A wedding reception is the time when everyone gets to relax. Having the reception ready to go is a big job but with a little preparation the transition from wedding ceremony to wedding reception can be fun and enjoyable.
We wanted our dessert reception to have an atmosphere of calm and be inviting; where everyone would be blessed by different choices of desserts, refreshing punch and great conversations. How do you want people to remember your reception? Let’s get a plan in place so we can get the process started.
Supplies and resources:
- 2 punch bowls, serving ladle
- Coffee Pumps or Coffee maker
- Silverware, Napkins, Plates, hot cups for coffee, and punch cups
- Linens for your dessert table
- An eye catching center piece/other decor
- Platters, Serving Bowls, Candy containers, etc. Coolers for ice and other things that need to stay cold.
- List of desserts to be served/Dessert Recipes
- Number of guests to be served
- Bottled water, juice box’s for kids, mocha coffee drinks in a jar, etc.
Putting it all together:
- Decide who will serve things and be your kitchen helpers. Make sure you have enough help so everyone has a good time. This includes people to help set up and take down. Be sure and have someone in charge of keeping the drink tubs full of ice, bottled water etc.
- At this reception we will be serving 200 people (adjust your menu as you see fit). We will have 5 different dessert choices (about 50 servings of each choice), with a big fruit platter (or 2 small ones), a big vegetable tray (or two small ones).
- Gather your recipes and make a grocery list of the things you will need. Be sure and make a copy of the recipe for those who are making desserts. If people have volunteered to help be sure you have purchased all the supplies for them. This is just a common courtesy and I’m sure your volunteers will appreciate this step. Some people will want to do it all as a gift to you, but please ask. We do not want to take advantage of our help.
- Make sure you have storage containers if you need them. You don’t want to be scrambling last minute for something big enough or small enough to put things in so they won’t get smashed or broken, etc.
- Choose your linens and center piece for your dessert table. There are all kinds of ideas in the bride magazines or on the internet if you don’t already have an idea. Your decorations coordinator will probably have an Idea to keep with your wedding theme.
- Set up your time line. When is everything supposed to be in the kitchen area of your reception location? Make sure everyone knows the time.
A few closing thoughts:
Some things you can make ahead and store in the freezer or refrigerator. Others will need to be made… gasp, the day of the wedding. You can make the dips ahead for the vegetables and fruit and then put them in pretty containers later. Having your fruit and vegetables cut up ahead of time would be wise. Make sure you have a plan.
Big platters of fruit and vegetables will be ok if you don’t have to worry about bugs. If there are a lot of bugs the smaller trays will go quicker and then your food is not sitting out as long.
Be sure to keep things at the right temperature. I didn’t keep my bottled pop cold enough so our punch was flat.
The reason behind the two punch bowls is that one is ready to go in the prep area when the one being used is finished and then you just switch them out. You might want to do this with some of your dessert trays too. Think ahead, we want to keep things moving and have a flow to it.
We also had friends who wanted to bring desserts. I should have had a better count as to how much they were bringing. I wouldn’t have had to purchase as much fruit as I did.
I purchased way too many plates and napkins. I thought since it was a dessert reception people would be going back again and would want a fresh plate, that just didn’t happen. Our wedding was at 7:00 pm and everyone had already had dinner. Most of the guests went through the line once and then stuck to the bottled water, coffee, punch and cold mocha coffee drinks. It was very warm on that July night so the drinks were going fast.
Well there you have it, a great plan for that dessert wedding reception.