How to Calculate the Amount of Food for Wedding Catering

The logistics of wedding planning is an intricate task. It’s a celebration of love, but it’s also an event that requires immense planning, with the food playing a central role. Determining the right amount of food for your wedding can be daunting. Too little, and your guests may leave unsatisfied; too much, and you’ll have costly wastage. This guide is designed to help you calculate the perfect amount of food for your special day.

1. Identify the Type of Your Wedding Event

First and foremost, understand the nature of your event. Are you planning an extravagant, full-service wedding or a laid-back backyard barbecue wedding? The event style will guide you to decide the food type and its quantity.

For a sophisticated, larger-scale event, think about a full-service catering near you, like the services provided by the reputable Brooklyn Wedding Catering Company. They offer a tailored menu, professional service staff, and the sophistication associated with a conventional wedding banquet.

Alternatively, for a laid-back or rustic wedding theme, on-site BBQ catering is an excellent choice. This option provides a casual, yet equally enjoyable, dining experience with a variety of tasty BBQ options.

2. Estimate the Number of Guests

The next crucial factor to consider is your guest count. More guests invariably mean more food. Create a provisional guest list early in your planning process, and remember to consider potential plus-ones.

For instance, if you’re hosting an NYC wedding, given the city’s vibrant and dense population, you might expect a larger guest list compared to a wedding in a quieter, rural location.

3. Consider the Meal Type

The type of meal you intend to serve significantly impacts the amount of food needed. A buffet usually requires more food as guests have the freedom to serve themselves, often more than one serving. A plated meal, conversely, allows for better control of portion sizes.

Fortunately, if you’re based in the Big Apple, there are countless New York City catering options that specialize in both buffet and plated meal styles, helping you find the best fit for your event.

3.1. Buffet Style

If you opt for a buffet-style service, you’ll need to offer a broader range of dishes. As a basic guideline, consider providing:

  • Three to five types of protein (meat, fish, vegetarian options)
  • Three to four types of sides
  • Two to three types of salads
  • A variety of desserts

3.2. Plated Meal

For a plated meal service, you’ll typically need to provide:

  • One type of protein (with a vegetarian option)
  • Two types of sides
  • One salad
  • One dessert

Remember, the average guest will consume about a pound of food total per meal, so factor this into your calculations.

4. Consider Timing and Duration

The time and length of your event can drastically influence food consumption. A brunch or luncheon might require lighter fare than a dinner, for instance. If your event extends over several hours, consider the need for additional snacks or possibly a second meal to keep your guests satisfied.

5. Account for Drinks and Desserts

An essential part of any celebratory feast, and indeed, the overall guest experience, revolves around drinks and desserts. These elements often wrap up the main meal and transition the event into a festive and relaxed atmosphere.


When planning for beverages, a rule of thumb is to anticipate each guest to consume one drink per hour. This can, of course, vary depending on the nature of your event and your guests’ preferences. For instance, events with a high-energy, party-like atmosphere might see a higher rate of consumption.

Remember to cater to diverse tastes. This means offering a mix of alcoholic beverages—wines, beers, spirits, and perhaps specialty cocktails—and non-alcoholic options like soft drinks, water, coffee, and tea.

If you’re seeking professional advice or services to handle your beverage needs, consider party catering NYC. Their extensive experience with events in the city ensures they understand diverse guest preferences and can offer valuable insight.


Desserts typically signal the conclusion of the meal. The standard expectation is to provide a single serving per guest, such as a slice of cake. However, you might want to consider a variety of desserts to cater to different tastes. For example, in addition to the traditional wedding cake, you could offer a selection of pastries, cupcakes, or a fruit platter.

An interesting and increasingly popular trend is the dessert buffet, where guests can choose from a variety of sweet treats. If this idea appeals to you, NYC wedding catering companies, or specifically, Brooklyn wedding caterers, have a wealth of experience in designing dessert menus that charm and delight guests.

Remember, while your main course is vital, the drinks and dessert can truly elevate your wedding feast, leaving a lasting impression on your guests. By carefully calculating your needs and offering a well-rounded selection, you’re one step closer to hosting a memorable wedding feast.


6. Consult with Professionals

Even with these tips, if the task seems overwhelming, remember that professional catering services are available to assist. Caterers like the New York City Wedding Caterers and Brooklyn Wedding Caterers have immense experience and can guide you in determining the perfect amount of food for your wedding.

About Bonsoir Caterers

Bon Soir Caterers is a renowned New York City wedding catering company recognized for its exceptional culinary artistry and meticulous planning. With a range of offerings from full-service catering to relaxed backyard BBQ, their team of professionals ensures each event they cater is memorable.

Conveniently located at 1421 E 63rd St., Brooklyn, NY 11234, they have proudly served the city and its surroundings, bringing commitment and creativity to every event.

Leave a comment