and delicious dishes will exceed your expectations. When you need an accomplished caterer, here are some events we frequently cater for:
And more…No matter the occasion, Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering has a theme to set the mood. We can help reduce your stress and anxiety over event planning. We take care of all the difficult aspects of event planning so you can focus on the fun parts.
How to pick the perfect theme
The theme you pick for your Manhattan catering even should match the mood and tone you wish to set at your event. For instance, your wedding might be carefree and casual or fancy and elegant. To create that luxurious feel, the French Connection theme is perfect with our chicken francaise sauteed in lemon beurre blanc sauce accented with rosemary roasted potatoes and French macaroons. Is your wedding a more casual affair? The Hawaiian Luau or Picnic Lunch themes are sure to establish that relaxed, fun and light hearted atmosphere. For birthday parties, the Ice Cream Sundae Bar or Carnival themes are sure to excite all your guests. What party could be more fun than one with a popcorn machine, colorful cotton candy, stuffed animals or candy apples? All these exciting pops of creativity are provided by our experienced and innovative Manhattan catering service.
Much more than delicious food
Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering & Events provides more than just exceptional entrees, side dishes and desserts, we can also take care of other aspects of your event. We are a full service caterer, which means we provide the paper products, black tie waiters and bartenders and even glassware, linen, as well as table and chairs rentals. And if that wasn’t over and above just an ordinary catering company, we also have business relationships with photography, wedding cake, floral and larger equipment rental companies to make event planning that much easier. Our goal is to make your event planning experience an easy one. There is no need for unnecessary anxiety or headaches over your summertime event when you have Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering & Events to assist you.
Want to Make Your Wedding Memorable? Cater!
On your wedding day, you will remember many special moments. This is the happiest day of your life and so many pieces will be emblazoned in your memory forever. Snapshots in your memory include that look in your sweetheart’s eyes as you spoke your vows, dancing happily at your reception and that maybe not-so-gently fed cake exchange. For your guests however, their memories of your day will be different. When you attend the wedding of a friend or family member, the details that you remember years down the road will be creative touches to the decor, the ambiance and most important—the food. We humans like food and many of us associate happy memories with the food we ate there. If you want to wow your guests, let Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering
help your wedding go down in the history of their favorite wedding memories.
A few tips to get you started
Planning the wedding food can feel like an overwhelming process. There is so much to think about and the places to start at can feel endless. Here are a few questions to ask yourselves that will help narrow down the choices and bring you closer to your picture perfect wedding:
- How many guests are coming?
- What is our budget?
- Do we want a themed wedding?
- Shall we have waiters or serve buffet style?
- Will the food be casual or fancy?
- Should we serve a sit down dinner or snacks?
- Will anyone need special dietary choices?
If you are struggling with the options for any of these questions, our professional staff will take the time to walk you carefully through our selections. We can help you make decisions based on your budget and personal tastes. And if you are considering a theme but are not sure which direction to go, we have spectacular wedding themes such as French Connection, Asian Fusion or Italian Feast. If your wedding is a light hearted, outdoor affair, our Hawaiian Luau, Southwest BBQ or Mexican Fiesta themes are great fun for a summer wedding. Whatever you plans, we have something that can fit your flavor.
We take care of the details
Plans and to-do lists for a wedding seem endless, but Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering is not just a catering service. Let us lighten your load. For the rest of your wedding needs such as the wedding venue, wedding cakes, floral arrangements, photography and videography, or wedding equipment rentals, we have business connections with several reputable and professional companies to help make your special day fabulous.
Wedding catering at its finest
Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering desires to leave a lasting, positive impression with our clients and we will go above and beyond to help you achieve the day of your dreams. Our delicious entrees and scrumptious sides will have your guests talking for years to come. We cater to weddings throughout the 5 Borough area including Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Bronx & Brooklyn, New York. Our full-service wedding catering company cannot wait to impress you!
Thomas Olivers Gourmet Catering
240 West 35th Street
New York, NY 10001
Unlocking the Secrets of your Refrigerator
If you use your refrigerator in the right way, you can extend the life of your fruits and vegetables and keep you and your family from getting sick. Food poisoning is never something you want to serve with dinner. When it comes to New York Catering, Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering understands food. We want to help you unlock the secrets of your refrigerator. Here are a few tips from the finest New York catering company.
Using those Special Drawers: Whether you call it a crisper, humidity drawer, or produce drawer doesn’t matter. What matters is that you use it. Your crisper keeps the humidity a bit higher than the rest of your refrigerator. This added humidity will help keep your lettuce and other vegetables crispy for a lot longer. Avoid mixing fruit with your vegetables. Fruit releases a ripening compound called ethylene gas. When that ripening compound hit vegetables it causes them to ripen and then go bad a lot faster. Crispers are designed to keep the humidity high, while fruit drawers are designed to keep the humidity low. Fruit drawers allow air to escape, which helps reduce the amount of ethylene gas. If you keep your fruit in the fruit drawer, it will last longer. If you have a drawer labeled meats, use it. The drawer will keep your meats colder than the rest of your fridge and they will last longer. Still though, never keep fresh meats in your refrigerator for longer than five days. Ground meats only last two.
Shelving in the Doors: Just because the manufacturer made a spot for milk on the door doesn’t mean you should use it. In order to keep you milk longer, keep it on the shelves inside your refrigerator. The reason for this is all about temperature. You see, whenever you or your kids opens the refrigerator, the first place to lose the cold air are the doors. If you milk is stored in the doors, it will be warmer and spoil faster. In addition, always keep the lid on your milk. Otherwise, it might begin tasting like other things in your refrigerator. No one likes oniony milk.
Storing Cut Vegetables: Having precut vegetables in your fridge can speed up food preparation times, but not all cut vegetables refrigerate equally. If you are storing onions or garlic, make certain they are in a sealed container, otherwise they might transfer their taste to your other foods. Cauliflower loses its taste quickly after it has been cut. You should avoid storing it in your fridge. If you have store your cauliflower, place the freshly cut clusters on a moist paper towel in your fridge. Just make certain you use it quickly. You can store broccoli and brussel sprouts the same way. Carrots and celery can be cut and placed in an uncovered bowl of water. They will maintain their crisp.
When it comes to keeping food fresh and delicious, no one does it better than Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering. When you want the best catering service in New York, you need to give us a call. We can transform any event into a magical memory.
Thomas Olivers Gourmet Catering
240 West 35th Street
New York, NY 10001
Summer is Wedding Season in Manhattan
Your wedding day is one of the most special moments of your life. It’s the blessed event where you and your sweetheart will join your hearts and hands forever. When you are sitting in your rocking chairs after decades of growing old together, you will reminisce about this wonderful day where you became one. It’s only natural for you to want everything to be perfect for your anticipated Manhattan wedding day. Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering has catered hundreds of weddings and we are excited to bring perfection to your summer wedding.
Why summer is ideal for weddings
Summer is the perfect season to get married. Here are a few reasons why:
The temperature is mostly cooperative so your options for venues increase with many outdoor choices to choose from.
Travel is easy for your relatives because they are not fighting disagreeable weather.
The flowers during the summer are exquisite.
Summertime catering themes are memorable and delicious.
If you are struggling with a menu or theme for your wedding, Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering options will give you inspiration. If you are getting wed on the beach in a fun, casual setting, what better catering theme than our Day at the Beach BBQ. This fresh and fun meal of teriyaki steak and chicken jerk kabobs will give your beachy summer wedding the perfect touch.
Themed catering brings just the right atmosphere
If you want an elegant wedding, your food needs to match. Our French Connection theme with succulent chicken francois, sliced sirloin steak and rosemary potatoes will bring that fancy feel to your special day. And let’s not forget desserts! Each theme comes with a divinely satisfying dessert to end with, such as cannolis and Italian cookie platters with our Godfather themed meal or French macaroons with our Mardi Gras theme. Whatever your flavor, no matter your craving, we can satisfy it with delicious meals designed to make your wedding a hit.
Take the stress out of wedding planning
Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering is not just scrumptiously planned meals, but we also offer other wedding services designed to take the stress from a day you want to remember forever. We will happily provide you with the dinnerware, set up, clean up, waiters, and even venues, wedding cakes, photography and more. Contact us today and we can help you relax when it comes to planning this big event. It’s time to enjoy the rest of your engagement and let us do the difficult work. We are excited to make your day the spectacular, memorable one that you have always imagined. For wedding catering in Manhattan, trust Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering to do it right.
Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering
240 West 35th Street
New York, NY
Phone: (212) 239-0090