Wedding Reception

Joined Aug 30, 2002
Was wondering if anyone might have any suggestions for what I could make for my wedding reception. We're just poor college students so can't afford a full on catering service. I'm looking for ideas for stuff that I could make a few days before and would reheat well, or maybe something that I could start in the morning and have finish up about the time of the reception. Planning or about 80 or so people being there, so would need enough food for that. Would appreciate any advice, who better to ask then caterers themselves right? Thanks!
Joined Mar 6, 2001
As a former caterer and a bride that catered her own wedding I'll give your this advice. KEEP IT SIMPLE, SIMPLIER THAN SIMPLE!

Don't even attempt to impress anyone with your food. Make it a wedding reception about you and your bride. I personally remember the smaller more intimate receptions I've attended and felt more impressed with those then any fancy ones at hotels.

So here's a couple of ideas: I had one freind who did a spegetti dinner. Grandma cooked up a ton of sauce, ahead of time. Mom made garlic bread and served it up. We all helped ourselfs going thru a "buffet" line from the kitchen pass thru at this little reception hall and then sat at huge square of pushed together tables. It was a wonderful home cooked meal. They had bottles of wine on the table and everyone laughed and talked together as a group. All self serve and wonderfully intimate!

Even a bbq can be special. Have a freind attend the grills and let people choose their meat. Then set up a buffet of purchased and home made salads. Use paper plates and cups!

Under the thread about marriage I posted what I did for mine.

Have a coctail party and buy frozen hd.s in bulk from discount grocery stores (Sams club) and buy salad items/anti pastas for buffet. Hire a neighboor or freind to man the oven.

Focus on your friends and family! Have a dear freind in charge of your music, putting new c.d's on, but pick what you want to hear ahead of time and hide all that you don't want to hear. Make detailed lists and only assign tasks to people you can TRUST (even when drunk) or hire out help (never do ANYTHING that will take last minute work for you or your bride!). Then ROLL with the punches, things will go wrong, oh well just laugh and enjoy.

Good Luck!
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hi Kevin, Welcome!

W.Debord gave you very sage advice.

Keep it Simple!!

What time of day or evening is your special day? This will also help with developing a menu.

Just to add a couple things to the list.

Have a friend video for you, or take pictures.

Or maybe put a disposible camera on each table for the guests to use and then collect them later.

Mediterranean dips are easy and can be prepped a couple days in advance. Baba and hummus with crispy pita triangles.

Tomato and basil crostinies, Tapinade.

How about a taco bar or fajitas table, a mashed potato bar is a blast.

Veggie and meat lasanga goes a long way with garlic bread a big bowl of Caeser salad.

Chilled marinated breast of chicken sliced and nicely arranged

Quac, salsa,chips

Highlight your State in someway!

Whisky/molassas BBQ pork?

Let me think a bit more and BTW.

We will be happy to walk you through recipes,amounts,mis en place ETC if you find that useful.

Best of luck.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
All the above ideas are great - I'd add a suggestion to appoint a friend/relative as your reception point-person, to be in charge of handling all the food, warming if needed, and getting it to the table(s), etc. If you don't, you're not going to be able to enjoy your own reception!

As tired as these things are, they're easy and quick - a crudite platter, of veggies and dips; a fruit platter (especially if there are going to be kiddies at the reception - keeps 'em busy til the 'real' food comes out!); a cheese platter.

A buffet of 'home' style food - BBQ (either pulled pork or ribs), ham and sweet potato biscuits, potato salad, slaw, cornbread, all are things that could be premade in advance and kept for a day or two, then just heated up. Get relatives to make 'their' special salad!

Is your wedding in a church? Ask if you can use their kitchen to prep/cook, as you're going to be dealing with pretty large quantities for a home kitchen to handle.

Lots of luck, and post away with questions, like CC said!
Joined May 26, 2001
One of the best wedding receptions I ever went to was a "potluck" -- friends of the bride and groom brought dishes. Granted, it was a smaller group, maybe 40 people all together. But it was great, especially because the groom was from Texas and the bride from Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, NY -- so we had jalapeno jelly alongside braised brisket! And lots of other delicious foods that people brought because they were significant to one or the other of the couple.

Whatever you decide on, as the others have said, have someone ELSE coordinate the whole thing. You'll be lucky if you can even remember your -- and your bride's -- name that day!!

All the best!!!!! :D :D
Joined Aug 30, 2002
Thanks for the quick replies! So many choices!! Definitely like the idea of keeping it simple though, easier, and cheaper:) Still have a long time before I need to commit to one thing, but the bbq idea sounds like a good idea, especially being here in TN. Thanks again and I'll definitely be back asking more questions!
Joined Jan 21, 2002
When my hubby and I married about two years ago we made turkey, ham, dressing, sweet potatos, greens, barbequed wings, potato salad, glazed carrots, green beans, and the wedding cake. The only thing we bought out was the wedding cake. Our reception was a week after the wedding because we did it simple. It was fun and I have pictures that will last a lifetime. Yours will be too just make it what you want:) :)
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