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Food and Cakes

DIY Picnic/Smoothie Bar


My FH and I are planning our small, DIY picnic wedding, which will be held at a botanical garden.  Since it will be outdoors, we won't have much (if any) easy access to electrical outlets.  We'll be serving simple, tasty finger foods for the most part, but we have our hearts set on having a smoothie bar, as well!  This smoothie bar is the only hang-up in our planning...

We plan to hire someone as a "general helper" so that we don't end up having to ask one of our family members to help us run everything and not get to enjoy the day.  One of this person's jobs will be to operate the smoothie station, mixing and blending everything to the proportion each guest requests.  But, how should the station be run?

We'll need a battery-powered blender.  Is this a reasonable idea?  I'm sure we'll have to bring many extra batteries, but are these things good enough to hold up to the demand of the 40-some guests that will be coming?  We'll be offering a variety of fruits for guests to fill their cups with, along with vanilla yogurt and their choice of either orange juice or whole milk, kept in coolers, of course.  The guests will fill their cups with whatever fruits they choose, and they'll give the cup of fruit to the helper.  The helper will then add the yogurt, juice, and/or milk in the correct amounts, per the guests' requests, and blend their smoothies.  The smoothies can then be poured into the original cups.  In order to clean the blender cup between smoothies, we thought we'd have a tub of water that it can be dunked in and rinsed out, but we're concerned that that's not too sanitary.  Do you have a better idea?  Is there a better way to operate this station that you can think of?

Re: DIY Picnic/Smoothie Bar

  • I'd come up with a new plan.  Smoothies are a pain in the butt to make.  You ever wait in line at the smoothie place at the mall?
  • I mean this as nicely as possible, but the smoothie idea probably ought to go.

    First, the logistics are a huge problem (hence your post asking for advice on them).

    Second, honestly, very very few people want a smoothie at a wedding. =/

  • I also have to say skip the smoothies.  Especially since you are talking having ONE person doing this and a battery powered blender.  You need a good quality (think strong, really fast blades) to make a good smoothie and you won't get that from battery powered.  I would not stand in line at a wedding for a smoothie.  It is bad enough at the coffee shop.  

    Dunking the blender in dirty "smoothie water" is not sanitary at all and I wouldn't drink a smoothing from a blender that was cleaned that way. Being outside means there is more dirt around and means being extra careful about food sanitation.  I really see the execution of this idea failing badly.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I agree with everyone above. It would be such a long wait and the cleaning definitely doesn't sound sanitary to me.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Yeah, I'm going to have to say you need to rethink the smoothie bar.  

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • edited December 2012
    No offense, but I'd definitely rethink this one.  The logistics of it are a bit tough to work through in an outdoor setting.

    If you're absolutely set on doing smoothies, you really REALLY need to rethink how you'll clean the blender.  If you have someone thats allergic to a certain fruit, there's a good chance you could kill them by rinsing out the blender in the "tub o smoothie water" that will contain not so yummy bits of rotting yogurt, spoiled milk, curdled OJ/milk chunks, strawberries, and other hazardous things.  For the safety of your guests...please at least reconsider this part!!
  • The only way to pull this off is to hire a vendor who does smoothies. Like, someone who owns a cart with their own power source who has several high-powered blenders, a sink/rinsing station, and a cold area. Which will obviously be a lot pricier.
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  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_diy-picnicsmoothie-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:23Discussion:0ec272bb-19d3-4436-9739-893d905990b3Post:3badaa6c-1d94-4bf2-a35d-eca076f62f4c">Re: DIY Picnic/Smoothie Bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]The only way to pull this off is to hire a vendor who does smoothies. Like, someone who owns a cart with their own power source who has several high-powered blenders, a sink/rinsing station, and a cold area. Which will obviously be a lot pricier.
    Posted by msmerymac[/QUOTE]
    This.  Otherwise this plan has fail (and food poisoning) written all over it.

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