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Cook Talk

Casual wedding reception for 150ish
We are having a BBQ buffet at our reception and the menu is as follows:
smoked Boston Butt for pulled pork to make sandwiches or nachos
baked beans
potato salad
We will have the following toppings as well:
-nacho cheese
-onion slices
- 3 or 4 different kinds of BBQ sauce
-bottled water/ sodas/ beer
Can you help me on amounts to buy and if I can make anything ahead of time? I was going to make tea/lemonade in gallons a few days before, however we don't have access to the reception site until the day before the wedding or at the very earliest, Thurs. evening (wedding is a Sat.). We will probably be hitting up Sam's to buy everything a few days before the wedding.

It is really important to find or hire a manager for the food so neither of you have to be in the kitchen- or the day becomes a food day, not a wedding day.

A buffet for 100 people takes about 3 kitchen people and at least 6 servers to set up, serve and clear away. These can be volunteers, hired, church ladies, etc; but there needs to be some experience there. And none should be members of the wedding party, since they will be setting up during the ceremony. Any money you spend on this, will be among your best investments for the event.

You are just getting started on a menu here. Tossed salad and slaw are more or less essential, as you will have some non pork eaters in the crowd and they can make salads for themselves. Do 1 1/2 times the amount for 100 for the salad and at least 4 gallons of slaw.

Appetizer plan is needed, 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 is needed for each 100 guests.
Now, for the main meal, you want to end up with 1 1/2 pounds of food per person.

smoked Boston Butt for pulled pork to make sandwiches or nachos
Each pound ready to eat serves 4, it takes 2 pounds bone in to make 1 pound ready to eat
1 pound uses 5 regular buns or 12 slider buns
baked beans- 3 gallons per 100 have at least 1 crock pot meatless for any non-pork eaters, there will be some
potato salad- 4 gallons (about 40 pounds raw potatoes) per 100
We will have the following toppings as well:
-nacho cheese- 3 #10 cans. Don't open the last one till you see how it is going
-jalapenos- 1 1/2 gallons
-onion slices- 12-14 pounds. Overnight soak in sugar water in fridge improves
- 3 or 4 different kinds of BBQ sauce- about 1 cup per 5, some left

See the beverage planning page for full help
-tea- 8 - 10 gallons, 2-3 unsweetened, see beverage planning page for concentrate , make 24-48 earlymix from chilled concentrate day of
-lemonade- about 8 gallons. Frozen concentrate stored in ice chest and mixed with ice and water day of is preferred simple method
-bottled water/ pt per person
-sodas- estimate number of soda drinkers, use percent of 100 per the plan
beer -4 per beer drinker or full keg per 40 beer drinkers

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