October 15, 2010

Catering Tips: Developing a Guest List

Last week we discussed how to prepare for unexpected guests at your event because many aspects of your function hinge on the number of people you have in attendance. Your guest list is the most important component in your overall costs and staying within your budget, so it needs to be one of the first decisions you make in the planning process.

From a catering perspective, the cost of your meal is dependent on three factors: the price of the food (steak versus chicken), the price of serving it (buffet versus plated), and the number of guests. Here are three considerations for compiling your guest list:
  • Budget. What is the grand total you want spend on your event? How many guests do you think you want to invite? Divide the total budget by number of potential guests to discover your price per person allotment. Many wedding and event services are priced by the person. Can the number you found accommodate the costs of food, tables, chairs, linens, cake servings, etc.? If not, you'll either have to increase your overall budget or decrease your guest count.
  • Venue. If you've already decided where your event will take place (or have an idea of where you want it to be), will it accommodate the number of guests you're planning to invite? An event in an intimate garden locale will dictate a much smaller guest count than a large ballroom affair.
  • Importance. Decide who is an "absolutely must-have," who is a "would like to have if I can afford it," and who is a "not welcome" guest at your event. Be very specific. Are you going to invite coworkers, casual friends, extended family, children, or unmarried dates? Narrow down your list accordingly, and be firm about who does or does not receive an invitation.

Image courtesy of Allison Reisz Photography

Do you have a question you want to see answered on this blog? Ask us! Email, tweet, or comment on Facebook, and we'll answer in a future post.

No comments:

Post a Comment