Lobster dinners are one of the most luxurious meals you can have for an occasion, so it makes sense why you would consider it for your wedding, one of the most important days of your life. But the truth of the matter is that it can get expensive depending on your budget and guest count.
Here is my round-up of everything you need to know about having lobster for dinner at your wedding including how much it will cost you per guest.
How much does it cost to have lobster at a wedding?
Having lobster at a wedding could cost as little as $15-30 per person for lobster-based appetizers or as much as $20-90 per person to serve lobster as a main meal. With an average guest count of 100 people, you’re looking at spending $1500-9000 to serve lobster at a wedding.
How much of the lobster you want to serve will also factor into how much it costs to serve it. Most places will offer options to serve a whole lobster, lobster tail, just the meat in a roll, or incorporated into a dish. For that reason, a lobster dinner at your wedding can cost you anywhere from $20 per person to $90 per person.
If you’re opting for lobster as more of a passed hors d’oeuvre, you’re looking at more like $15 to $30 per person. This is a better option for brides on a budget!
Here’s how much lobster will cost at your wedding depending on your guest count.
|Guest Count||Price of lobster as an appetizer||Price of lobster as an entrée|
As you can see from the chart above, serving lobster to 30 people at a micro wedding is a different league from serving lobster to 300 people at a larger wedding. Serving lobster appetizers to 30 people will only set you back $450-900 which you may find worthwhile to bring back a special memory of you and your partner enjoying lobster rolls on the beach.
But if you have 300 guests, spending $4500-9000 might be an expense you can’t possibly afford on top of your other expenses for the wedding or just decide to skip to rein in your budget.
How much lobster do you need to have per person at a wedding?
If you’re decided on lobster for your wedding dinner, you’ll want to make sure you’re ordering enough lobster per person.
Generally, you need 1.5 to 2 pounds of lobster per person at a wedding to be considered a full meal. This is about 1 average-sized lobster per person or 2 smaller lobsters.
Normally, your caterer will take care of this for you but if you’re curious how much they need to order because you want to make sure they’ve got it right or you want to suggest they serve it in a way that will save you money, the calculations will help. It also helps if you’re considering catering your own wedding and want to know how much to order and prepare.
According to FineCooking.com, one 1.5 to 2 lb lobster is enough for someone at dinner. For a wedding, you might be able to get away with a little less than that because of all the other food being served at the cocktail hour, dinner, and cake or dessert.
It’s hard to order or serve less than one lobster unless it is part of another dish. You wouldn’t be able to serve just the claws to one person and just the tail to another. But you can consider cutting it in half and just serving half a lobster to each person in order to save some money.
Once you get your final guest count, you can determine how much lobster you need to buy. Most caterers will ask for a final headcount until about two to fours weeks out from the wedding.
|Guest Count||Amount of lobster you need to serve|
When you see it written out in pounds, that’s a lot of lobster! If you’re catering a 100 person wedding yourself, buying 150-200 lbs of lobster for dinner is an intimidating proposition. I would only consider this option if you’re having a much smaller wedding.
How to serve lobster at your wedding
Even if you don’t end up having it as the main dish, there are a few creative ways you can serve lobster at your wedding.
For a pre-or post-wedding brunch
Lobster is a great addition to brunch, and if you’re having a welcome party or a send-off brunch, this is a great way to incorporate lobster into your wedding. Lobster eggs benedict or mac n’ cheese are wonderful options, but you can pretty much do it however you want!
This is especially great for couples who love lobster and want it at their wedding but are on a budget and don’t want to pay for the full price of serving it at the reception.
Lobster hors d’oeuvres
Having lobster at your cocktail hour is a fancy and fun way to kick off the fun after the ceremony. I went to a wedding once where they had lobster bisque shooters with toasted bread as their appetizers. It was delicious.
You could also serve lobster bites, lobster crostini, fried lobster ravioli, mini bacon-wrapped lobster… there are so many ways to do it. And the cost will be a lot lower than serving a whole lobster for dinner.
As the main course
The most luxurious way to enjoy lobster is as the main dish. While this is going to be the more expensive option, especially if served as a plated meal, it’s a great way to experience your first dinner as a married couple.
Keep in mind that you can’t just serve lobster as the only main dish because of dietary restictions. You will want to have options for people who are vegetarian or allergic, as well as sides to accompany the dish.
As a late-night snack
If you’re looking to have a fun late-night snack delivered to your reception or to your after-party, there are a few creative ways to do that with lobster. Depending on where you are, you could probably find a food truck that serves lobster rolls or lobster mac n’ cheese that will gladly pull up to your venue later in the reception. You could also find a caterer that makes lobster appetizers, like the ravioli or bacon-wrapped lobster options I mentioned earlier.
If you’re lucky enough to be getting married in the Boston area or in a state like Maine, where lobster is pretty much the culture, there are a ton of options to choose from.
Love lobster? Love sushi? Put them together! There are a ton of sushi rolls that add lobster, from a fancy California roll to a classy champagne lobster roll (which I had on a cruise once, and I can’t stop thinking about it!).
This is another awesome appetizer or late-night snack option, as it’s an easy-to-handle bite.
Is lobster at your wedding worth it?
Whether or not it’s going to be worth it to serve lobster in some form at your wedding is up to you. It is a pricier option, so for budget-conscious bride, it might not be the best option. But even if you are concerned about the budget of serving lobster at your wedding, there are cheaper ways to incorporate it.
When working with caterers, explain to them your budget and, most of the time, they are willing to work with you.
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