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Lili's reception
Wedding Reception
I am in charge or a wedding reception in June for 400. How much do I need of the following:

Fruit tray - strawberries, red grapes, pineapple, green grapes.
Fruit dip
Cheese & Cracker tray (three types of cheese)
Chicken salad on crossants
baguette bread with green onion & mayo mixture
firecrackers (homemade seasoned crackers)
Thank you so much for the help.

Hi, Lili,
You need to tell me if this is at meal time or a mid afternoon reception, as this has a major effect on the amounts needed, as well as the approximate length of the party and whether it is buffet or sit down. Also, what else is being served and whether or not there is alcohol served.

Here is the information that you can already get for yourself on the site:

Fruit tray -Fruit dip- covered in depth on the fruit tray page
Punch- see beverage planning page I also encourage readers to add the dinner coffee service as many people enjoy coffee with their meal or cake.

The wedding reception will be from 3:00 until approximately 4:30 pm. There will be no alcohol. The reception is a sit down or stand wedding. Everybody will primarily just linger around. If they want to sit they will be able to or if they want to stand they can. Also, how much should you charge per person for something like this? I was thinking maybe $3 per person being that it is not a meal. What is your advice on this?
First of all, if you are just providing the food, not setting up, serving etc, or providing servers, dishes, etc, the usual charge is 3 times the cost of the food; with the sandwiches I would estimate about $10 per person. You can't even do the fruit tray and punch alone for $3 per person.

You need event insurance (you could lose your house if you get paid and then are sued over the food or an accident with the food), and you need to know that it is not legal to cook food for sale in your kitchen and carry it there; you CAN cook it there legally.

This does not look like the full menu??? And I am not clear on the baguettes- is this just bread with seasoned mayo?

You need to allow one sandwich per person plus 10% 2 pieces of bread. 2 ounces of cheese. 8 pounds of cracker per 100.

The menu that I gave you is what the bride and groom want served. They do not want to feed everyone a meal being that the reception will be at 3 p.m. They just want to keep it simple with a few finger foods. What I gave you was the menu they requested. How much chicken salad do you recommend preparing for 400? Thanks so much for your advice.
Lili, if the food runs out or is not satisfactory, it is always the caterer who is blamed, even if he/she has done exactly what the client requested. If this is something you are planning as a start in the business, you need to negotiate with them for the sake of your rep as well as their party.
4 gallons chicken salad per 100 sandwiches premade, and you want to plan on 450.