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Need help with a 60 person cocktail party on a budget!


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Need help with a 60 person cocktail party on a budget!

fattychalupa | May 18, 2011 08:50 PM

My sister's friend who is going to be married is hosting a cocktail party for those who cannot make the wedding, and lucky me my sister volunteered me to cater the event. Don't get me wrong- I love to cook and am totally willing to do it but I'm finding it hard to see eye to eye when it comes to their allotted budget. I remember a Top Chef episode where the contestants somewhat successfully catered a high end 60 person cocktail party for 60 people on $350, but the part of my situation that is somewhat irritating me is the fact that
- the party includes 60 people
- it going to last for 3 hours during the evening when most people would usually eat dinner, which means most likely the food must be substantial enough to serve as a meal
-the budget has to include decorations/ambiance
-the budget moreover is also including all of the drinks!#@*$!

As a result i gave what I thought was a conservative estimate of $10/person, which I thought was actually on the cheaper side, which my sister automatically ruled out as too expensive, so I'm going to have to stay around $400.

Right now the only strategies I can think of so far are:

- leaning towards cheaper proteins: flank steak and chicken thighs instead of breasts for kebabs
- definitely NOT stocking a full bar- I'll most likely have 3 choices of cocktails that I'll make beforehand and shake with ice during the party upon request
- I know for a cocktail party with such a large amount of people one should maybe have around 8-10 different choices but do you think I could save some bucks by limiting the selection down to 5-6?
-This is supposed to be a special event, I know, but I honestly don't think there's a way to reasonably rent or include actual glass/stemware, any utensils or tablecloths. It's definitely going to have to be plastic/disposable drinkware and paper tablecloths
-Luckily I just invested in a lot of outdoor decorations including battery operated lanterns, cafe lights, candles, and a firepit, so most of the decor should be covered
-since I plan on bringing over a portable firepit, I might make a platter for DIY s'mores to offset a possibly small volume of desserts

Any other tips you guys might have to help me out?

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