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This is a post in my Budget Breakdown series from my own budget savvy wedding. Read other budget breakdowns on BSB. 

wedding catering from a restaurant

Catering- Miller's Grocery -$2,673.17

We used a local restaurant, Miller's Grocery, to cater our wedding. For this price we served enough food for 150. That's $18 per person WITH service, tax AND gratuity. They delivered the food, set it up in nice chaffing dishes, served and refilled as necessary, cleaned it up and broke it down for that price. We had grilled chicken and pulled pork barbecue, macaroni and cheese, loaded mashed potatoes, green bean almandine and baked beans. It also included a garden salad and rolls for everyone, as well as sweet and unsweet teas, AND 3 different desserts – red velvet, coconut, and snickers cake- which we used in lieu of a groom's cake. SERIOUSLY- Talk about a STEAL!!!! There is no way we could have gotten this quality or quantity of food for anywhere near the price we paid from a catering company, (especially with service included) and it's just as simple as that!

Cake- Free

A family friend of ours made our cake as a gift to us. Everyone said it was the best cake they'd ever had! It turned out completely perfect and I was so happy with it! It was a 3 tiered amaretto and chocolate cake with the most delicious buttercream frosting. We wanted simple and I loved the little dots and our monogram on the cake… and I also just had them use flowers as a cake topper instead of spending money on something so silly.


Candy Buffet Total: $227.95

Candy-around 70 lbs for 150 people

Bulk Foods– $97.16 for

Lemon Sticks- 80 pieces
Banana Sticks- 80 pieces
Pina Colada Sticks- 80 pieces
Lemonheads- 10 lbs
Banana runts- 10 lbs
Butterscotch buttons- 5 lbs

Amazon– $64.79 for

Lemon Gummie Bears- 10 lbs
Banana Gummie Bears- 10 lbs
Pineapple Gummie Bears- 10 lbs
Gummie Grapefruit- 5 lbs
(When I ordered from Amazon, the gummie bears were buy one 5lb bag, get one free– so I got double the amount of what I actually paid for. Such a steal! And they were seriously the ‘freshest' gummy candy I've ever had- not stale like the stuff you get at the movie theater, haha)

Jars- I collected my jars over the course of a year and misplaced lots of the receipts, but I know the most I paid for one jar was $12, and that was the biggest one. I'd say I spent around $50 on jars, and I borrowed a few as well to keep costs down.

Candy Baggies- $6 for 200 at Party City

Labels- $10 for full page labels at Staples- I printed the label pattern on and used a circle punch to punch them out. My lovely MOH then stickered the bags for me.

(This works out to be $1.14 per favor since I had 200 bags… just in case you were wondering!)

Food/Catering Total: $2901.12

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About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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  • Thanks so much for showing us this I know its must be really difficult and I admit I’ve already made the decision that I’m not going to do it.

    However you’ve already been heaps helpful and I’m so glad your doing this – I was having some problems figuring out an affordable lolly bag solution, yours is less than 1/4 for what I was going to pay, now to find an Australian supplier.


  • Looks amazing. Exactly my idea of a nice Southern feast 🙂
    $18 per person is great! And the cake… Wow, it looks totally, amazingly professional. Can’t believe you got it for free…

  • Your food cost is beyond amazing. I would love to have found a place that would have let me do that (so many “preferred caterers only” here). Thanks for the breakdown. Candy buffet looked awesome!

  • Meghan

    That seems like alot of candy. Did you have a ton left over?

  • Budget Savvy Bride

    Meghan- in a word, YES, we had a ton left over. I think that we over-estimated the candy a bit, for sure, BUT I think the biggest problem was the location of the candy bar. Most people didn’t take any at all. I would say maybe 25-50 people took candy, if that many. The candy was on the cake table inside and I think people were scared to take it or didn’t know what to do or just didn’t notice it. It was one major flaw in the plan but I love the way the candy looked on the cake table and now we’ve had like 40 lbs of candy for us to eat which E hasn’t complained about at all. 🙂

  • Not bad at all. I can’t wait to show off my catering price. We’re getting a great deal with Sonnys BBQ.

  • Shari @ Pretty Chicky

    This is good stuff! I love when brides share their budget details!! I’m in love with your candy buffet too!

  • koandpo

    This was a TERRIBLE post to read…right before lunch! Your food looks so yummy, I am so hungry now! Thanks for sharing your budget. It will be helpful to many brides.

  • Courtney

    It looks fantastic. How did you approach the restaurant about it–meaning, did you tell them up-front that it was a wedding, or did you get a price for a regular party first?

  • sanebride

    First I want to say thanks for sharing your totals with us! It’s very brave and very much appreciated!

    We are also using a local restaurant-actually a Mexican restaurant because my fiance is famous for his penchant for burritos and fajitas! It works out so well because it is very “us” and it’s inexpensive! I’m all for breaking the catering mold.

  • this is so helpful! thank you! makes me think local food will be way less expensive (and much yummier) than hotel food…

    i love the look of the candy buffet – so freaking cute. do you mind if i ask if guests actually ate the candy and took some home to enjoy? i think the look was so great, but wonder if people really do end up eating the candy. (not that i mind having all that left over candy…)

  • opps — just read the other comments. question answered!

  • I’m just catching up on my reader and am LOVING all the posts from your wedding–it seems like you guys had a blast and everything looked lovely!

    I have a silly question for you tho–where did you find the metal scoops you used for your candy buffet? I LOVE them!

  • Nicole-Lynn

    I loved your cake! I am also a fan of the dots 🙂

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