Post # 1
Hi all! I am going to be having a small (less than 25) spring wedding in a forested area, and I am going to be reserving a large picnic table area for the reception. The venue is about 45 minutes from the urban cities where most catering places and restaurants are located. I would prefer for people to be able to serve themselves buffet style instead of hiring servers for such a small group. I guess my question is, does anyone have advice on maintaining the freshness and temperatures of food? Also, I would love ideas on what to serve or any other suggestions. Thanks! 🙂
Post # 2
We maintained freshness by cooking on the spot, but I don’t know if that’s something you guys want to do – my husband was adamant. To avoid ruining our clothes, we had our reception ahead of the ceremony, then got changed (and did a dessert reception after). Also don’t serve anything with a mayo or egg base. No need to make people sick! If you do decide to cook, keep it as simple as possible. We did tri-tip, french bread, sliced potatoes and DIY salad. Luckily for us we didn’t have to cater to any one off the standard omnivore diet. Alternatively, have you considered a food truck instead? Then you don’t have to worry about temperatures.
Post # 3
This isn’t a suggestion for food so much as much as picnic ideas. We are having smores instead of a cake. Each table will have a unique picnic basket that will have the smores ingredients (and probably a bottle of wine.) Guests will then be able to take a picnic basket home with them if they’d like.
Post # 4
Are you planning on having a family member or friend order it and transport it, or a restaurant to deliver it? Restaurants usually use bags that keep food warm or cold while delivering so if a restaurant or caterer is delivering it themselves I wouldn’t worry about is as they know how. If you are doing it yourself I’m sure you can find those bags on amazon or another website, I’d also time it just right so whoever comes with the food comes right when everyone else comes, just so the food isn’t sitting out. It seems pretty casual so I wouldn’t worry about guests seeing the set up!
Also you could always cook there and do a BBQ type of thing!
Post # 5
How long ahead of time will the food need to be packed up to be taken to the venue? If it’s only a few hours then some coolers with ice packs should keep things cool enough.
Safely maintaining the temperature of hot foods is much tricker and I don’t think it’s something I’d risk – if you want to offer some hot options, I’d suggest trying to get a bbq at the site. You could pre-cook meats, keep them cold in the coolers until they’re needed then put them on th bbq to heat up and finish off.
In terms of menu items, when I do picnics I try to do a selection of salads (green salad, pasta, potato, couscous with roasted peppers), sausage rolls, quiche, nice bread rolls, chicken drumsticks.
Post # 6
Thanks for the ideas! I love the smores idea and I don’t know why I didn’t consider a bbq! I suppose the only worry is our clothing but I think one of the guests would actually enjoy cooking for us. (He is a chef.)
Please, keep the ideas coming!
I didn’t consider a food truck mainly because I assumed the price might be a bit out of our budget. I will look into this though. Thanks!