This was first posted on our sister site More from Mom.
Wedding Menu- 5 Lunch ideas to feed up to 100 people for under $250
Lunch wedding receptions are becoming increasingly popular and are great for the bride and groom that want a casual reception that involves having fun with friends and family without all of the wedding pomp and air. The trick to making a lunch wedding reception look and taste great is going to be in keeping the food simple, yet filling.
Lunch Menu Tips and Ideas-
Think of your favorite lunch place and begin building a menu similar to the one they offer lunchtime eaters. If you don’t think you can make a menu similar to the eatery’s, ask them to cater a lunchtime wedding reception for you! Buying in bulk AND on a lunch portion can save you tons of cash while still feeding your guests a great meal.
Place the food on a buffet and allow guests to make their own plates so they get just what they want. Make sure the food is placed in appealing serving trays so that it makes the lunch fare look more appetizing and chic. Don’t just toss it in aluminum pans to be served with plastic tongs. Take the extra step to make it look fancier than it is.
Your wedding theme should be reflected in the food you’re serving. Having a barn wedding? Try serving burgers and fries to compliment it. Doing a garden wedding? Soup, salad, and breadsticks will go nicely with that type of wedding.
If food needs slicing (like pizza) have it sliced ahead of time. If you have sauces to serve, place them in individual cups to make serving easier. Anything you can do to make it easier on your guests when they’re getting their plates of food will make the whole process and reception go much smoother.
If you’re expecting 100 guests, plan for 110. Having more food than needed is always better than being short on food. Always plan for guests to have one of everything in LUNCH PORTIONS, which are smaller than dinner portions.
Pizza and Breadsticks
Nothing could be simpler than pizza and breadsticks for a lunchtime reception- and you don;t even have to cook it! Order from a pizzeria nearby and get a few of everything they offer. Don;t go with chain restaurants, though. Give it local flare with a small business. Be sure to order your food at least one week in advance so you;re sure to get your food when you need it.
To make it an even better lunch, add in a salad bar. You can get the fixings for this the day of the wedding and set it out yourself.
Tacos, Rice and Beans
Make a taco bar for a fun, cheap way to feed guests. Buy taco shells, refried beans, black beans, and Mexican rice in bulk. Have someone heat up the rice and beans as the ceremony is being conducted and place it on the buffet in warming trays. Offer hard and soft taco shells, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa, cheese, olives, jalapenos, and any other toppings you like on your tacos. If you want to give more variety, add in a stock pot of tortilla soup, too.
Pasta and Bread
A large pot of spaghetti noodles, cooked during the ceremony by a server, three different types of sauces (can be bought in jars and heated up while the noodles cook), a salad bar, and baskets of garlic bread make a very fast, cheap, and filling lunch that is perfect for a casual lunchtime reception. Have the pasta portioned out in bowls ahead of time (mix in a touch of olive oil so the noodles don’t stick together) and allow guests to choose the sauce they’d prefer. Place the baskets of bread right on the tables for easy access, and have a salad bar with all the fixings (bought the morning of the wedding). To make this look fancy, try to use real dishes and wine goblets for tea (or wine).
Burgers and Fries
Burgers and fries are a great lunchtime meal for a plethora of wedding styles. This isn’t just a typical burger and fry meal, though. Jazz it up by offering bacon, mushrooms, grilled onions, and jalapenos on top of the burger. Serve the patties on sourdough or pretzel rolls. Offer spicy mustard and barbecue sauce for dressing the bun, and have sliced lettuce, tomato, and other vegetables available for toppings. Make show string fires and toss them in olive oil, garlic salt and rosemary, or serve sweet potato fries drizzled with maple syrup. These would be fine to serve on pretty plates with disposable silverware!
Sub Sandwich Bar
Like Subway or Quiznos? Give your guests the gift of a sub buffet, then, and allow them to make subs their way. If you don’t want to go through that hassle, ask Subway to cater. You can arrange a multitude of sub sandwiches on platters to make it look more upscale, and place bowls of baked chips on a table to allow your guests to choose the kind they prefer.
Which wedding menu sounds best for your day?
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Happy Wedding planning!
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