See a letter from Ellen about the donation campaign. Your help matters!

Cook Talk

I'm catering a wedding
I was asked to cater a wedding for 200 guest. The menu includes chicken salad pasta salad meatballs and regular and lemon pepper wings. Also fruit treys. How much of each do I need
Lawanda, hi s an incomplete menu and you also don't give a time of day or length of party- receptions use less food than meals.

For a paid job please consult the pro catering board at:

I am sorry, but a wedding reception is the MOST difficult assignment for any caterer. If you don't have enough experience to recognize that this menu is not adequate as it stands, or even to offer proposed amounts for review as seen on the first post of this thread, I can't help you.

This is not enough variety or the right variety for a full meal.

Remember that if the wedding food is not satisfactory, it is ALWAYS the caterer's fault, even if she did exactly what the family requested. The wedding meal is the most difficult to cater of any, and it has to be perfect, or it can permanently crash your rep. Please rethink this plan.

A buffet for 100 people takes about 3 kitchen people and at least 6 servers to set up, serve and clear away. Double this for 200. There needs to be some experience there.

Most caters charge 3-4 times the cost of the food, depending on how much set up, service, and rental is involved in the contracts (you do have a written contract, yes?); 1/2 up front and 1/2 on delivery day of.
Do check your liability insurance; you could be responsible for any claim of food related illness, plus any injury to guests or staff.

In the contract you specify, number of guests, charges for extra guests, who owns leftover food, etc. Many caterers do not leave extra food with clients do to liability issues if stored incorrectly.

Also, you have to prepare these foods in a licensed kitchen or at site to be legal, and for your own protection, get event liability insurance. If a guest or worker believes they are sick or injured at the party, you can be sued. If the wedding party is unsatisfied, you can be sued, or they may refuse to pay you!

Smart commercial caterers have a nailed down written contract where they are paid 1/2 before the event and 1/2 at the event (not later...) and it specifies the number of guests and how much will be served, who the leftovers belong to (usually the caterer, NOT the party givers), the fee for each extra guest, no discount for no shows, and so on. So how much food is not the only, or even the first, question.

You can contact me individually at the contact link at the bottom of the page.

E-Mail: (optional)