The hardest part about self-catering our wedding is definitely having to consider all the logistics involved. For example, not only do we have to take care of tables and chairs (check!), tablecloths and napkins (not yet!), place settings (we still need a couple of things) but we also need to think about how we are going to serve all the food. Each and every dish needs to be accounted for!
Precisely because we’re cooking all the food, and to make things easier, initially we thought about doing a buffet or serving the meal family-style. Both options seemed nice and relaxing, just what we wanted the wedding to be. However, after doing a trial place-setting a couple of weeks ago we realized that the tables they’re lending us are too narrow to accommodate platters filled with food. So family-style is out, buffet it is. Even easier, I think!
That means we have to start figuring how many platters/bowls/etc we’ll need. Here’s when my serving ware stash (and my mom’s) comes in handy. Between the two of us, we have so much stuff we won’t need to buy almost anything. I haven’t done a detailed breakdown of how we’ll serve everything yet, (mainly because we still have to decide on some things on the menu) but I do have a rough idea in mind:
- The main dishes (right now we’re thinking roast beef, pork tenderloin with mojo verde, and some sort of salmon) will go on big platters. I only have two or three of these, but my mom has quite a few, so there’s no need to buy any. Plus she and my dad just bought three giant platters in Chicago (one for them, one for us and one for my brother) that we’ll also be able to use. The price was great, too! She got them for less than $5 each at Macy’s (including tax) and they’re from the Martha Stewart line. I think they’re meant to be used in Thanksgiving since they have a turkey… but we don’t mind. It doesn’t look like they’re still available, but you can check out a picture here.
- The different types of cheeses will be served on the cutting boards we made, of course.
- Dips will be served in small to medium sized bowls. This is one of the things that I have to count since we might need to buy some, but I’ve already checked out the Ikea website for options. These glass ones look nice and they’re very cheap!
- The gazpacho will be presented in glass bottles (we found a local place that sells them even cheaper than Ikea), and there will be smallish glasses next to the bottles with a sign telling people to help themselves. This means we need glasses solely for this purpose. Luckily Ikea came to the rescue again with these glasses – we have these for orange juice and love them. Plus you can’t beat the price: 0.99€ for a pack of six!
- The ceviche will be arranged in individual-sized jars. One of the requirements for this was that the jars had to have the lids attached to them so we didn’t lose any, kind of like the stoppers of the bottles mentioned above. I already owned several jars like that so I knew exactly what I wanted and where to buy them: at Casa Shops. At 0.99€ per jar they’re not exactly cheap, but we already own a few of them and so does my mom, plus we’re sure not everyone will try the ceviche, so we’ve figured out we need to buy about 30 of them. Since I had a coupon for 5€ off that expired last Saturday, we went and bought all the ones in the store (I think 19 of them?).
- Other appetizers will be served in big plates – something we definitely won’t need to buy because we have a ton of them. I usually scour the Zara Home sales every few months and pick them up for 1€ or 2€ each since I use them for photos. And I like having pretty plates, I think it’s a sickness.
- Desserts will be on a separate dessert table on more big plates and cake stands. I have four cake stands and a tiered stand, my mom has a couple more, so that’s definitely more than enough!
I think that covers everything! So basically we need to buy glass bottles, small glasses, and maybe a few bowls. I’ll also be on the look out for cute cake servers since that’s something we don’t have. As you can see, I’m going for a mismatched / eclectic / layered look. Or really, working with what we’ve got look, haha.
Have you got any suggestions for us? Has anyone done a big party and served it buffet-style? Any tips?