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Food and Cakes


Hi everyone,

We are serving BBQ  at our wedding and making everything ourselves with the help of some family members. I'm having a hard time deciding how much to make of each side knowhing that not everyone will eat some of everything. We will probably have around 70 guests at the most. I want to make sure that everyone has more than enough to eat, but I don't want to go completely overboard either. Any suggestions on how I can figure this out :)


  • Sue-n-KevinSue-n-Kevin member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited June 2012
    I wouldn't plan on not having enough for everyone to taste everything. At weddings or buffet type parties, I generally have at least one serving of everything, and sometimes two!

    Generally for a meal you would plan on 4-6 ounces of meat for each person, 1/2 to 1 cup of every side dish (a pasta, a veggie, a starch, etc), plus 1.5  - 2 servings of bread for each person. But you also have to take into account the mixture of food you have, plus the mixture of guests..........are your guests hardy eaters? Are there children included in the count, they would probably eat about half as much as adults.

    Look at a measuring cup that equals 1 cup........that's not a lot of food, and most people will have at least that much of each side dish. Four ounces is the starting weight (before cooking) of a Quarter Pounder at McDonalds. A "small" filet mignon is 6 ounces.

    Using the above calculations, you should have 70 guests x 4 oz meat/16 oz per pound, or about 18 lbs of meat (that would be without the bones, more if it has bones). One cup of each side would be 70 cups of EVERY side dish, whether it's potato salad, cole slaw, fresh salad, mashed potatoes, etc.

    A large chafing dish holds 8 quarts of food. There are 4 cups in a quart, you should have enough food to fill at least 2 chafing dishes of each type of side dish (8 x 4 cups = 32 cups per chafing dish).

    We had 73 guests at our wedding, only 1 of which was a child. We had Chicken Picatta, sliced beef tenderloin on grilled veggies, roasted red skin potatoes, green beans, fresh salad, rolls & butter. There were a lot of 20-somethings and teens, who eat a LOT. Each of the chafing dishes was filled to start, and replenished once, so that was 2 chafing dishes per meat and side dish. Yes, we had some food left, but it was varying amounts of each.

    I hope this helps.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Just reading the PP estimates on how much food would need to be prepared would have me running to the nearest BBQ restaurant to cater my wedding.

  • Thanks for sharing your knowledge Sue. Very helpful!!
  • PeavyPeavy member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    You can also check out EllensKitchen.com -- there is all kinds of advice and quantities for feeding large groups of people.  But I agree w/PP -- it's an awful lot of work, and an awful lot of logistics involved.  It may cost a big more to have it catered, but if it means that you don't need to spend the two full days before your wedding cooking and prepping the meal when you have a million other things to do, it might be worth it.
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