Food/drink budget advice needed

Hi all, I don’t normally need to find venues as I’m an event stylist, but a friend has asked me to find a venue for an eve reception for 150 people, probably about 3hrs long.

What budget should I estimate per head for drinks and nibbles? London prices. And is it sensible to allow an average of half a bottle of wine per person or is that too much/not enough?

Thank you!


Hi Clare

I’m intrigued - what is an event stylist?

I think I’ve invented it! Basically I am called in to style events and parties, to set the scene for special occasions. I’ve always loved parties that look fabulous and created them myself and I think it makes a difference to how guests feel and the memories they walk away with.

Hi Clare

There are obviously lots of variables in this! Many venues will charge a daily delegate rate, because if they hire it for only 3 hours, they can’t then hire the space out to others so you may get charged for the lot.
However you may be able to negotiate a deal, particularly if you’re only looking to hire in the evening and/or on a less competitive day.
However as a very rough ballpark (there will be plenty of examples outside of these ranges), I would expect £30-50 per head…but there will plenty of premium venues where it goes way beyond £50.
And of course your choices will matter - smaller hors d’oeuvres and cold finger food is cheaper than getting hot bowls of food for example.
Finally I would say half a bottle seems about right - a full bottle is too much - but probably a third of a bottle (which is equivalent to one large 250ml glass) should also suffice.

Hi Mark, yes I realise there’ll be lots of variables but it’s great to have a ballpark figure I can work with, thanks for all the advice.

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