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Cook Talk

Wedding Reception
Joanna Gonzales
I want to make sure I have enough food...what is good and cheap to make for 350-400 people? How much of it should I buy?
Joanna, a wedding dinner will cost at least $10 per person even if you self-cater, not counting the cake or alcohol. If you are on a strict budget, you need to seriously consider having a non-meal reception; either a 1 pm wedding with an afternoon 2-3 hour reception or a 7 pm wedding with a dessert or cocktail type reception; and you need to look critically at the size of the party. I NEVER recommend self catering a party over 60-120 guests if you do not have experience with quantity cooking and access to a commercial style kitchen. If you read my article on wedding dinners, you will see why.

A party of 400 people, day, of, takes a commercial kitchen with 2-3 double ovens and about 5 people in the kitchen and at least 24 people out front to set up, serve, and clean up the party. It takes at least 6 serving lines or 3 double sided lines to serve a buffet this size.

At a reasonable cost, the wedding fiesta with a taco /nacho bar, enchilaldas, rice and beans is a festive, modest cost undertaking. Read the taco bar page and the fajita page for some ideas. You are welcome to write back.

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