Ideas for Feeding 200 People at Your Wedding Reception

Published: 07th July 2010
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When you hold a wedding reception for a few family and friends, it is not hard to pull off. A couple of plates of finger sandwiches and a big bowl of chips will do the trick. You can have ten pizzas delivered and break open a few liter bottles of soda and your done except for the wedding cake, which can be baked, right in your oven in about an hour. If you are inviting a couple of hundred people, however, now you are talking about an event and this kind of wedding reception takes planning and execution on a much larger scale. You will want to cater this kind of reception and offer more than just a sandwich and some soda. Let's look at some of what's involved with a huge wedding reception menu.

Let's say you have invited two-hundred friends and family members to be your guests at the wedding and reception. Unless you want them standing around juggling a plate of food and a drink, you will need tables and chairs. Figure six per table or for a tighter budget eight. If you plan to seat eight people to a table, the table's length should be twelve feet long by at least three feet wide. This will seat one person at the each end and three on each side. You need twenty-five tables. That is also twenty-five tablecloths, monogrammed with twenty-five centerpieces and place settings for eight people per table. Each person will need five sturdy paper plates and three each of plastic silverware. Do not forget five to ten paper napkins or two cloth napkins per person

Now that everyone has been seated, let's get them fed. You have several options when catering a large wedding reception. You can have the tables served or you can have the guests serve themselves. The least expensive option is to have the guests serve themselves through a buffet style meal. The problem with buffets is that everyone will be standing in a two hundred-person line that extends all the way around the wedding hall twice. The best way to handle this is through the use of games. Your wedding band's leader, your DJ, or a member of the wedding party can ask trivia questions and hand out the number of service to the winners of each table. This way, each table competes as a team to see in what order they get to hit the buffet. Doing it in this fashion will keep it orderly and allow the catering staff to refresh the buffet after each eight man team comes through. The winner of the first spot can proceed to the buffet while the game is still being played.

The easiest and most efficient way to handle drinks and deserts is to set the drink and desert on rolling carts assigned to each table and place them near the assigned table. This way, the guests can serve themselves without getting up and crossing the room. They will have their deserts and drink refills readily available throughout the entire meal.

This article is just suggesting one method of serving guests at a larger wedding reception. There are several ways to go that work just as well including serving the guests tables with wait staff or perhaps you have a unique idea that would work for you even better than these. However you proceed, always think your supply needs through completely. One final thought on serving your guests is that the tables are a great place to present your guests with their wedding favors. Simply place a wedding favor at each place setting. If you are providing specialized favors unique to each guest, you will need to assign the seats, in which case, their table and seat would be printed on the invitation and their unique wedding favor placed in the seat of that particular guest.

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