The Great Hall
Catering own wedding reception The Great Hall: Catering own wedding reception
By donna neubauer on Sunday, March 05, 2000 - 05:44 pm: Edit

I am not a professional chef, but enjoy cooking and learning. Hopefully, that will not deter people from responding. (Re: read bickering messages about school/ no-school debate.) I am looking for information on the web for catering own reception and am not having much luck. We are having a small wedding near my family and then would like to have an additional wedding reception (approx. 100 people) where we live currently once we return from our honeymoon. I am looking for information on recipes that are easily freezed or easily prepared that can be simple but elegant. Any ideas or resources?? Some of my ideas for themes are Irish (we are going to Ireland for honeymoon), New Orleans/Cajun (I am from the south and love Cajun and am having jazz band), Southern (maybe poor choice cause we are health consience (sp?)), or no theme at all. Will appreciate any help.

By Dpconsu (Dpconsu) on Monday, March 06, 2000 - 12:33 am: Edit

Dear Donna,
Give a few more details;

Is this to be a sit down and dine with multiple courses?
A serve yourself buffet style of easy to pick up portions of many different types of foods from appetizers to desserts?

Forget the Irish food as a theme dear, after all you will get enough of that on your honeymoon. Also the foods of Ireland are either very starchy and fatty and home spun,e.g. Irish stew, Shepherds pies, potatoes every which way you can dream of etc. Or you can go the finest Irish smoked salmon type foods route, (very expensive).

As for the Cajun theme in foods, if you are having many guests from the North East they might find the food too spicey to enjoy.

As for pre-cooking and freezing enough for 100, thats easy to do if you have the time to trash your home kitchen over a good many days and plenty of freezer space.

Let me know what type of reception you plan on and I will forward some recipes for you. I ran a catering company in Monaco for five years prior to moving back here to the USA.

Good luck, and congratulations on your upcoming nuptuals.

All the best


By Ron Edwards on Monday, March 06, 2000 - 05:16 pm: Edit

Hi Donna
My wife ( as of 2/2) and I own a catering biz. We did not do a big wedding based on years of doing other peoples. To do what we have done that we considered nice was off the scale in cost. Funny how well I sold myself on what we had to have and came up with an unrealistic price where we could not afford to hire ourselves. But I did travel back to my wife's home town in Erie where I did cook for 45 of my new relatives. It was nice while back there cooking since I got to talk to people on turf I was familiar with , the kitchen ). This also worked out well since I did not have the expense that we would have had doing a dinner here at home in the Sonoma County wine country, where our friends are way to spoiled with our cooking :)

Ok for your situation I would recommend LuAnne Lester at Elegant Lifestyles She is a catering consultant and can provide you with a complete recipe set down to prep and shopping details.

Hope this helps


By donna neubauer on Monday, March 06, 2000 - 08:43 pm: Edit

Thanks to both of you for your response. To answer Dpconsu, reception style is buffet, not too formal. The reception will be held at a park on Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin. You're probably right about the Cajun. Unfortunately, alot of people that I've met here do not like spicey food. Like I read in a joke recently, "You know if you're from Wisconsin if...your three favorite spices are salt, pepper, and ketchup."
I still would like to do something unique, if possible.

By penny on Tuesday, March 07, 2000 - 04:09 pm: Edit

donna, look on, he has a book about catering your own reception. good luck!

By foodguy on Tuesday, March 07, 2000 - 08:01 pm: Edit

I have been in the food business 20 years and my advice is don't do your own food. I have helped a few people do this and it creates too much stress on you the day of!! If you do want to do it then hire a family friend or chef to cater for you that day. You can still prep everthing in advance, but give someone the instruction and let them deal with it on your day. It will be well worth the 100-200 hundred dollars it moght cost you and you will be able to fully enjoy yourself with out worrying about it.

Good luck

By Dpconsu (Dpconsu) on Tuesday, March 07, 2000 - 09:40 pm: Edit

Take Chad's advice dear, but if you insist on doing it yourself, fix a budget on the food and decide if you will use real plates and glasses which you will have to rent along with tables chairs etc. Or the best quality disposables, they are not as cheap as you may think! add the totals up and if you think that you can still do the work, get the foods in and prep it and then freeze it, and still be sane on your wedding day, then keep all the items small and easy to pick up, like swedish meat balls, canapes, pre-cut and rolled ham horns filled with a firm filler, small puff pastry cups (vol aux vents) filled with a warm filler like diced chicken supreme, or a blanqutte of veal,lots of composistion salads like waldorf, californian ambrosia, german potato,etc.

good luck my dear


By W.DeBord on Wednesday, March 08, 2000 - 07:41 pm: Edit

Donna I was a professional experienced caterer and did my own wedding. It was the biggest reget of my wedding. I did have a staff (experienced too) to handle it on the day but they failed me completely. They didn't organize them-selfs or pay attention to details. In my wedding dress I ran around the kitchen completing items they failed to serve, scrambling for more plates on the buffet etc... I did keep the menu simple, I had under 60 guests and it was served buffet style.

In the end my best friend (who was my soux chef) gave up being a guest at the wedding (her poor boyfriend sat by him-self)and the night was over quickly.

I have no pleasant memories of the day with my guests/spouse/and family. Instead I will forever reget how I did my wedding and how it robbed me of enjoying the event.

By Happygal (Happygal) on Thursday, March 09, 2000 - 11:42 pm: Edit


Seeing as this reception is after the honeymoon, I don't see why you shouldn't cater it yourself.
check out this site

for a ton of help.

You can do it!

By Vatel (Vatel) on Sunday, March 26, 2000 - 01:01 am: Edit

I had a similar situation. I returned home after our honeymoon and fed 100 of my relitives out of my parents house.It was fun doing all the food. I prepared Citrus Smoked Salmon and Apricot Glazed Chicken to name a couple of dishes. I hope all the guests enjoyed it. I dont know if they did, I was too busy with the food to visit. Get someone else to cater ,it's your party. enjoy it and congradulations.

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