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Food and Cakes

End of night/cheesesteak station

FI and I are thinking of doing an end of night cheesesteak station for guests to take sandwiches home. Most caterers won't put it out until an hour or 30 minutes before the reception ends. I'm concerned that some guests may be gone by then and wondering if it is worth it to have it. If you had one or have been to a wedding where they did, was it worth it? Just hate to pay for 180 cheesesteaks just to have 100 people that might actually eat them.

Re: End of night/cheesesteak station

  • I've been to a wedding that had a late night in-n-out truck (we're in California) so cheeseburgers and double cheeseburgers and it was a HIT. One of the most memorable parts of the wedding. The people who will stay to the end are the most likely to be the partiers, i.e. the type of people the most likely to watch a late night snack.
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    FI and I are thinking of doing an end of night cheesesteak station for guests to take sandwiches home. Most caterers won't put it out until an hour or 30 minutes before the reception ends. I'm concerned that some guests may be gone by then and wondering if it is worth it to have it. If you had one or have been to a wedding where they did, was it worth it? Just hate to pay for 180 cheesesteaks just to have 100 people that might actually eat them.
    Two questions:  1.  why to take home?  Typically the late night snack is for the boozers to get some food in their stomach. 

    2.  Did the caterer give you any reasons for their timeline?  If they're boxed and ready to go, I understand, because they can't serve food that has been left out too long but if it's a station, they should be able to refresh it.



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    ernursej
  • Responses: 1. Since it is served so close to the end of the night, we viewed this as more of a take out option. In fact, one of the caterers called it a "departure" station. 2. We have not decided on our caterer/venue yet but of the 5 that we are considering, they all gave the timeline as the last 30 minutes - 1 hour and I did not ask for an explanation but guessed it was because it is viewed as a take home station. 

    I am not sure if they would allow us to pay for it for less people though since I know all of our guests (especially older ones) won't stay until the end of the night.
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    DD had late night snacks (not station). They were served within the last hour of the reception. The caterer priced out fewer snacks because it was assumed that some people would've already left. We had 150ish guest and I think snacks were planned for 100. Your caterer shouldn't have a problem with this.
    Knottie1453159270kimmiinthemitten
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I definitely wouldn't count on everyone being there or taking one, but that's no reason not to do it for those who will be. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    MesmrEwe
  • Do you have a partying crowd that will likely stay late and appreciate it? If so and you have the budget, why not?

    The caterers are probably used to "to-go" stations, so maybe that's why they want to set out the food so late. I would rephrase the question: "How much will it cost to have 100 cheesesteaks set out on a snack table at 9:30pm?" If they say they can't do that, I would ask why and then seriously question whether you want to work with a caterer who won't accommodate your needs - you're not asking for the moon here...

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    Knottie1453159270OurWildKingdomlc07marissaskisses
  • Good point with the rephrasing. Thank you!
  • Will a lot of people be staying in a hotel w/o means for refrigerating or reheating?
    MesmrEwe
  • I enjoy when there is a midnight buffet/departure station/evening snack, but would prefer to eat at the venue. My sister did this and was able to negotiate the time with several different vendors before selecting the company she went with. I think an hour prior to end of evening is fair, but might be able to do something earlier to include more of your guests.
    OurWildKingdom
  • No, most will be driving back home that night
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Could you ask for it to be put out earlier in the night?

    Our late night snack was put out at 11pm and we had the venue until 1pm. Most people were still there at that time, and most of the food was gone. However, it wasn't hot food, so not much worries on it sitting for a bit.

    I think if you are having an evening reception that runs late, a late night buffet is a good idea. But what you serve depends on budget.

    Ours was pastries, homemade pizza squares, nachos with toppings.
    A friend of ours had sliders, mini pogo sticks, and french fries- it tasted amazing, but was very heavy, and not a lot of it was eaten. Other friends had artisan pizzas, smore station, allll kinds of desserts, cupcake pops, ice cream sandwiches and some veggie trays. It taste amazing, and most people were still there and ate it, but there was A LOT, and I'm sure the B&G spent a lot of money. Their buffet might have happened a bit earlier in the night, 9-10pm area, because I do remember a number of guests left "early" as it was a Friday night wedding.
  • I think it's kind of knowing your crowd. For my wedding, I had about 1/3 of the my guests still there at the end of the night at 11:00 PM. I went to a wedding where almost 1/2 of the guests were gone by 9:00 PM & the wedding party hadn't even done the toasts, specials dances or anything yet. Many of the guests had very young children with them (they were invited) and left to get their kids to bed before melt downs started, and a lot of the adults without kids left early too because the DJ was bad. Something to consider, many older guests will leave by 9:00 PM or earlier, depending on how early the reception started. Also guests who have to go home to a sitter, may not stay until the end either, depending on how late your reception is scheduled to go. So again, I think it really comes down to knowing your guests. Great idea, but if you don't think there will be many left at the end of the night, better to maybe do them as favors or skip.
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