Info on self-catering full meals: SFGate article titled "Do-It-Yourself Feast: How to cater your own wedding without losing your peace of mind" and this thread at indiebride, titled "Get The Smelling Salts, They're Doing Their Own Reception Food!" Seems like it's just about prepping as much as possible beforehand. My main question on this is, where do you keep at the food refrigerated beforehand?
Advice and posts from bloggers about their own experiences: chic on the cheap, Adventures Along the Way, and Apartment Therapy editor Faith Durand, with hopefully more to come! Basically I left comments on every blog I could find that mentioned doing a dessert reception and all of the women have been really nice and willing to share their wisdom on the subject. Lessons gleaned from the above posts:
- Don't plan on a very long reception (2-3 hours): I'm estimating maybe 3-5 or 3-6.
- Make sure the invitations make clear what type of food will be served: we'll need to ponder this for a bit, with the sandwiches being thrown in there
- Figure out the appropriate timeline for stuff like cake-cutting: we'll have a really little cake, but I hadn't yet thought about when we'd be doing that bit.
- Multiple stations for people to mingle and not have to wait in line and easy access to drinks
- Small servings, so people can taste many items
- Variety of textures and flavors, including sugar-free options: I do need to remember this, one of my uncles is diabetic
- Set up tables, tableclothes, serving trays, etc. the day before if possible: the site coordinator said if there's no event booked on Friday, we could come in early that day to set up then
- Hire people for set up and clean up if not getting a caterer (trouble is, where does one find trustworthy folks with experience to hire? Yes, craigslist ads, but references would be better)