What should I serve at my wedding reception for only 60 people?
Kayleigh from South Seaville, NJ
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First of all ask yourself a couple of questions. (1) What is our favorite food? (2) How much money do we have to spend on our guests? Then plan accordingly. From the weddings I've been to lately (including my own and those of family members), the most important thing is having wine and beer available, and if your budget allows, even a full bar. And have the drinks available as soon as the guests arrive. Then people start partying and having fun. And no one is worried too much about whether you're serving filet mignon or trays of simple appetizers. DO NOT ask your guests to buy their own drinks. That's just too tacky for words.
It is not necessary to alcohol at your reception. People can enjoy themselves without it! At our daughter's reception 4 years ago, we did simple items, but in large quantities. Everyone seemed to enjoyed the simple stuff that they didn't have to wrestle with. We did pigs in a blanket - small sausages wrapped in biscuits and baked; fruit platter with grapes and strawberries with fruit dip and chocolate dip. You can use any combination of fruits that are available in your area.
Regarding whether or not to serve alcoholic beverages are your wedding reception: It is simply a matter of what kind of a reception you want to have. Do you want a reception reminiscent of a gathering in a church basement, or do you want a party?
I can't stop giggling about the mom who made a bunch of pigs in a blanket for her daughter's wedding reception. That is so Freudian!
actually I rather like the idea of serving the pigs in a blanket easy finger food and nice for small children to handle
At my wedding, we did not serve any alcohol. That was because we had a number of relatives, including my stepfather and my aunt, who are recovering alcoholics. Although they would have been fine with it, it didn't seem respectful to serve it. We had sparkling cider for toast instead.
It was an afternoon reception in a community center room but I would say that it was definitely a CELEBRATION!! I had many people tell me how beautiful it was and how much they enjoyed it. Plus, we were able to leave early enough to go out to dinner and start our honeymoon alone.
Everybody has their own ideas about what makes for a good celebration. In my family, we like to drink! I don't think there's anything wrong with that. My hubby and I limit ourselves to one drink per night, and we have been doing that for nearly forty years. We love to give parties, and there is always plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available. Of course everyone knows alcoholics should refrain from drinking and there should be festive, non-alcoholic drinks for them. I did go to a wedding where they had a pay bar, and I think NO bar at a wedding is better than a PAY bar at a wedding. Prosit!
I am also having a small reception. We are having poor boy sandwiches, quiche and cesar salad. That way the women who watch what they eat can have quiche and salad and the men can have poor boy sandwiches.Of course wedding cake (carrot cake and cream cheese frosting) and a sugar free chocolate cake.
ALCOHOL CAN CREATE PROBLEMS AT GATHERINGS AS SOME PEOPLE WILL INEVITABLY CONSUME TOO MUCH. ALSO YOU DIDN'T ASK ABOUT DRINKS SO I ASSUME YOU WANT FOOD IDEAS WITHIN A BUDGET AND NICE AT THE SAME TIME.SINCE YOUR RECEPTION IS SMALL HERE ARE SOME IDEAS.CHEESE BALLS(EASY TO MAKE) WITH ASSORTED CRACKERS, HAM AND FRUIT KABOBS ON FRILLED PARTY PICKS,ASSORTED DIPS WITH ASSORTED VEGGIES, FINGER SANWICHES(LAYER WHITE AND DARK BREADS WITH FILLING AND CUT,VERY PRETTY)TINY PUFFS FILLED WITH ASSORTED SWEET AND SAVORY FILLINGS(PIPED INTO SHELLS WITH PASTRY TIP)CHOCOLATE DIPPED STRAWBERRIES,ASSORTED NUTS,POPCORN CHICKEN WITH SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE,COCKTAIL SMOKIES WITH A BAR-B-QUE SAUCE,MEATBALLS,FRUIT TRAYS,WRAPS(LETTUCE LEAVES FILLED WITH CHICKEN,TURKEY OR TUNA SALAD THEN ROLLED LIKE A BURRITO,PLENTY OF TEA,PUNCH,COFFEE AND WATER.ALL THESE ITEMS CAN BE MADE IN LARGE OR SMALL QUANTITIES CHEAPLY AND PRESENTED WITH STYLE.YOU CAN GET ALL YOUR PARTY SUPPLIES(PLATES,NAPKINS ETC.
My son & daughter-in-law's wedding had about 65 people, we were all outside, sunny day and just perfect.
We had good basic food, salads (potatoes, macaroni, pasta) pork tenderloins, boneless chicken, steak cut in wide ships, meatballs, even hamburger & hot dogs, all cooked on grills. Easy food.
Our two families all helped with the food each family brought something different in some way. Yes, we had a list on who would bring what we had fun and enjoyed their wedding,
I think, the main cost was the propane for the grills.
A friend did all the cooking for his gift to the couple, it was a large family gathering and the best time. Everyone was part of the wedding from food, to flowers which were from the families gardens nothing fancy just very colorful & pretty, & wedding cake another gift from a family member.
When we got married we had lunch meats, for sandwiches, beef and noodles ( homemade), cheese trays, salads, veggies trays,swedish meat balls,
and cake, and punch
You didn't state whether this is an indoor or outdoor reception or whether you want a low, medium, or high cost reception. My brother-in-law and sis-in-law had a very nice garden wedding in their back yard. They had a pig roast. I can't remember what else they had, but I'd suggest buns to make pork sandwiches, salads, chips, vegie trays, wedding cake.
For my wedding, we rented a hall in the local bowling alley, decorated it nicely, had it catered by the bowling alley--chicken, beef, potatoes, 2 vegies, 2 salads at a very reasonable price of about $7 per person. Cake was extra. The room had a bar--I didn't want anyone getting drunk on us, so we asked my brother to distribute drink coupons--one per person who came up to the bar--so we did provide a drink, but after that, they had to pay for their own. Didn't hear any complaints.
Wine made from honey was the first alcoholic beverage recorded in history, it is where the word "honeymoon" comes from. If someone's causing trouble at your wedding reception, that's an unfortunate issue but blame the person you invited rather than the refreshment you served them. What kind of a person would disrupt a sacred ceremonial gathering such as a friend's wedding with hideous behavior? And how did this person get invited in the first place...? Decent people who are alcoholics have learned to enjoy a glass of sparkling water or soda, and not make a big deal out of it by complaining or in some other way making others feel uncomfotable about partaking in a glass of beer...
Used in moderation, alcohol is a refreshment that can enhance a wonderful, warm feeling of goodwill all around. And a champagne toast given to the couple from friends and family is something any bride and groom will remember forever. Alcohol isn't an evil thing, you guys...
I think that everyone has some interesting ideas. The most important thing is that your wedding serves as a great memory for you. Whether you have alcohol or not, whether your guests pay for it or not, you don't want your reception meal to be a budget buster. No matter what you choose to serve, anything can be served with class! Yes, even pigs in a blanket, if served on a nice dish with nice embellishments, can look classy and tasteful. Keep in mind that when you have a reception someone has to cook it. Are you going to have family prepare the food or do you plan to have it catered? Be sure that you make these plans well in advance so that you and the cook can be prepared. Last minute planning can cost you in many ways.
Chicken is usually the most inexpensive way to go. Whether it is fried, baked or grilled it is a safe bet for most (but you could alway use fish). You can add a salad, a starch (potato, pasta, rice, etc), mixed veggies, and a roll. You can get a little fancy with it since you have a smaller party, it really depends on your budget. This meal can be served buffet style or single served plates. Keep the drinks simple limiting your choices to two types of drinks and water. You can discuss with your significant other whether or not alcohol should be served. With or without it you want you wedding day to be a pleasant day to remember including the years to come and not a large expense to put a strain on your marriage or finances later.
If you are wanting a light snack instead of a meal, fruit and veggie trays are great. This is where you can really save money with the sausage rolls (ie:pigs-in-a-blanket), finger sandwiches (tuna, turkey, or ham sandwiches cut in small squares or you can use large cookie cutters in heart shape if you want to be creative) Pasta salad(ie: cooked noodle with mayo, relish, ham or turkey, shredded cheese, boiled eggs, and baby green peas) and/or fresh green salad (ie: lettuce with a few cherry tomatoes on top and dressing). You could even add chicken drummettes(baked, bbqued, fried) or meat balls with a sause on the side for either( bbq, ranch, blue cheese).
The possibilities are limitless! I would suggest that you sit down with your partner and decide what type of reception you are wanting (formal or casual) and what type of setup you are going to have for your reception. Will there be room for a buffet table? Will there be an extra cost to have party served by waiters? Who is going to clean up the mess? I hope this helps a little. Congrats and I wish you the best!
I found this thread by accident whilst trying to find out how to go about organizing a 'bring a savory' reception & thought that the idea may be useful to you if you're on a tight budget.
Basically you hire & decorate the reception venue & ask guests to bring a 'savory'.(I can't find out if it's bad manners to try & organize what people are bringing but I think in my family we'll end up with 40 lasagne's if we don't!)
You use your wedding cake as a desert (although I've got my own chocolate fountain so some marshmallows & fruit to dip in that will be provided too - diabetics & dieters just have to provide willpower!)
As an aside, regarding a 'pay bar', in the UK this is the norm for weddings - you serve maybe one drink on arrival (& a couple of glasses of wine if it's a sit down meal) but all other drinks are paid for by the guests... the bride & groom have enough expense as it is!
Whatever you do - I hope the sun shines, you get great presents & that your wedding is a beautiful occasion which starts a loving, lasting & joyous marriage for you both.
I catered my own heavy hors d'ouevres wedding reception for 65 in Oct '07 using frozen heat-and-eat appetizers, fruit, and veggie trays from Sam's Club, along with wedding cake and nonalcoholic punch. Presented on trays borrowed from family and in a few rented chafing dishes, it was very elegant. I planned my menu ahead of time by searching the "Grocery" section of www.samsclub.com. Just choose "Shop Delivery and Pick Up Items" and pick the store nearest you when searching to make sure the items you choose will actually be available. This also helped me plan my budget, since prices per box were listed. I estimated 2-3 appetizers per person (since our reception was close to dinnertime) and multiplied it out to find out how many boxes to buy. For convenience and cost, I recommend serving only 1-3 hot appetizers, if any. Bags of frozen mixed fruit (mango, peach, grapes, etc) were cheaper than a fruit tray, so I bought those instead and just thawed and dumped in a punch bowl. People seemed to like it just as well and thought the punch bowl idea was very original! Shop smart -- for example, if you buy cubed cheese, you don't need cheese balls, too. I also purchased our rehearsal dinner food (lasagna, garlic bread, salad, sodas, and cupcakes) at Sam's Club, and our attendants and family really enjoyed the casual atmosphere.
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I am in charge of cheese, meat, crackers and olive and pickle trays for a bridal shower with 70 guests. Any ideas on amounts I will need?
By Tina S
A lot of cookbooks have that information in them. Also you could google the topic and most likely find out the information.