Lunch reception – does this sound good?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
2713 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

Any mayo-based dressing is NOT going to be safe.  Likewise anything with eggs, no matter if they’re cooked or not.  I wouldn’t touch pasta or potato salad if I didn’t know how long it had been out of the fridge for.  I am not keen on self-catering (far too many liability issues if someone gets sick); but in your shoes I would go with:

– Soup and rolls – I think crock pots of soup should be fine.  I’d maybe do two types – just make sure you have a veggie option.  I’ve been to all-day roller derby tournaments which have done this and it’s been a big hit, and the crock pots have worked well. 

– Sandwich platters – I’d up that from one whole sandwich per person to two at least. 

– Veggie platters – maybe add some hummus dip?

– Crackers, cheese and meat platters

– Salads with non-mayo based dressings – your idea of Greek salad is probably a good option.

If I got offered that at an informal wedding reception I’d be fine with it.

Post # 4
627 posts
Busy bee

How will the logistics work? If you don’t hire people, who will be doing the setup?

When I read about the crockpot soup, I wondered if you have enough big crockpots to pull this off. Do you also have enough power outlets in the venue that you can keep them all on? Are you sure you wouldn’t end up spending more money on additional crockpots than on catering?

Have you checked with local restaurants about simple catering from them? It might end up being easier than trying to pull it all off yourself. While I like your food options, it’s a lot to pull off, and a lot of those foods must be kept at proper temperatures. 

Post # 5
1846 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

Yum soup is a good idea, I love soup.

I’d also do quiches if it were me. I guess it depends where you are and how hot it would be but I would eat mayo and quiche that gf been siting out for an hour or two….

Post # 6
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - City, State

Pumpkin soup with croutons, roasted veggies with quinoa, pudding for your dessert bar or vanilla ice cream to go with your brownie.

Post # 7
6635 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

As someone who self-catered her wedding, I’m going to suggest you rethink this entirely given the number of people you are inviting.  We had 36 including ourselves and I probably wouldn’t go higher than 40 knowing what I do now.  It’s a lot of food, a lot of prep, a lot of counting on others who may let you down.  I just can’t imagine if we had double the guests or higher.

That said, here are my suggestions if you go forward:

No mayo/egg based items no matter how many bowls of ice you have.  I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole and it’s simply not worth the risk to your guests (or yourself if you get the unlucky scoop).  I love caesar but wouldn’t take it if it was already mixed together for the same reason.

Try to tie the food together, it looks like a really random mix right now.  If you are having chili, have cornbread, cheeses, maybe hotdogs (to pour it on).  Make the salad ‘bar’ style so people can create what they want rather than having to take a scoop of veggies they don’t like.  Greek salad may be okay but from my perspective they are oily and full of olives and I’d rather make a ‘real’ salad instead.  Similarly we did a taco salad bar for our rehearsal and then a salad bar on the day of plus bbq so all food was fresh. (if you’re wondering, our wedding meal was bbq tri-tip, garlic bread, roasted potatoes and salad – not too much to worry over)

Consider changing your timeline.  It’s unusual, but we knew with my husband cooking the meat that it would be hours before our guests could eat.  We also knew we wanted to get married at sunset for the pictures (backfired; it rained, lol).  So we held our reception first with husband making tri-tip at noon, everyone hanging out as they pleased afterwards or doing their own thing (which worked based on our location) and then dessert post ceremony.  It made it so no one was waiting around starving while we cooked at 9:00.

Your dessert sounds delish.

Post # 8
8453 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

cb93 :  

I just want to say that this sounds like  an enormous undertaking,   self catering  100 people  for your own wedding !!. Unless you are very experienced indeed , I wouldn’t try it .  Sorry , not helpful  I know.

Post # 9
2332 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Nope. I would not do this 

Post # 10
13682 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Self-catering is setting yourself up for disaster with this many people.  Aside from the food safety issues (which, no, I’d never touch a mayo or egg based dish that was sitting out, EVEN if it had a bowl of ice around it), you’re going to have a ton of logisitical issues.  Who’s setting up the food?  Who’s monitoring for refills or to make sure someone didn’t knock a cord out of a crock pot?  Who is going to clean up any spills?  Who is going to clean up after the event?  The list could keep going… 

You’re either going to have to do it yourself, or ask your guests to work for you at you wedding.  Neither of these are practical options.

Post # 11
547 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

First, the amount of people on these boards who think mayonnaise is going to spoil food when it’s been out is insane. This is simply NOT TRUE. This myth is so ridiculous and I have no idea why people keep spreading it.

Under 100 guests doesn’t necessarily constitute a “smallish” wedding. For example, I definitely wouldn’t consider 90 guests to be a small wedding. As another PP said who has experience doing the food for her own wedding, I’d consider looking into a local restaurant doing some catering with simple foods as you’re suggesting. Not because you’re going to poison everyone with mayonnaise if you did it yourself, but because I think it’s going to be more work than you anticipate. 

Post # 12
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

PaisleyMedic :  I laughed at that, too. The mayonnaise you buy in stores in the US has so many preservatives that I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s shelf-stable. And the precautions about it being safe for two hours at room temperature don’t take into account the time it takes to go from fridge temperature to room temperature. Americans are so uptight about this stuff but then have comparatively low standards for regulations about how meat and dairy products are actually produced. 

That said, I wouldn’t self-cater for 100 people because I don’t think you can actually save enough money for it to be worth it. 

Post # 13
1701 posts
Bumble bee

PaisleyMedic :  +1,000 on the mayo based food comment. This myth needs to die. Unless it is home made, mayonaisse is high in acid, uses pasteurized eggs, and is not a problem.

Catering your own wedding is a very, very bad idea. It sounds so simple, but it is not. Cut costs somewhere else and hire a caterer. There are places out there that aren’t expensive.

Post # 14
430 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - State Park

I am 100% on the nothing with mayo train. 

Otherwise, I think you’re making this too complicated. Offering the variety of food you’re talking about is going to make it tougher. I’d do the sandwiches, vegetarian and meat chili or soup, and the platters you mentioned. 

In general, people on this board need to remember that when people are running their menus by the group the question isn’t “Would you want this as your last meal?” or “What is the maximum amount of food you’ve ever eaten so I can plan for rude/gluttonous guests?” But “Does this sound like enough/doable/am I missing anything?”

Sandwiches and soups with crowd pleasing platters plus the dessert is perfect for a fall lunch. If possible I’d add vanilla ice cream to the desserts (and hot fudge but I have a hot fudge problem). A garden or Greek salad would be a good addition, but I would tend to stay away from the additional appetizers. Trying to figure out quantities and everything else as you add things is just plain tough. Keep it simple and go with your gut. 


ETA: Easier and at a similar price point would be having an Italian restaurant cater. You might be able to have it delivered just after the ceremony, or if it’s just a 10 or 15 minute drive, someone who isn’t going to be in formal photos can very likely run and pick it up if you pay ahead. 

Post # 15
434 posts
Helper bee

I love your enthusiasm bee but 100 people to self cater for is waaaay too ambitious. You are either gonna have to hire a catering service or change your menu completely and just do a cake and punch or biscuits and tea reception. You’re aren’t going to be able to handle preparing, serving and cleaning up entrees, mains and desserts. Not too mention proper food storage/heating devices.

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors