Planning wedding reception food for 40 guests can seem overwhelming if you typically cook only for your family. But a wedding involving 40 is actually considered small; feeding everyone can be managed much more easily than you may think. It takes less planning, can involve simpler menus and requires shorter preparation time. The trick is to make the the right food choices in the first place. Keeping it simple doesn't mean it can't be special.
Wine and Cheese Reception
Having a wine and cheese buffet at the reception is an elegant way to provide a tasty light meal before cutting the wedding cake. Many inexpensive yet delicious wines are even less costly when you purchase them in bulk. Provide many different types of crusty breads, crackers and fruit to go with a selection of gourmet cheeses.
Finger Foods Buffet
Providing finger foods allows guests to munch while mingling among friends and family. A simple country-style buffet serves this purpose well. Cold sliced ham in between dinner rolls makes a delicious finger sandwich. Crackers topped with spreadable tuna or chicken salad and different types of cheese balls work well. Chips and dips, vegetable crudites or meatballs and cocktail sausages transport easily around a room. Add fruit kabobs on skewers for a cool, refreshing treat.
Many people enjoy Mexican food. Serving it at your reception can be inexpensive and a festive way to celebrate the wedding. Provide flour tortillas and taco shells, two kinds of meat and all the additions people like: guacamole, chopped onions, shredded lettuce, jalapenos, pico de gallo, black olives and sour cream. Serve large pans of Spanish rice and refried beans alongside to complete the meal.
Budget Reception Dinner
If the bride’s heart is set on a sit-down meal for her wedding, there are many tricks for keeping it within your budget. Choose poultry instead of the more expensive beef for an entree and keep in mind that side dishes such as scalloped potatoes, rice pilaf and pasta salads are inexpensive and filling. Tossing almond slices or mushrooms into your green bean dish or adding pearl onions to green peas can lend a gourmet touch without adding to the cost.
Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.