How To: Plan, Cook for, and Throw a Dessert Reception

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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

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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

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Helpful Things
Party Disposables
Candied Flowers from Market Hall Foods

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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?

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