How Much it Costs to Have Steak at a Wedding

plated steak dinner

Every couple wants to enjoy a special meal on their wedding day with their guests – and to a lot of people, celebratory occasions call for a delicious steak dinner. Whether on its own, served with lobster or fish as a surf and turf meal, or just as an appetizer, you, your future spouse, and your guests can’t go wrong with a steak at your wedding. 

Whether you have a big budget or a little budget, there are ways to enjoy steak at your wedding that fit into your budget and vision. 

I did the research so that you don’t have to – here is everything you need to know about having steak at your wedding. 

How much does it cost to have steak at a wedding?

Having steak at a wedding could cost as little as $15-25 per person for steak-based appetizers or as much as $30-85 per person to serve steak as a main meal. With an average guest count of 100 people, you’re looking at spending $1500-8500 to serve steak at a wedding.

The exact cost will depend on whether you are serving it buffet style, plated, family-style, or as stations. You also have to consider the cost of service, and the cost can change depending on what sides you want to offer your guests. 

Couples can expect to spend typically between $30 to $85 per person on a steak dinner at their wedding. 

You can opt to have steak appetizers at cocktail hour or serve it as a passed hors d’oeuvre, which will typically cost between $15 to $25 per person.

The price will also be different depending on what kind of steak you want to serve. You could go with cheaper cuts to trim the price down, as more high-quality cuts will be on the more expensive end. 

Here’s how much steak will cost at your wedding depending on your guest count.

Guest CountPrice of steak as an appetizerPrice of steak as an entrée
Price of having steak at a wedding per person

How do you know if steak fits into your budget?

You can check out my free budget guide if you sign up for my newsletter. It automatically calculates what you should spend where based on your budget and guest count and helps you stay on track. It’s like the fairy godmother of numbers.

steak house style dinner

How many steaks do you need to have per person for a wedding?

Generally, you want to have at least one eight-ounce steak per person for your wedding for a standard cut. You can serve smaller portions of finer cuts of steak like filet mignon and larger portions for leaner cuts like flank steak.

Once you get your final guest count, you can determine how much steak you’ll need. Most caterers will ask for a final headcount until about two to fours weeks out from the wedding. 

Here’s how much steak you’ll need per person if you’re doing the catering yourself.

Guest CountAmount of steak you need to serve
3015 lbs
4020 lbs
5025 lbs
6030 lbs
7035 lbs
8040 lbs
9045 lbs
10050 lbs
12562.5 lbs
15075 lbs
17587.5 lbs
200100 lbs
250125 lbs
300150 lbs
Amount of steak you need at your wedding by guest count

This is easier to control if you are doing a plated service – for a buffet, you will want to have a bit more as people can take more than they need. 

You also have to consider that not everyone will want steak. Caterers will work other options for guests into your final pricing and menu, but just keep in mind that you don’t only have to have steak. 

Planning on catering the wedding yourself? Check out this post with additional tips to cater your own wedding from a real bride who catered her small wedding in an airbnb.

What kind of steak should you serve at your wedding?

The most classic steak cut that is served for big events like weddings is the beef tenderloin. It’s a crowd-pleaser and easy to cook for a large number of people. Roasted prime rib is also another common steak cut for weddings. 

Even though beef tenderloin and prime rib are the most popular cuts, it doesn’t mean you have to go with whatever is recommended to you. If you know you and your spouse-to-be love London Broil or Ribeye, ask caterers how you could make it happen to have that cut of steak at your wedding. 

close up of steak

What other items should I have aside from steak?

While it is a general crowd-pleaser, you should have more options other than steak at your wedding. Having a fish option is always a good idea, and you have to consider guests who are vegetarian or vegan. 

Some easy go-to’s for an alternative protein are salmon, shrimp, or chicken. You could also offer vegetarian pasta or salad for your guests who don’t eat meat. 

In any case, you should also serve sides. Many caterers will suggest that you go with starch like mashed or roasted potatoes and a vegetable like sautéed green beans or creamed spinach to accompany any protein you choose.

How to serve steak at your wedding

How much steak costs for your wedding shouldn’t deter you from having one of your favorite foods. There are a variety of different ways to serve it, even if it’s not the main dish. 

Here are some different ways you can serve steak at your wedding. 

Serve steak as the main course

Serving steak at your wedding as the main course is a classic and elegant option for your wedding dinner. Most people love steak! It also pairs well with several different sides and more importantly, different wines!

Have steak appetizers at cocktail hour

There are a variety of ways to use steak in cocktail hour appetizers if you don’t want to pay the full cost of having it as your main dish. Check with your caterer to see if they have any steak options for small bites. 

Create a steak carving station at the reception

Another option for serving steak at your wedding is to have various carving stations. This works better if you’re going to have more than one protein option. Be aware though that if you have a guest count of 150 or more, it could take some time for everyone to get the food that they want. 

Passed hors d’oeuvres with steak

Instead of having steak as the main focus of your food, you could incorporate it at your wedding as a passed hors d’oeuvre or appetizer during the reception. Instead of a full steak, it could be nice to have small pieces like kabobs or steak bites.

Host your rehearsal dinner at a steak house

If you feel like you can’t work steak at your wedding into the budget, you can always serve it at a smaller wedding event like the rehearsal dinner. Normally the rehearsal dinner is a lot smaller than the wedding reception, so the price won’t be as high.

photo of a large spread with steak and tacos

Include steak and eggs at you wedding brunch

Before or after the wedding, you could serve a brunch with a smaller group of people. This would give you more room to have steak during this special time without spending a fortune. Steak and eggs anyone?

Have steak food trucks come to your after party

Create a late night snack opportunity with steak by hiring a food truck. This is a cost-effective and fun way to include steak in your wedding plans. If a food truck sounds intriguing but intimidating, check out my article all about how to have a food truck at your wedding.

Is it worth it to have steak at your wedding?

Steak is delicious, and if you and your significant other are fans of it then it’s a wonderful dish that you won’t regret having at your wedding. It’s easy to pair drinks and other food with, and aside from people who don’t eat meat, it’s a crowd-pleasing entree.

If you don’t love it enough to pay the price for having steak at your then it’s not worth it for your specific wedding. It’s really up to how you want to spend your budget.

Whatever you want – steak, salmon, chicken, cotton candy – at your wedding is up to you, and it should be a meal you will remember forever. Figure out a budget, determine what you can do with it, and plan something amazing. 

Curious how much lobster costs to serve at a wedding? Check out my article on serving lobster at a wedding here.


Jaime is the owner of Loud Bride and Coast Designs LLC. She got married in 2017 in Geneseo, NY and designed her own wedding invitations and programs for the occasion. Now, she designs bespoke wedding stationery and affordable templates for other couples. She lives in New York city with her husband and two children.

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