Wedding for 250 - Partially catered
My daughter is having an outdoor wedding at our home in May. We expect between 200 - 250 people. Guests will walk up from the pond to the backyard for the reception. The main dishes will be catered by a local restaurant. I don't want to over buy, but I want to make sure I have enough if guests want seconds. It will be a mixed group of adults and college students. Ceremony at 6:30 pm. I need to know quantities for our selections:

Planned Menu
Appetizers (for guests while buffet is filled - it will be "set-up" ahead and food put out when ceremony is over):
- veggie tray
- nuts
- mini quiches
- cheese cubes
- bruschetta

Main (catered):
- Bread with dipping sauce (1 loaf advertised to serve 6 - 8)
- Salad (1 pan advertised to serve 12)
- Chicken Dish (20 2-oz pieces/steamer pan; 1 pan advertised to serve 10)
- Vegetarian Pasta Dish (steamer pan; 1 pan advertised to serve 10)
- Pasta to go with chicken (steamer pan)
- Broccoli (steamer pan)

- Cake & cupcakes
- Chocolate fountain (in lieu of grooms cake)

It looks like your caterer is very appropriate on estimates. Be aware that many guests will take the veggie pasta as their side dish (about half the amount for an entree portion) when you are deciding how much to order. "Serves 10" includes an amount for seconds- about 12 servings in all.

PLEASE read the chocolate fountain article if you are thinking of having it outside.

Consider doing a relish tray, or at least part relish, instead of straight veggies since you have salad.

The one thing I might add is fruit trays.

S Young
Thanks, Ellen!
This is very helpful. I was concerned about the portion sizes, because the amounts the restaurant suggested I buy ended up being double the amount of entrees to "make sure I had enough" (equal to 540 servings). That seemed like a HUGE amount and I was afraid we would be eating leftovers for years!
That is a good idea about the relish tray.
I did read the article about the choc. fountains. I agree with you - but that is one thing my daughter really wanted (and she is paying for it...). The rental comes with a full time attendant. (Maybe we should supply bibs and aprons!) We will have fresh fruit with the fountain, so we will plan to separate some of that on fruit trays for those that want fruit without the mess.
Appreciate your expertise!
S Young
Looks like we will have 200.\

What percentage over should I order for the entrees? It is a hungry college crowd. Does this look right?

- veggie/relish trays
- nuts
- deviled eggs
- cheese cubes
- bruschetta for 150

Main Meal:
- Bread with dipping sauce for 200
- Salad for 200
- Chicken (20 2-oz pieces/steamer pan)for 180
- Vegetarian for 120
- Pasta side (for Chicken) for 100
- Broccoli side for 120

- Fruit (from fountain)
- Chocolate Fountain
- Cake

I would order broccoli for everyone, other than that , you will have enough- probably no leftovers- if you think they will eat more, add a second vegetable-