A friend wanted to throw a party to celebrate an event in her life and didn't have the space at her home and asked if we'd mind her having at our place. This was fine with us. She asked 2 months in advance, indicated she planned to do most of the planning and would pay for everything. Knowing this good friend like we do, we knew we were really signing up to do a lot of the planning and most of the labor which we were ok with.
However, 3 weeks before the event, she came over so we can finalize the planning. I learn she has a specific theme in mind, but when she contacted a company that hosts these themed parties which include the food and entertainment, their smallest package was for a minimum of 50 guests at $30 per head and she was only planning for 25. So after some googling and calling, I was able to find a company that could provide the entertainment for a cost of $400 which she thought was a bargain. I also found a restaurant that could provide the main meal to meet her theme and I told her I'd augment the meal with items I'd make to help keep the cost down. While working on a menu, she told me to just handle it and she'd order the cake but she really wanted to "do the party up right".
Once all was completed I gave her a total cost of $280 for the food which included the catered portion of the meal, 3 appetizers and fruit tray that I had made, wine, beer, sangria, water and margaritas (she did bring the tequila, sodas, and paper goods that she purchased separately). I had also made a third option for an entree, some home made bread, and a 4th appetizer which I didn't include the cost as I saw that as part of our present to her. I thought for 25 people, $280 was more than reasonable especially based on how much she was willing to pay for 45 min of entertainment. But I got the impression that she was suprised at the cost.
DH says it's because she is more into the entertainment aspects of a party, where I'm all about the "infrastructure"... plenty of good food and drinks with lots of options and presented attractively, comfortable environment with plenty of seating.