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Cook Talk

Wedding For 200
Judy
02/11/17
I'm catering my daughter's wedding March 25th. We have 200 guests attending. It's a private ceremony in the morning, then a receiving line and appetizers starting at noon, and buffet style lunch at 1pm. Would you mind looking at my food list?

Appetizers:

20 lb. assorted cheese
6 lb. assorted crackers
4 lb. pretzels

Broccoli - 4 lb. florets
Cauliflower - 4 lb. florets
Carrot Sticks - 4 lbs.
Celery - 4 bunches
Green Peppers - 4 whole, sliced
Grape Tomatoes - 4 pts.
1 gal. ranch dip

Red Grapes - 4 lbs.
Green Grapes - 4 lbs.
Strawberries - 4 lbs.
Pineapples - 4 whole
Cantaloupe - 8 whole
Watermelon - 2 (10 lbs. each)
1 gal. fruit dip

Lemonade - 8 gallon
Sweet Tea - 5 gallon (I'll reserve some for unsweetened tea)
Ice - 10 pounds

Lunch:
Grilled BBQ chicken halves - 150 halves ( will be cut into quarters for a total of 300 pieces)
Macaroni Salad - (16 lbs. dry macaroni, 2 gallon mayo, 70 c. celery, green peppers, onion mix, 8 doz. eggs)
Tossed Salad - 24 lb. whole head iceburg/romaine, 5lb. carrot, 5 lb. celery, 1 lb. onion, 8 lb. tomato, 2 gallon italian dressing
Baked Beans - 6 gallons
Dinner Rolls - 250 small, 7 lbs. butter
Applesauce Jello Salad - 16 sm. pkg. jello, 2 gallon applesauce for a total of 5 gal. jello salad
Punch - dry lemonade mix, dry tropical fruit punch mix, gingerale for a total of 20 gal.
Ice 20 lbs.

Dessert will be served, not self-serve:
1 small wedding cake to be cut by bride and groom (I plan to use 2 cake mixes for this)
4 full sheet cakes (I plan to use 16 cake mixes for these)
Ice Cream - 13 (64 oz.) boxes of vanilla (any suggestions for a quick way to serve this up?)

I'd appreciate any changes or suggestions you might have. Thank you for your help, and this site!

ellen
02/12/17
Hey, Judy, good work, I am out of state with my mom (91st birthday) and will have a close look the end of the week.

If you are dead set on icecream, consider either renting aself serve machine or prescooping and freezing the scoops- this is pretty messy for a wedding.

ellen
02/13/17
Had an extra hour-
Please get plenty of help day of, even if you hire; your day is mother of the bride day, not kitchen manager day! At least 12 people out front, 3 in the kitchen to set up, serve, and clean up the party.

Gallons of special veggies are available at most Middle Eastern groceries and most restaurant supply stores.

Here are my food suggestions:

200 guests attending.
Appetizers: these are short amounts, suggestions added

20 lb. assorted cheese
I would add 4-6 pounds of spreads, cheese spreads or balls
6 lb. assorted crackers- 12 pounds minimum, and I might go higher
4 lb. pretzels

Broccoli - 4 lb. florets- 6-8
Cauliflower - 4 lb. florets- 6-8
Carrot Sticks - 4 lbs.- 6-8
Celery - 4 bunches- 4 pounds
Green Peppers - 4 whole, sliced, 10 to 16 pounds minimum, can use mini peppers
Grape Tomatoes - 4 pts.- 6 quarts
1 gal. ranch dip. OK
Add a gallon each of olives and pickled peppers or crunchy pickles; maybe also a gallon of pickled mushrooms or artichoke hearts?
Get some bunches of parsley or kale to decorate trays

Red Grapes - 4 lbs.-50- go 8
Green Grapes - 4 lbs.-50 go 8
Strawberries - 4 lbs.-80 go 8
Pineapples - 4 whole-160 go 8
Cantaloupe - 8 whole-240 OK
Watermelon - 2 (10 lbs. each)- OK
1 gal. fruit dip- 1 1/2 gallons
Few boxes blueberries are nice color contrast

Lemonade - 8 gallons, prob none left
Sweet Tea - 5 gallon (I'll reserve some for unsweetened tea) at least 5 sweet, 3 unsweet
Ice - 10 pounds- at least 30 pounds, could be more
Carafes or 2 gallon highboys of flavored water such as one with cucumber and mint and one with citrus slices would be pretty and popular; about 5 gallons

Lunch:
Grilled BBQ chicken halves - 150 halves ( will be cut into quarters for a total of 300 pieces)
Add a pan/crock pot of unchicken vegetarian bites for any non-meat eaters, there will be some
Macaroni Salad - (16 lbs. dry macaroni, 2 gallon mayo, 70 c. celery, green peppers, onion mix, 8 doz. eggs)-OK
Tossed Salad - 24 lb. whole head iceburg/romaine, 5lb. carrot, 5 lb. celery, 1 lb. onion, 8 lb. tomato, 2 gallon italian dressing; suggest you skip the onion
Baked Beans - 6 gallons OK
Dinner Rolls - 250 small, 7 lbs. butter; 24 pounds rolls, butter OK
Applesauce Jello Salad - 16 sm. pkg. jello, 2 gallon applesauce for a total of 5 gal. jello salad, OK; will it be cut in squares and plated? A bit of spray whip cream or mayo marking each serving would be a pleasant addition
Punch - dry lemonade mix, dry tropical fruit punch mix, gingerale for a total of 20 gal.; consider frozen concentrates, MUCH better quality lemonade and taste
Ice 20 lbs., at least 40
Water needed
More tea useful

Dessert will be served, not self-serve:
1 small wedding cake to be cut by bride and groom (I plan to use 2 cake mixes for this)-OK
4 full sheet cakes (I plan to use 16 cake mixes for these)-OK
Ice Cream - 13 (64 oz.) boxes of vanilla (any suggestions for a quick way to serve this up?), suggest you skip, as said above

Must have- regualr and decaf hot coffee for adults, with dinner or at least with cake

Judy
02/14/17
Thanks for your suggestions. They are a big help. I do have 6 adults in the kitchen that day, and will plan to find more people to serve coffee and cake, and bus the tables.

I have another question. What size tray would you recommend for the appetizers to be put on? And how many would I need for that amount of veggies and fruit? Do I heap them full?

ellen
02/14/17
18-20 inch trays, and nice and full but don't heap them- a fresh tray looks much nicer than a picked over tray. Cutting the grapes into 3-6 grape clusters is one important step toward nice looking fruit trays.

If this proves a big help, please make a donation to support the site.

Judy
02/16/17
Ellen - where is your link that explains the different levels for a donation? I feel like I found it once, but can't find it again. Thanks.
ellen
02/16/17
O- click on the masthead at the top of the page for support for the remodel. or just use the donation button on the upper left for a miscellaneous donation.
Judy
02/17/17
I just made a donation and I thank you for your help! I keep reading through the questions and your responses, and am now am wondering if the above meal is enough. I keep seeing where you say a wedding meal should be a feast. I'm thinking about adding a 2nd meat, like jerked pork, and another starch. So.....for 200 how does this sound.
105 halves of bbq chicken cut in to quarters (210 pieces)
40 lb. jerked pork (this would be a 3 oz. serving per person)
Replace the tossed salad with a coleslaw (made with 40 lb. cabbage)
Mashed Potatoes - 60 lb. raw after peeling
Gravy - 2 gallon
Macaroni salad - made with 16 lb. dry macaroni
Baked beans - 6 gallons
Dinner rolls - 24 lbs
Butter - 8 lbs.
Applesauce Jello - 5 gallons

The appetizers , punch, and wedding cake would remain the same as per your above suggestions.

Does this sound more like a feast, or am I over thinking it and adding more work when it wouldn't be necessary?

ellen
02/17/17
Thank you for your support.

A feast is abundance and color. A few things you don't have often or would not make at home. You are fine on amounts- let's talk color.

Deep breaths; the menu as is is OK, more meat and mashed /gravy more work and messy. You can add excitement with a couple of interesting veg dishes. With plenty of oven space, two hot veg such as Normandy mix or Asian stirfry with side crock pots of cheese or oriental sauce; roasted root veg, maybe with a maple or butter glaze which could include chunked red potatoes if you wished; ellen's better green been casserole with either green beans or Prince Edward mixed colors (3 recipes for 200) . Italian veg, squash, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, roasted with olive oil and herbs, which can also be done ahead and served room temp Italian style. 24 pounds ready to cook per 100. Or how about baked peach halves with brown sugar and nuts?

I did not mention above to set aside one pot of meatless beans if you have meat in your recipe, and label. In fact, you can set up and mark one serving table with the unchicken bites and the meatless beans as add ons, and just let people know.

With no oven space, even bowls of spiced peaches or spiced apple rings are tasty with chicken and add lots of color. 5#10 cans for 2 rings per person; the peaches, you have to look at the number included, as the sizes vary and you want about 160-180 (skip kids).

You could jazz up the salad- use mixed greens instead of iceberg. Add other interesting bits or have side dishes with chopped artichoke hearts (2 gallons per hundred) or 2 gallons each chopped nuts or seeds and dried cranberries; crumbled feta or blue cheese. Measures in the plan for 100 salad section or the salad bar page will offer ideas and amounts:
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/saladbar100.html

Remember with 200 people, you will need 2 double sided serving lines or 3-4 single lines. You might consider putting the baskets of bread and the butter on the table with pitchers of tea, lemonade and water. Even big bowls of salad on the tables- passing this gives people something to do while they wait for the serving line and encourages talking together.

You will have a fine party.

Judy
02/17/17
Ok thank you so much for these ideas, and the confidence to just stick with the original menu!
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