Kosher catering costs
I am planning my wedding and am trying to compare estimates I've found so far. Many of the venues do no have their own kosher catering but are fine with us bringing one in.
The meal will be either in NYC or no further out on Long Island than Woodbury. I and many of the guests are vegetarians, therefore the meal will either be dairy or pareve both with a fish option for those who must eat something meat-like at every meal. Also, I'd really love to possibly have a DAIRY wedding cake. I grew up around French pastry chefs, margarine and mimicreme really really aren't the same especially for someone who doesn't want a fondant cake.
I'm looking for a general estimate. Including everything, would a caterer be 35-40 pp? 60-70pp? more? I have no idea. If it matters, the wedding will be August 2011 (long engagement, long story).
P.S. We're not looking at synagogues as of yet since we already have a rabbi, don't want to deal with decorating the hall since most of them can mostly kindly be called plain, and many of the venues have a well-trained staff and day-of coordinators.
We just did a wedding at Crest Hollow in Woodbury and paid around $90 a person. Keep in mind, whatever fee a caterer quotes, you need to add another 50% to the cost to cover taxes, service charges and other overhead fees. Crest Hollow was among the lower cost venues but it was beautiful and they did a great job. They offered 2 fish and 1 vegetarian options among the 5 choices guests were offered. They may be able to do offer others as well. When we were looking, Rockwood Park in Howard Beach was less expensive but the venue was not as nice. It is a synagogue but it is already decorated, they are helpful and you can bring your own rabbi. (You can typically bring your own rabbi to many synagogues.) Other places we looked into were either more expensive -- in the $120 to $150 range (such as Terrace on the Park, Sephardic Temple) or needed a minimum of 300 to 400 guests. Manhattan venues were even more expensive.
Congratulations and good luck.