It’s a Wedding Reception!


At last, I have time to sit down and post about my catering adventure last weekend!  Now before I get started, let me say, I am not a professional.  I love to plan and entertain which has led to few things on the side like a class reunion last summer and a few family things here and there (like our daughter’s engagement party).   Who knows if I will ever go big, but it’s nice to have a hobby to keep me busy while the kiddos are in school.


1. Wedding cake from last spring 2. Tobacco basket used for serving fruit & veggies 3. Abundant buffet table
4. Basketball cupcakes for 200

When my friend Karla asked me to do her daughter’s wedding reception I was reluctant at first.  I knew that the reception at her oldest daughter’s wedding had been a total nightmare because of a con artist caterer in Ohio and I was terrified of not living up to her expectations!  But, I accepted the task and immediately set to work to create a (hopefully) memorable reception for all.

This particular wedding reception was to be prepared for seventy people.  After talking with the bride and her mother, and looked at their budget we settled on a menu and decorations that fit the season, and her cake, a Nightmare Before Christmas themed cake.

The reception itself was held in a local hotel, one without a real space for a buffet table, so I needed a table that would be the centerpiece of the space.  I also needed something easy to set up as there was a group that had the space before us, leaving little time for a turnover.

But first, I had to nail down the menu.

The menu was a perfect combinations of filling and casual hors d’oeuvres for a late afternoon event.

On the Menu?

Brie (& other assorted cheese) platter
Chicken salad served with assorted rolls
Sweet N Sour Cocktail Meatballs
Crudite Platter
Shrimp Cocktail
Pita Chips with Peach Salsa
Caprese Skewers
Mixed Fruit Salad

For drinks, we kept it all super easy; coffee, tea, and water.

Working within my budget, for the buffet I used mostly white and a couple of blue pumpkins for accents, then scattered tea lights down the table.  The hotel provided all of the linens and tables for our use.  I elevated some of my platters to create a little character.

Nothing is more boring than a row of flat plates.

You can see the backdrop I was working in… rather boring (& I wasn’t allowed to clear the counters per Hampton Inn),  so the table had to be the decoration.

And finally here is my “Nightmare before Christmas Cake” for the bride and groom.

The happy couple

{I will cover more details on the cake in another post.}  

This was the first time I have ever felt confident in executing something this big.  While it was not Colin Cowie fancy (I don’t get paid the BIG bucks he does either!), I managed my time well for getting everything accomplished without being rushed, PLUS I had a mother-of-the-bride who couldn’t quit raving over it all and a bride who took one look at her cake (she didn’t know what it was going to look like …. LONG story) and kept saying “holy moly” with tears in her eyes, over and over.

In the process of this event I have secured a luncheon for 250 people in December and have the boost of confidence that I needed to pull off my daughter’s wedding reception as well!

It’s November which means Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are upon us, and our Samantha’s wedding.  Hopefully I’ll have several things to inspire you for your own celebrations in the coming days!

Linking up with Tablescape Thursday, Inspiration Friday, and Foodie Friday today.

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15 thoughts on “It’s a Wedding Reception!

  1. Well I think you did an awesome job! Your display on the table turned out great and your cake is wonderful! The Nightmare Before Christmas bride and groom couple on the cake are too cute! Looks like they were very happy with it! Great job!

  2. That cake is spectacular! The menu sounds so delicious and everything looked beautiful. I'm sure they were over the moon happy with what you did for such an important event!

    You could so totally do this as a career. Which I think is great because it requires creativity as well as excellent cooking skills. Both which you have.

  3. From what I see, you did a terrific job. The menu looks very tasty and your presentation is great. Super job. I am your newest follower. Stop by when you have a chance. Good luck on the upcoming project too!

    Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  4. Jennifer, you did a fabulous job. I can see with the mother of the bride was so happy. What a great menu! Love your cake!! good luck for your upcoming events.. xo marlis

  5. For someone who is not a professional, you did a fabulous job, both with the food and the staging. I'd have you do a party for me any day.

  6. I think you should give this hobby a go. You’re excellent at it. And nothing serves us better than doing what we love. This recent catering you’ve done wasn’t really big, but it’s still quite a number. Take this opportunity. Not everyone has the heart and the drive for this profession. I would like to try your basketball cupcakes, by the way. It’s the first time I’ve seen one! 😀

    Neva ^.^

  7. Pingback: A Look Back at 2012 | Fiddle Dee Dee

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