- 4 years ago
- Wedding: July 2014
We’re having a fun and whimsical alice in wonderland wedding with an afternoon tea reception. So it isn’t suppose to be as formal as the fancy hotels and british tend to make it. Things will also be fairly intimate – 40-55 people and likely closer to 40. I will also be feeding people much more than a tea – no one will voluntarily leave hungry from my wedding which is a departure from the “nibbles” served on a 3 tier tray. Ceremony is at 2:30 with a reception immediately following (we’ll do pictures after the reception into the evening for the good lighting) so I wouldn’t expect anyone to be starving and needing to dive into the buffet.
Typical serving of afternoon tea for 2 people:
Which just isn’t enough food (while keeping pretty) for the men that will be coming.
Initially I have thought serve it buffet style and I have acquired tiers cake stands for the gooddies. Then I found found 3 tier tray metal hardware on ebay very inexpensively. Found china look a like disposable plates with silver detailing and doilies. For <$25 I have 20 of these trays which is almost enough for a tray for every two people (and I can get more) and I just have to dremel some holes to assemble and they look pretty good. The issue is service of these trays and feeding everyone if use the individual 3 tier trays.
The ceremony will occur through an aisle of everyone at thier reception tables so I can’t have food out before the wedding (no eatting at the ceremony!) and I don’t want to have them sitting there empty and ask them to fill it up at the buffet because of the ceremony aspect.
1. Have a table of trays and asked the guests to fill the tray from the buffet. But they won’t get the prettyness of what the trays are for if they are self serving. I also don’t know if I have space for a table of trays that are empty and all the food. And will people get that it’s two people per tray like traditionally done? I don’t want the run out of trays.
2. Fill it up with a selection and serve it at the beginning while having a buffet for seconds and thirds. I can get rolling carts and put linens on them then get my little cousins to be service for 10 minutes (20-25 trays after all…) but then I worry about deliverying food people won’t like. i.e. No one likes the salmon and cream cheese sandwich so that is just wasted on the tray but someone else would only eat the salmon ones if they could. I also would prefer they know what the food is as I hate not knowing (I’m a vegetarian and tend to skip food If I question it).
3. In the RSVP response card I can give them a menu and ask them to pick their sandwiches (leave the scones and desserts random). Then the cards will be paired up to the seating chart and served up to the pairings at the table. I picture little tags with the two names and on the other side – eat me & refill me (a nod to alice in wonderland a bit with that). The buffet would have all the remaining food to refill. I just worry about the time of this and think it’s too complicated with no paid service staff without burdening my guests (largely the wedding is my family (30 of my 40-55) and in all honesty they will work the whole wedding anyway even if there were servers without being asked but I don’t want to nessicarily ask if you feel me) But then it’s only 20 – 25 trays to fill up… so it might be doable in a short enough window… and even if it was a bit longer is that a problem? The tea will need time for steeping and service (my aunt wants to be the tea mistress and asked for this early on) I don’t want a terribily short reception which is a risk by just serving tea. My mom wants to have some food options that won’t fit on the trays like edible arrangements of fruit, cheese, veggie and meat platters. So perhaps those are out for nibbles while the trays are being arranged. There is also other stuff to do – guests can use the photobooth… wonder the 270 degree deck with lake and mountain view… custom mad libs… visit. They will have access to a playground, waterpark, lake with canoes and a games room but I want to make sure they don’t disappear for these things until later!
4. Trays are delivered by the children empty after the ceremony (these can be done quickly). Then serving trays are brought from the kitchen stopping by each table (we will have 5-7 tables) and the tier trays are filled up. The remaining is arranged on the buffet for refills. Prettiness is not sacrificed completely but you’ll never get the visual of a full tray (I suspect people will start eatting right away). They get what they are interested in without needing to buy extras to account for wastage and it’s just quicker.
I think 3 would be the most adorable but logistics worry me. What are your thoughts? Is there another idea for this?