I have been to a few wedding that have had this request and personally its not an issue for me, I dont feel offended by it (I find it harder dealing with a wishing well and expected amounts).
my first wedding we had a bbq lunch that we catered for ourselves (on a very strict budget) and yes it was alot of hard work making sure everything was done and you dont get to really relax so I see where your FH is coming from
this wedding our guests are flying in from interstate, so we are paying for their lunch (we are having a morning wedding), have got a price from the hotel of most expensive thing on the menu and basically catering to that price per adult, there will be a maximum of 25-30 people including us and 7 of those are kids so the meals are a cheaper price.
we have capped the guest at 30, as thats that people who have said they will come as soon as we announced our wedding date, any more than that amount (and got a feeling there will be a few people who will think about coming a bit later on) then we have said that they will pay for their own lunch, as we have a set amount allowed for it.
as our guests are coming over from wa we are not having a honeymoon and instead will be spending time with them showing them around so we want to make sure we have enough money to cover that too.
because we are having a lunch reception, and guests will be driving we will supply cool drink and juice only, if they want alcohol they have all agreed to buy it themselves.
good luck with everything and as I said personally I dont have an issue with that request