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Reception Ideas

Hot Chocolate/Coffee Bar

I'm having an outdoor wedding ceremony/barn reception all on the same grounds in the Fall in Iowa. Most likely it will be chilly at night and so I'm definately considering having a hot chocolate/coffee bar. Would it be dumb to bring my keurig from home (one of the top models) and just buy a bunch of different kcups and all the fixings?! I think that way I could buy a bunch of different kcups and people could choose what they want, and if any were left over I could just take them home. I mean they are simple to use, and then the beverage is heated when made versus getting a bunch of different hot beverage dispensers. What do you ladies think?

Re: Hot Chocolate/Coffee Bar

  • Who is going to keep filling it up and where will the water be. I have a keurig too and while it doesn't take long it would definitely slow things down. I think it would be cheaper and more efficient to just get a couple of percolators and fill them with the coffee and chocolate.
  • How many guests are you having?  Will there be someone to help people who don't know how to use it and empty the bin?  

    Also, if you are worried about guests being cold, I suggest renting heat lamps.  

  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    If you had less then 50 people, it might be okay. I agree with Kmmssg that a couple percolators will be more effective.
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  • I'm having a lot of guests- around 400. I'm concerned that even with the big metal thermus things will have to be refilled, and i'm not sure how long it takes for that to heat up?
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I would just have a few percolators.   I have a friend who will use it for small gatherings, and for 8 or so people, it feels like it takes FOREVER for everyone to get their coffee because it takes a couple of minutes for each cup.  Add to it the time for people to root through to find the flavor cup they want.   I can't imagine it being used for a large group.  Who would even fill up the water?  It's a neat concept in theory, but I just see it really slowing up your reception and annoying to your guests.
  • A Keurig is NOT appropriate for 400 people!  Rent a few coffee urns or percolators and you should be good.  Can you imagine the slow down everytime the Keurig is refilled and you have to wait for the water to reheat?  For 400?

    doeydo
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Wow, 400 guests? If I were you I'd talk to your caterer and see what they offer.
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    doeydo
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I'm having a lot of guests- around 400. I'm concerned that even with the big metal thermus things will have to be refilled, and i'm not sure how long it takes for that to heat up?
    Get a couple of coffee urns.  You can get ones that hold 100 cups of coffee.  If you're concerned with refilling those, can you imagine how long Keurigs would take?  Even if just half of your 400 guests wanted coffee, at 2 minutes each it would over 6 hours.  They better start lining up before the ceremony.
    doeydo
  • mysticlmysticl member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2013
    Would your venue even allow you to bring in your own coffee?  Some have pretty strict rules about outside food or food not prepared by professionals.  


    *edited for spelling
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Another vote for no on the Keurig.  We have one at work, in an office of 12 people, and only half of us drink coffee.  There's still a line every morning to make coffee.  I can't imagine that with a wedding.

    Ditto talking to your caterer.  Any caterer will have those big urns to fill with coffee.  They can put hot chocolate in the same, and offer a 3rd with hot water for tea.  
  • If you have 400 guests, I wouldn't even rely on any type of DIY setup and would want to go with a caterer for that high volume.
  • Yes my venue is a barn, so we have to bring in whatever we want- there are no required caterers, and our family is most likely cooking for everyone, so it will all be DIY. no caterer. but it is also low key and not a fancy black tie affair.

  • Yes my venue is a barn, so we have to bring in whatever we want- there are no required caterers, and our family is most likely cooking for everyone, so it will all be DIY. no caterer. but it is also low key and not a fancy black tie affair.

    Food for 400 is a lot of work even if it's low key.  Can they cook at the venue or do they have to bring it already prepared?  If they have to cook elsewhere and bring it in do they have the proper equipment to transport it and hold it without it going bad?  Do they know how to avoid cross contamination of any allergens?  
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  • yes, there is a massive outdoor kitchen onsite. We will grill meats for supper and bring in large premade batches of salads and sides in roasters and such.
  • I wouldnt do a K-Cup option but maybe Hot Chocolate. It would be easier to heat up water for 400 than mess with coffee and such. You could even make up the packets of Chocolate and marshmellows before hand, then they just need hot water. Much easier than coffee, creamer, etc
    Married 11/12/05 ~ Renewed Our Vows 11/9/13. 

    "The LORD will fight for you, you need only be still."


  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You really, REALLY need a caterer for 400 people. Really.  400 people.  That's more than some high end restaurants feed in a service. You need a caterer that's very experienced in high volume services for that many people.

    You guys have no idea what you're getting into here. For example, if you have a potato salad recipe that serves 8 people, you have to make 50 batches of it to feed 400 people, plus more if people want a second helping. You cannot risk running out. Have you calculated how much that will cost the person who makes it, paying retail for the ingredients? How much time it will take, since they will need to make all of it no earlier than the night before?  Do they have a refrigerator that big? Do they have enough ice chests to keep ALL of it at the right temperature while it's transported, then a way to keep it at that temperature while it's being served until the reception is over, so no one gets food poisoning?

    Yes, I know your family wouldn't give anyone food poisoning. No one does on purpose.  My cousin made all the food for her daughter's first birthday party. Her kitchen is very clean. The food was served indoors. Hot foods were in crockpots to stay warm, cold foods in the fridge until the last possible second.  Everyone still got violent food poisoning. We still have no idea what dish was bad. But she sure as hell didn't try to make people sick. She thought she was doing everything right.
    mysticlJen4948

  • yes, there is a massive outdoor kitchen onsite. We will grill meats for supper and bring in large premade batches of salads and sides in roasters and such.
    I used to work in foster care.  We held a cookout for our foster families every year.  We served less than 200 people.  The first year I was there by the end of the night one of the people doing the grilling literally collapsed on the ground.  They had all been on their feet for hours.  They didn't get to eat, other than snagging a burger before it could be taken to the buffet table.  My third year we started hiring caterers.  If your family is dealing with the food they will miss your wedding and reception.  They will be working the entire time.  
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    RebeccaB88
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