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

Cook Talk

catering for wedding
My daughter is getting married March of this year(wedding time 6pm). I am looking into self catering for it around 225 people. I am having trouble trying to find another side dish that will not be that hard.
Tossed Salad?, mac & cheese? Just not sure on what to add to this.

As of right now I have
55 lbs of string beans
55 lbs of pork loin
175 boneless baked chicken breast
450 rolls
8 gallons of sweet tea, 8 gallons of unsweet tea
Variety of soft drinks 4 24 packs

The Grooms family will be supplying the desserts. About 30 pies of different kinds. This will be a buffet style catering.

Alana, when you plan to self cater for such a large group, especially for a wedding dinner, it is essential to add an appetizer plan. In fact for this size group, 2 functioning appetizer areas, 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.

Also, with this size group, to serve in under an hour, you will have 3 separate serving lines, or 2 double sided lines, with the beverages and desserts in different serving areas or on the tables.

It is unclear the weight of the chicken. For a party this size, I would do 85 pounds of pork and about 55 of chicken


55 lbs of string beans, OK, probably none left
450 rolls, OK
7 pounds of butter. Get good bread and consider putting it in baskets on the tables.

I suggest you do a baked rice pilaf PLUS an assortment of made salads, such as 3 gallons each of a bean salad, a marinated veg salad, 4-5 each of a pasta or potato salad or other starchy salad, and some kind of broccoli cauliflower slaw or corn salsa or some such thing.

8 gallons of sweet tea, I would have 12 on hand
8 gallons of unsweet tea, OK
Variety of soft drinks 4 24 packs, OK

Most people also want dinner level coffee with their dessert, see the beverage planning page.

A party this size takes 4-5 people in the kitchen and 15-18 out front to set up, serve, and clean up the party, most will NOT be attending the wedding they will be working. Very important for you to hire a manager for the day of, or you will be with the food instead of your daughter on this most important day. Then plan a spa day after.

You can write back. If this saves you time, trouble or money, please make a donation, a dime or quarter per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

E-Mail: (optional)