Divine Dinner Party

Wedding Buffet ideas

There are so many good looking recipes on here! I am looking for advice on narrowing down some ideas for a wedding reception dinner for 40-50 people. It is an outside summer wedding, not too formal, and I want the reception to be a buffet for easier service.

I want the food to be sort of like an upscale picnic.

I am looking for recipes that can be prepared largely ahead of time, so that the whole family isn't inside cooking a few minutes before the wedding.

The ceremony is at 3:30 and then I want to have a few appetizers to tide people over while the bridal party is getting pictures taken. I am thinking about the gazpacho, maybe in individual cups, the caprese skewers, a fruit tray and cheese tray, maybe some crackers and dips? Then for the dinner I am thinking a couple different types of salads and then??? I'm really stuck on what meat options to serve that can be prepared in advance.

Any advice? Thanks!

Comments for Wedding Buffet ideas

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Jun 22, 2010
Keeping Pastry Crisp
by: Karen

I like the suggestion of brisket! Everybody enjoys beef for a wedding, and brisket is an easy thing to do up ahead of time. Just be sure to test out your recipe first (I don't have any here, but I'm sure you can find some great ones online) to make sure it comes out tender.

Just like any pastry, the pastry chicken triangles will soften up if you put them in the fridge. If you cool them at room temperature and cook them up the morning before, you can serve them without refrigerating them first. I know this is an idea that puts most Americans off, but I live in Spain where lots of puff pastry dishes (with meat and otherwise) are eaten, and they're not generally refrigerated. If the chicken is fully cooked and you don't leave the triangles out for more than a few hours, it will be fine.

If you don't like that idea --which I would understand!-- you might try re-crisping the triangles in the oven to see how they crisp up. I've never tried this and don't know how successful it would be, but it might be worth a try!

Good luck. Hope you drop by again soon to tell me how it goes.


Jun 21, 2010
wedding buffet ideas
by: Anonymous

How about brisket? It can be made ahead of time and sliced up easily. Chicken skewers with summertime veggies could be your white-meat alternative. For the brisket I recommend Claude's Brisket marinade. You can bake the brisket in the oven in a large roasting bag or in a smoker. You really can't go wrong.

Jun 11, 2010
Chicken pastry triangles
by: Sarah

Thanks for the pointers! I made the chicken pastry triangles last night and they were delicious! However, we ate them pretty much right out of the oven so I didn't get to test them out at room temperature. How far in advance of the meal can these be made, and what is the best way to store them so they remain crisp? I put the leftover pastries in the refrigerator last night and I'm sure they will be good for my lunch today, but now they aren't crisp.
I'm going to try some more of your recipes this weekend!

Jun 10, 2010
Ideas for a Wedding
by: Anonymous

Sounds like you really have your work cut out for you! I'm glad you like some of the ideas on my site, but you'll also find a lot of other ideas elsewhere on the web for recipes you can make mostly ahead. From my recipes, one of my favorite easy, elegant ones is:


I also love that you're thinking of doing gazpacho. I've done gazpacho shooters, and they can be a lot of fun. You can even set up a little toppings bar, and let people decide what they'd like on their shooters. It's a really elegant looking and easy-to-serve idea for a buffet.

As far as a main dish goes, you might want to think about a meat option, and something like a quiche or other item you can make in advance. I like these little chicken pastry triangles, which are nice at room temperature and can be made ahead:


They're also a little different and fun for summer. Though maybe a bit work intensive?

For a summer wedding, something like a taco/burrito bar might be fun, too. Let people assemble their own chicken, pork, and beef tacos and burritos with the toppings of their choice, served with spanish rice (which you can do ahead), maybe a black bean salad, and a green salad. I've got some recipes for taco/burro fillings, etc., here:


Or, if you have a large grill, can borrow one, or can rent one, there are lots of things you can put on the grill, forget about, and serve, or that you can cook up quickly. Like burgers, beer can chicken, BBQ chicken, etc. A fun and casual idea for a summer buffet.

Hope some of this has been helpful! Write back if you want any more suggestions. And check out websites like recipezaar.com and epicurious.com for some good ideas, too!

Owner of Divine Dinner Party

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