We have finally got around to pulling together all the resources, recipes, and tips we picked up in the process of throwing a dessert reception for a wedding with over 400 guests last month. Four hundred is a little extreme, but we still think that large parties and even wedding receptions can be catered without too much stress or money, especially when you're just doing desserts.
More importantly, doing something like this yourself gives opportunity to make a party uniquely your own - embrace constraints and creativity!
And we can't ignore the cost savings, too; for this last wedding we catered, our friend spent about $500 on ingredients, disposable serving cups and spoons, and coffee accessories. We're not factoring in other drink expenses or the actual wedding cake, but this is so far below the $10-$15 per head that a caterer would charge for a simple dessert reception, that we feel that sometimes it is just worth it to do it yourself.
Menus for two different seasons, and a collection of posts, tips, and links below.
Planning & Ideas
Planning, cooking, and serving food for a big party is all about getting and staying organized! Make a plan and stick to it.
A few more tips on planning:
• Start with the season - what do you want to eat this time of year, and what is in season? Seasonal produce is less expensive, too.
• When budgeting, always have at least a hundred dollars in cash at the end for last-minute emergencies and expenses.
• With a dessert or hors d'oeuvre reception, plan on about 10-12 bites per person. A two-bite cupcake or cake would count as two.
• Celebrations: Desserts for a Wedding
• How To: Plan a Wedding Reception Menu
Menus & Recipes
• Menu for a February Dessert Buffet
• Menu for an Autumn Dessert Reception
• Salted Caramel Ice Cream
• Spiced Apple Cider Sorbet
• Old Fashioned Cocoa Ice Cream
• Pumpkin Coconut Ice Cream
• Melting Moments Lemon Cookies
• Chocolate Truffles
• Champagne Truffles
• Chocolate Orange Truffles
• Spiced Cream and Plum Verrines with Cinnamon Almonds
• Assorted Meringues
• Party Disposables
• Candied Flowers from Market Hall Foods
Serving Ideas & Tips
• 700 Truffles and Counting...
• Tip: Stabilize Whipped Cream
• Party Tip: Serve Ice Cream in Souffle Cups
• How To: Set up a Party Buffet
• How To: Arrange a Buffet Table
• D.I.Y. Wedding Reception Report
More on Weddings and Parties
• Good Question: Wedding Finger-Foods on a Budget
• Good Question: Elegant Wedding Finger Foods?