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Cook Talk

Rustic, no kitchen wedding
My daughter bride booked venue that's old barn set up for wine tasting. No refrigeration, running water 300' away. 80-100 guests. Caterer providing 2 hot main dishes & 3 hot sides & rolls. Venue is 2 hrs drive from my home so I'll need to make ahead & transport keeping the 40-140F zone in mind.
I got 22-qt roaster for hot baked beans & planning bagged lettuce & coleslaw mix w/ home made dressing. We have 3 mini-refrigs and 5 ice chests. 2-30 cup hot beverage dispensers and several cold beverage dispensers. Planning on pony kegs plus wine, coffee & hot water for tea & drink mixes. Dessert table.
Wedding July afternoon (cool climate usually). What do you suggest for appetizers we want to serve between ceremony & dinner? Would like kinda light but if they are drinking need some calories too. I was thinking of a 3-layer savory cheesecake with crackers? But is that too heavy? It would take up a whole mini-refrig but would be pretty.
And how many people do you think to assist with the bean & salad table? Probably self serve.
Thanks in advance for help.
Lovely, but not easy.

I would plan for about 8 people, not members of the bridal party, to set up, serve and clean up this size party.

Is the caterer delivering the food to the site hot? If not, s/he will have access to cambros- transport cases that will hold the food safely hot for up to 6 hours- and that is what is needed for transport.

My amounts are calculated for self service buffets, so you will have guidance on amounts.

You can use the beverage planning guide for the drinks, do include dinner level coffee.

Before the Buffet; Why You May Need an Appetizer Table

A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray (your cheesecake could go here) and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; maybe shrimps if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Please feel free to write back. If this saves you time, trouble, or money, consider a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support the site.

Gladly donated. I used your other pages to calculate refrigerator & ice chest space so we can adjust dream menu to be realistic.
Professional caterer does local rodeo every July and the food is hot w/o facilities so their food cart is good. It's just really thrown me to help with a function w/o a kitchen and it's been decades since I've done quantity food myself.
I have great respect for those w/ a temperament to cater weddings!
Also thanks for the staffing suggestion; I felt we were under planned for the set-up & clean-up, now I have professional confirmation!
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