hotel reception vs. catered elsewhere

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zimi61 Posts : 12 Registered: 8/8/09
hotel reception vs. catered elsewhere
Posted: Sep 27, 2009 11:54 PM

Can anyone tell me about the approximate costs for a hotel reception versus a reception that was hosted somewhere with an outside caterer? I've found a venue that I really like, but my mom thinks a hotel (like a radisson or suburban marriott) would be cheaper. Or she also believes having it somewhere that we can use an outside caterer would be cheaper too.

The venue I like has a rental fee under $1000 and they charge $30/person for food (as much as we want because they serve from a restaurant menu so they just make more). The total cost I estimate for this venue after tax, music, labor, cake, misc. other expenses and alcohol is almost $15,000.

I've read that outside caterers can charge $20 to $60 per person. I don't know what hotels charge but I feel like every hotel's pictures I look at are the same white tables and chairs. I want to maintain a feeling of individuality (like everyone else) and the venue I like is much more colorful and the decorating they do is included.

I'm acutally open to hearing about the general cost of any of the twin cities reception venues. I'm still trying to keep my eyes open for my mom's sake, but I feel like I've found the one so it's hard.



myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: hotel reception vs. catered elsewhere
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 11:55 AM Go to message in response to: zimi61

It really is impossible for anyone here to answer this question. You will just have to do the legwork, checking with the individual hotels and outside caterers, seeing what each one includes in the overall package price (chairs, linens, alcohol, servers, cake cutting, set-up fees, gratuities, etc.) and then compare. It's not easy--sometimes it's like comparing apples and oranges. But, nobody can do the legwork except you and your FH. Even if I told you what it cost where I live (S. California), that probably wouldn't have much to do with what it costs in Minnesota.
myra at


karebeartg Posts : 831 Registered: 6/25/08
Re: hotel reception vs. catered elsewhere
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 1:46 PM Go to message in response to: myra

I agree with Myra. The only other alternative I can think of is to hire a wedding planner. Some offer options where they only help with a specific thing. In this case, it could be doing the legwork of finding out prices for you.

A large part of why FH and I decided to hire a wedding planner was that we were busy and lived out of town - while we would rather not have spent the money on it, we decided our time and sanity was more valuable. (And we loved our planners to death and they helped with a bunch of other things, so it was worth it).



JasmineF Posts : 12 Registered: 2/6/09
Re: hotel reception vs. catered elsewhere
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 2:00 PM Go to message in response to: zimi61

While I can't give you approximate costs, because that all depends on your venue, I can tell you what my experience has been.

For my May 15, 2010 wedding, I've found that going with a hotel was cheper b/c I got an amazing deal, including all taxes in the per head price. If you go with a separate venue, remmeber to add all the extras like linen rentals, tableware, etc. It really adds up!


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