Wedding Receptions

I seem to have done more of these over the last couple of years than anything else. People are constantly complaining to me about the high cost of fancy halls, and stuffy hotel venues. "Hidden" extras, mediocre bland food, and the sometimes "assembly line" way they are led through the system.

If you already have a venue for the reception such as a church hall, elks or moose lodge or such, or your own house, here's a few examples of some receptions I've done over the last 6-9 months or so with details and pricing. All three examples are different, and all are in a different price range and setting. I'll start with the least expensive and finish with the most expensive. Before each I'll try to give a little insight into the particular job and costs. Hope this helps you with your reception planning!

Examples of Wedding Receptions:

Reception Example 1

This reception also took place in the church of the customer. They were on a tight budget and could only spend about $14 per head. This was a reception for 45 people to last 2 hours. They set up and decorated the tables, and supplied the wedding cake (we served it). With basic beverage service, and all, I was able to provide what they wanted for $14 per person + $150 additional for labor.

Here's what they got:

  • Ham Biscuits
  • Potato and Macaroni Salads
  • Deviled Eggs and Pickle Tray
  • Veggie Tray w/ Fresh Dill Dip
  • Chicken Drummettes
  • Meatballs
  • Cocktail Franks
  • Bambini
  • Miniature Reubens
  • Cheese Tray (cubed cheese's and a spread)
  • Mexican Layered Dip w/ Chips
  • Fruit Stand
  • Beverage Service (water, coffee, iced tea)

We supplied all paper ware, cups, serving utensils, etc. Food was displayed on a mix of decorative plastics, cut glass, and fine silver. Hot food were served in aluminum steam table stands. No desserts other than the cake they had were required. We also cleaned up after.

Summary: There's no reason to pay exorbitant amounts for a garish display (unless you enjoy spending money, or really appreciate it!). I provide REAL! food, attractively presented, at a reasonable price. This couple, even though on a tight budget, was so happy with our service that my assistant and I each received a $25 tip!! They would also be pleased to provide a reference so you can ask them for your self!!

Reception Example 2

Okay, now we get into the heavier stuff! This reception was done at the Contemporary Arts Center of Va. Beach. They do lease space for this, and of course it is a very attractive venue for a wedding reception! I'm not sure exactly what this couple paid to rent here, but I believe it was around $1500-$2000.

Almost every major service came into play here. The reception was for 100 people. The service was scheduled to be outside at the center but ended up being inside because of the weather. About the only thing the arts center had for us to use was tables and chairs. We had to rent everything else. Linens, silverware, glassware, plates, etc. This added $9 alone to the price per head. They had 1 hour of hors d'oeuvres served butler style after the service, as well as an open bar. The couple provided all alcoholic beverages, we provided everything to mix and serve them with as well as a bartender.

Dinner was served in elegant buffet style and consisted of:

  • Mesclun Salad w/ an orange-poppy seed vinaigrette
  • Chicken in a Creamy Wine sauce
  • Beef Stroganoff w/ noodles
  • Lasagna Roll-ups
  • Garlic-Rosemary Roasted Potato's
  • Stir-Fry Zucchini w/ Cashews
  • Italian Bread brushed w/ olive oil, rosemary, and Parmigiana.

The entire service/reception lasted about 4 -5 hours. The bar was open for all this time as well. We also assisted in the serving of the cake as well as the pouring of champagne for the toast. The cost per head was $31.50 for this event ($3,150 total). A lot of rentals were needed as well including china, silverware, glassware, and linens.

Summary: The buffet style of service is an excellent way to feed a lot of people quickly and efficiently. There's usually a wide enough choice that even more finicky eaters will have no trouble finding something they like.

You could also do something like this at your house if you have a decent size yard. Rent a tent, tables, and chairs and go from there! You could use linen tablecloths or paper. Fine China, or decorative plastic/paper plates. Silver chafing dishes or aluminum steam pans in wire racks. The bottom line is that you have fun, good food, and fellowship at your reception, not necessarily to spend your salary for the next 2 years!!

Please see these other examples, they should help you get a feel for different types of locales, food and more. In general by the time you read them you should have a good feel of what you are going to get and how much it will cost! Also bear in mind that I include a free tasting if desired. Also there are no "extra" charges for cake cutting, or toast pouring. There is also no "service charge" added. I do not believe in adding for service that I haven't provided yet. We do, however, enjoy a tip for a job well done!

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Past Examples

Click our examples below for more info.

Wedding Example 1


Wedding Example 2


Wedding Example 3


Wedding Example 4


Wedding Example 5


Wedding Example 6


Wedding Example 7


Wedding Example 8


Wedding Example 9


Wedding Example 10


Wedding Example 11


Wedding Example 12


Wedding Example 13