See a letter from Ellen about the donation campaign. Your help matters!

Cook Talk

Self-Catering our Wedding
Hi Ellen, we are self-catering my laid-back country wedding. We have an industrial kitchen that we have access to the entire day before and day of the dinner, and have several people that we are paying the day-of to help. They are helping serve and prepare the food, but I am purchasing it myself and need to know quantities. I have some figured out, but I have questions. I was hoping you could help me.
This is a buffet for 260 people.
We will provide 2 entrees, pulled pork and fried chicken. Since this is a buffet and I haven't asked for food preferences on the RSVP card, how many servings of each should I provide?
I plan on 8 gallons each of mashed potatoes, cole slaw, and baked beans. We are using green beans from my grandma's garden that she has canned in pint jars. I figured 65 pints would do. 50 pounds of potato salad. As well as 10 ten-pound cans of corn. 2 dinner rolls per person. And, I'm clueless on how much salad. Thanks!
You posted twice, maybe you couldn't find the other? This is what I wrote:

Kendra, this is a big party, requiring about 4 people in a commercial size kitchen and 12-16 out front to set up, serve, and clean up. These folks will be working during the wedding, not attending.

I never suggest fried chicken unless you are willing to purchase it ready to serve; this is difficult, even dangerous prep for this size group. There are some really good wedding chicken recipes on this site which can be made ahead, frozen, then assembled day of. And you have sauce for the potatoes.

I strongly encourage you to add an appetizer plan and 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, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray 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.

One appetizer service area serves about 100 guests.

Now, about the dinner menu.

pulled pork- with chicken, 1 pound ready to serve per 5, 12 slider buns or 5 regular buns per pound. 1 pound boneless raw pork makes a pound. I recommend shoulder for this use.
onions, 5-8 pounds sliced per 100 persons
pickles 1 gallon per 100 persons

fried chicken- 1 piece per person, or wedding chicken recipe using 1 pound raw boneless per 4

With this size group you have to provide a vegetarian entree, or at least a side dish that can serve as a meatless entree.

8 gallons mashed potatoes, cutting it close, OK with the potato salad
8 gallons baked beans, OK
8 gallons cole slaw, OK maybe some left

green beans from my grandma's garden 65 pints would do, plenty

50 pounds of potato salad, at least 7 gallons. With the mashed potatoes, you might consider pasta salad instead, it's easier, you would do 12-15 pounds dry pasta as the base.

10 ten-pound cans of corn. Assuming you mean the #10 cans, that will be plenty.

2 dinner rolls per person
3 pounds butter per 100

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

E-Mail: (optional)