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Cook Talk

Wedding Meal and Appetizers for 300-330
I am catering my daughter's wedding in June for 300 people. The meat will be provided by a local caterer. Therefore, I will only be preparing the make ahead mashed potatoes and green beans. I will make these foods several days ahead of time . I am hiring people to be in charge of it the day of the wedding.

The church has an institutional kitchen so that means there is an oven and a warming oven which I'm not familiar with.

I'm trying to decide how to logistically do this.

I need to know how many people a full chafing dish of mashed potatoes serves. Also, how many people a full chafing dish of green beans serves? I'm trying to figure out how many chafing pans I will need for the mashed potatoes and how many for the green beans for 300-330 people.

Should I put my potatoes and green beans in the half size disposable aluminum pans when I make them at home and store them for 5 days? They would be easier to transport the day of the wedding.

Then should I reheat them in the oven in those pans OR can I put them in the chafing dish for reheating in the oven?

I do have access to some other LARGE pans which I could put them in AND then transfer them to the chafing dishes. But I need to know how many chafing dishes I actually need for this many people to figure all this out. I will have to buy, rent or borrow the chafing dishes for serving.

I was planning on just keeping the food in the half size aluminum pans and put in the chafer but I read on here it's not easy to get in and out AND I think it would require too many trips to the kitchen. How many people would a half size pan serve of these two foods?

I will buy the frozen green beans from Sam's and and heat in the oven with a little water, soy sauce, lemon pepper and seasoned salt. I will make this ahead of time and refrigerate for about 5 days. Will they taste ok if I store them in the disposable alluminum pans for that long?

I am also making coleslaw the morning of the wedding and was thinking of serving in a chafing dish. I read (I think on your site) that I should put the chafing dish over ice. How many servings of coleslaw would fit in a full chafing dish?

Even though the meat is arriving hot it will need to be transferred to chafing dishes. How many servings of pulled pork/pulled beef fit in one large chafing dish?

I have other containers for the rolls.

How many serving lines should we have for 300-330 people?

Should we have two rows of tables with people going down both sides of the tables, equalling 4 lines?

How many tables would we need for each row?
Pulled beef in one chafer, pulled pork in another chafer, mashed potatoes in a chafer, green beans in a chafer, coleslaw in a chafer and rolls in a large container. That's five chafers and a large container for rolls.

I figure I must have appetizers prior to the meal so I'm planning on fruit, cheese and crackers.

With that in mind, when should the mashed potatoes and green beans be started to heat up from a refrigerated state? What kind of time frame is required to heat up mashed potatoes and green beans for 330 people and then put in chafers? For instance, would it take a total of about 3 hours for that much food? I need to know when to tell them to start. There is a warmer. I also have 1 large Nesco roaster oven.

The wedding is at 4pm.

I'm also wondering how long it would take 330 people to go through the buffet line (serving themselves) if we have four lines.

How long would it take 330 people to serve themselves at two tables of h'orderves?

Thanks so much for all your help.


Very excellent to hire the team for day of., about 20 people.

You MUST NOT refrigerate these veggies for 5 days- unsafe.

Look at the better green bean casserole in the holiday cooking session, very tasty. All canned, easy to put together day before or day of.

Make the potatoes way ahead and freeze. Thaw in fridge overnight, Reheat day of.

Make slaw 1- 2 days ahead, store in fridge. 65 pounds ready to serve green beans or mixed veg.

A full size chafer 2 1/2 inches deep holds about 7-8 quarts, 50 moderate servings.

Do your ingredients by weight: 150 pounds of potatoes. 60 pounds cabbage plus add-ins for slaw.

Reheat not in chafers, transfer to chafers. Fewer chafers, and they are rewashed as they empty. Take an instant read thermometer, must reach 180 in the center.

Do 4 tables of hors d. Do 6 serving lines if you can; 4 is really tight for 330.

Each pan, takes an hour. You have to plan way ahead to do this much food in one oven.