When you need serving dishes for your wedding reception, you have several options. When you work with a caterer, she likely supplies them. If she doesn't supply service items or you're making your own food, explore event rental companies to find the best prices along with policies that fit your needs. Plan your menu first, then determine how many hot and cold items you're serving before you order.
What You Need
For every hot item you plan to serve, you need a way to keep that item at a safe, warm temperature. Chafing dishes in a variety of sizes and shapes often fit the bill for warm items, and many rental companies offer divided chafing dishes that allow you to serve two items out of one dish. Ask for the chafing-dish fuel as part of the quote. Most cold dishes, such as lunch meat for sandwiches, simply require a platter for service. However, shrimp and some other foods that spoil quickly should be kept in a service bowl stored in a shallow tub of ice. Some rental facilities have special containers that store ice in the bottom so only the bowl is visible. Rent enough platters or bowls to serve condiments, nuts and desserts as well as the meal items. Add serving utensils such as tongs, large forks and large spoons to your order.
Ask the rental companies about their policies so you aren't charged extra fees. Many let you keep the serving dishes for three days, but some have different turnaround times. Most require you to return the dishes clean. Some pick up the dishes, while others require you to return them yourself.
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