(Closed) Ice Cream at reception

posted 5 years ago in Food
Post # 3
2270 posts
Buzzing bee

I am curious to know the answers too. I’m having an ice cream bar at my July 4, outdoor wedding. It will be on a covered patio. 

I think I’ll buy some MDF, have SO cut holes in it to drop metal buckets into, prescoop all the ice cream into balls and store those in a smaller metal bucket and drop the smaller metal bucket into the bigger bucket. I will freeze water between the two buckets so the smaller one is completely surrounded by solid, frozen ice. I hope that’ll keep it cold for a good while. I am also thinking of hiding a cooler under the table, under the buckets, also filled with ice to further keep them cool. Lemme see if I can clarify this…


Post # 4
2270 posts
Buzzing bee


BTW, there’d need to be support under the smaller bucket, so it doesnt sink into a bucket of melting ice water when there is no longer a block of ice under it.

I think I may have SO create this contraption so we can test it this summer. Our wedding is in 2014.

Post # 5
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@bunnyharriet:  Could you possibly eliminate the need for a support for the smaller bucket by having the smaller bucket with a very wide lip?  This would also cover the ice/water and keep bugs or dust from getting into the larger bucket.

Cool idea.  I want to see how this turns out!

Post # 6
1755 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@lybarra:  There are a number of options.  If you have a caterer, I’d consider talking to them.  My venue’s chef is going to do an ice cream sundae bar for my wedding and the logistics are already covered.

Another option, do you have a Cold Stone Creamery in your area?  Some CC’s will come in and do an ice cream sundae bar.  They deal with the logistics.  If you don’t have one nearby, consider finding another ice cream place.  Quite a few of them will do weddings nowadays! 

Post # 7
2270 posts
Buzzing bee

@LittleCricket:  I had thought about the gap at the top and thought of having SO come up with some way to cover it. Maybe metal flashing? Or some plexii glass? If there are buckets with lips that wide, I would like to see them for sure. That’d be easier. I need wide-lipped lidded buckets!

Post # 8
2305 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

We’re doing it ourselves, and we’re doing ice cream treats of all sorts (dilly bars, drum sticks, popsicles, all sorts of ice cream.). But we have a freezer chest that we use for camping that fits in the back of our truck, and we’re using that. It’sgonna be on ‘display’ during our reception as our cake table, and then we’re gonna pull off the table cloth during the reception and BAM ice cream! 

Post # 9
2270 posts
Buzzing bee

Actually, we could make it so only the bucket with ice scream in it is visible from he top of the tabe, and the other bucket could be under it, hidden by a table skirt. I don’ know how we would attach it, but SO could figure it out. I hadn’t thought about it much until now.

Post # 10
6207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

@cirk:  that sounds like a great idea! Then you could even have dairy free options

Post # 11
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

This is what we did at a caterering business I worked for. 

1) get a set of styrofoam ice coolers. (how many depends on how many different kinds of ice cream you want)

2)cut the coolers down to about 1/2 regular size

3)place ice in bottom of cooler

4)lay table cloth across top of the cooler (make sure its big enough to drape and cover the sides

5)Pre chill large glass or china bowls in freezer. 

6)fill chilled bowls with ice cream and set out in coolers. 

Some other hints-  Get twice as much whip cream as you think you’ll need.  Its everyone’s favorite.  Set out a small mug of hot water next to the bar when guests start to use it- dipping the scoops before hand makes a huge difference.  It can be easier sometimes to have someone assigned to scoop the icecream, and then let guests get their own toppings.  Make sure this set up is on a PLASTIC table.  The table clothes will get damp/wet and you don’t want them to ruin a hardwood table underneath.

Post # 12
650 posts
Busy bee


wow sounds like a cool idea, thanks very much

Post # 14
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We had an ice cream sundae bar at our wedding!  I debated how to serve the ice cream for a long time.  We pre-scooped it it into foam bowls with lids so we could stack them in the freezer.  (I labelled the lids “Where’s the Cake?  D___ & A____ 9-2-12” 🙂  )  This worked for our venue, which was a beach house, so things were somewhat informal.

@nikkialys:  Good call on the whipped cream; this was the one thing we ran out of.  We had way too many toppings, otherwise!

We put the hot fudge, caramel, etc in glass syrup dispensers.  That worked OK, but it was difficult to pour the thicker sauces, so I would probably put these in bowls with spoons.

Post # 15
3668 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I just went to a wedding that had an ice cream bar! There were individual containers of ice cream sitting in buckets of ice, so guests could just grab a container.

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