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Cook Talk

My Super DIY Wedding.. Amounts Correct?
(Re-post originally posted by accident under another thread)

Hi Ellen, I have looked at your site and a few others. I am having an outdoor wedding/reception in june. We don't have a set time just yet, but the reception will begin anywhere from noon to 4pm and last until around 8. It is a complete DIY wedding. I have my bridesmaids and also my aunts to help me prepare. We are inviting roughly 175 people (around 40 of that is children ranging from 1yr-16yrs).

The menu so far (and est. amounts):
Ham, bone in (60 lbs)
Oven 'fried' chicken (100 lbs)
Potato Salad (5 gal)
Coleslaw (3.5 gal)
Caesar Salad (10 heads of romaine)
Pasta or macaroni salad (4-5 gal) *not sure which type yet, but i found a recipe for a mediterranean couscous salad*
rolls and cornbread (12 doz + 10 roundscut into wedges)
Corn (4 gal )
Green Beans (4 gal)

possibly some veggie and fruit trays

Dessert is going to be Homemade pound cake for the wedding cake, some pies and cookies.

Beverages: 12 gals each: lemonade, iced tea and punch
9 quarts coffee
MAYBE: 1-2 beer kegs and some sort of alcoholic alternative like sangria, rum punch, champagne punch, or maybe just wine.

Is my menu and amount estimates ok? And if not, any suggestions to tweak it?

Thank you so very very much!

You are doing well, especially good work planning ahead! With all the kids, an appetizer plan is essential, here is why:

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/lemonade, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray (see fruit tray page), a cheese tray (10 pounds cheese and 6 pounds crackers per 100), and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; Italian with bruschetta or antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits. With all the kids, I would definitely do the fruit tray.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

Now, dinner

Ham, bone in (60 lbs)- OK, 50 enough
Oven 'fried' chicken (100 lbs)- 80 plenty
Potato Salad (5 gal)- I would go 6
Coleslaw (3.5 gal)-OK
Caesar Salad (10 heads of romaine)-OK
Pasta or macaroni salad (4-5 gal) *not sure which type yet, but i found a recipe for a Mediterranean couscous salad* you want 6-8 pounds dry pasta
rolls and cornbread (12 doz + 10 rounds cut into wedges)
Butter! 4-5 pounds
Corn (4 gal )-OK- might consider a cold corn relish/salad instead- very pretty
Green Beans (4 gal)-OK

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site.

Thank you so much for your very quick response!

for the appetizer table, would this be ok?

Fruit Tray:
18-19 lbs watermelon
10 cantaloupes/honeydew/etc
8 lbs grapes red & green seedless
20 oranges cut into wedges

Cheese & Crackers:
6 lbs crackers
10 lbs cheese ball/log (my mom has a recipe we used for holidays and family get-togethers)

Chips & salsa:
8 lbs tortilla chips
6-8 pints homemade salsa (my mom cans her own every year)

Would this be enough?

Also, were my beverage amounts ok? I know I need to do all the fixings for them too, sugar, creamer, lemon, sugar substitute, etc. And I think I'm going to go with Sangria for the 2nd alcohol choice.

And the recipe for pound cake I have makes 16 lbs of cake.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for your help!!!

The Tray amounts would be split among 2 trays each so that I can set up 2 stations.
Looks good. Two stations is good.

Maybe 2 times the cake recipe.

12 gals each: lemonade, iced tea and punch
all OK, some left, could do 10 each. Do be sure about 1/3 of the tea is unsweetened, and consider doing 1/3 light/sugar free lemonade or punch
9 quarts coffee- I would do at least reception level coffee from the beverage page, 9 quarts is only 50 small cups
MAYBE: 1-2 beer kegs
1 keg of beer serves about 40 beer drinkers
and some sort of alcoholic alternative like sangria, rum punch, champagne punch, or maybe just wine.

Look at the high wire white wine sangria, delicious and simple

Now that tropical blends are available as frozen concentrate, I often stir in a 12 ounce can to each mix.

Get plenty of help. Have a wonderful time.

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