Reception Ideas: Lunch for 100 People?

I am planning a wedding for my sister. I need to feed 100 people on a limited budget. I think we have at least 10 vegetarians. It doesn't need to be incredibly formal. I need at least one meal for meat eaters, a meal for vegetarians, a couple kinds of salad and some snacky food. The cake is taken care of. I want the food to be as tasty as possible but not too expensive. It can really add up fast when you are feeding this many people. For example, if I budget 10 dollars per person I am looking at 1000, which is too much.


Thank you!


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April 27, 20040 found this helpful

Here is a lunch meal plan from "Big Wedding on a Small Budget" by Diane Warner.

Dolly Roll Sandwitches = .97 per guest (see recipe below)
Fruit Salad = .39 per guest
Potato Salad = .32 per guest
Mixed Bean Salad = .35 per guest
Pickled Beat Salad = .35 per guest
Olives = .12 per guest
Pickles = .15 per guest
Nuts = .30 per guest
Mints = .20 per guest
Coffee, tea and Champagne Punch = 1.25 per guest
Paper Products = .73 per guest


The total comes to 5.13 per person or just over 500.00 for 100 people.

Dolly Roll Recipe

This recipe will server 100 people.


1 twenty pound turkey
1 gallon jar of mayonnaise
5 pounds Chopped Celery
Salt and pepper to taste
Dolly Rolls (baseball sized rolls)


Bake turkey unstuffed until done. Strip both light and dark meat off the bird and put it through a meat grinder. Mayo and celery can be added a day or two before the ceremony and stored in tight containers. You can serve these on the day of the wedding. Just cut rolls and use a small ice cream scoop to fill the little sandwitches. Its best to assemble to order and keep the turkey mix cold until they are ready to be eaten.

Notes: Most ingredients can be purchased in quantity at a warehouse store. Check your local baker for Dolly Rolls. They may be available at a warehouse store as well.


You can also find a breakfast and lunch plan in Diane's book.

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By Linda (Guest Post)
April 27, 20041 found this helpful

If a hot meal is required, I'd do pasta-primavera with only vegies for those so inclined, and add chicken or turkey for the carnivores. A simple salad with prewashed, bagged mixed greens, and a few season vegies, rolls or bread. beverages, cake, whatelse is needed? Pre-dinner muchies could be nuts, wrapped candies-kisses strewn on tables are fun, pretzels, breadsticks and cheese chunks...

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By jim (Guest Post)
April 27, 20041 found this helpful

We did my daughters wedding of 250 people with the feature dish being chicken marsala. It is elegant, inexpensve, and surprisingly easy to was a big hit! Other friends and church group members brought pre-planned pot dishes so there were plenty of veggies to go around.


Friends enjoy helping and consider their small investment as part of their wedding gift to the newlyweds!

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By Doggy (Guest Post)
April 27, 20043 found this helpful

I did my sons wedding for under $400.00 total food cost. (75 guests) I did two large turkeys sliced and plated, gravy, stuffing (baked seperately) cranberry compote, tossed green salad, cut veggies and dip, chips and salsa, green bean casserole, Sliced hero bread and cold cuts, crackers, sliced cheeses, pickles, olives, potato salad, cole slaw, punch, Sangria (with fruit slices) and a champaigne toast.
the only things that had to be served warm were the gravy and stuffing (Chaffing dishes)
my vegan guests had plenty to choose from. There are some wonderful sites that can help you with how much you need.


Your grocery deli counter can be very helpful. they will assist you in knowing how much total coldcuts and cheeses will be appropriate. Just tell them your buget, and your headcount. Best of luck.
If I can be of help, please Email:

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By Sandy (Guest Post)
April 27, 20040 found this helpful

I often use recipes from You can choose what types of food you want to cook with (chicken, veggie, ect) and this site allows you to scale the recipes to suit how many people you need to serve. This may be helpful if trying to cook for 100 or more!
Good Luck

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By KC (Guest Post)
April 30, 20041 found this helpful

HI. I recently got married myself (Feb. 04). While I did not have a large reception, we did have to deal with variety (meat and non-meat eaters).


I suggest, if the reception is going to be at least an hour and a half before lunch, or an hour and a half after, serve a chicken salad ball with wheat crackers, a few veggies trays and a few fruit trays. Ranch dip is great with the veggies, and you can make a wonderful dip for the fruit by mixing cream cheese and powdered sugar to taste. It is a whole lot cheaper to fix these yourself rather than buying premade trays. You can get very nice glass "crystal-look" trays at the dollar store. (IDEA: if you get these $1 glass platters, you can use them as gifts for your reception workers.)
If you need any ideas, feel free to email me at I would gladdy email you pictures or anything you need. My mother is a caterer and I have helped her on way too many occassions, so I will be glad to give you ideas, and I promise, if I can do it, anybody can.

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By Cynthia Williams (Guest Post)
October 21, 20041 found this helpful

I would like to give a luncheon for 35-40 people. I want to plan a build your own salad, baked potatoe, and soup bar. How do I figure out how much to lettuce, for example, to purchase per person?

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April 21, 20052 found this helpful

I catered a wedding for an acquaintence and set my price at $250.00. Here's what I served: 200 Ham Biscuits, 96 mini croissants with Tuna salad and chicken salad,2 LARGE fruit trays with extra refill 2 LARGE Vegetable trays with refill ranch dip,dill dip ,fruit dip and pineapple fruit dip,chocolte fondue and a few added things like mexican dip and tortillas, 2 crockpots of bbq meatballs and lg batch of sausage balls. Enough to fill an 8 foot table twice. Had to comparison shop for best prices and do all my cooking, cutting and make from scratch rather than buy ready made but I stayed within my budget. She was so pleased she paid me an extra $250. MY POINT: Receptions don't HAVE to cost a fortune if you watch your Ps and Qs.

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By Janelle (Guest Post)
September 29, 20071 found this helpful

What should I do. I hate being in the spotlight my wedding and reception is going to be 100-200 and I am worried what everyone will think. I know I shouldn't but it's EASIER SAID THAN DONE, you know. I feel like I'm having some sort of nervous breakdown. HELP am I alone? Not to mention all the stress of financial and other worries that go along with planning a wedding.

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By Shannon (Guest Post)
December 13, 20071 found this helpful

Ok, my situation is a little odd. My fiance and I are marrying young and we are having a smaller wedding. I really need some help because we are inviting 100 people, and our food budget is only $200.... Please, does anyone have any tips on how to make this possible?

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September 13, 20220 found this helpful

I served a 100 people at my wedding. We had pulled pork sandwiches & grilled chicken breast we bought the big packages every week for a couple of months stored them in family members freezers meat can be keep for 6 months. We bought 4 of the big pork loins & 4 big page of chicken breast the ones with 8 big thick pieces from Sam's club we cut them in half which made 64 pieces of chicken which made plenty of food we also bought 2 large frozen Mac & cheese one of the family members made a fruit salad a nothing member made a broccoli salad & bought 4 large potatoes salad one great big can of baked beans. We bought one can of the big country time Leomaid powder & one of the big cans of the powder liptons tea & bought like 6
big bags of the rolls for the pulled pork sandwich from Sam's club I just bought something every week for a couple of months it cost about $200 hope this helps you

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By Mona (Guest Post)
April 2, 20081 found this helpful

How many pounds of chicken halves, potatoes for potato salad, and pinto beans?

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September 19, 20220 found this helpful

I bought 6 big packages they had 8 pieces of chicken in each package if u Flayed them it makes twice the amount & ur guests a full piece of chicken I bought 4 big containers of potatoe salad

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By craftymom (Guest Post)
April 2, 20083 found this helpful

Hi. First of all, congratulations! I have two suggestions: Lasagna - it will go a long way and you can make it with meat or a vegetarian lasagna. The second suggestion is Chicken/Ziti/broccoli. You can find a milliion easy recipes on the internet and it also will go a long way. You can have some friends and family pitch and making the entrees and you'll save a bunch of money!
Good luck!

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By Lee Ann (Guest Post)
May 5, 20081 found this helpful

Can anyone give me a inexpensive idea that will feed at least 75 teens?

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July 26, 20180 found this helpful

Pizza, scalloped potatoes with ham, subway subs, pasta, Im trying to think of all the things my parents did.....
I think if you go with a cheaper filler...bread, pasta, potatoes, this will work. Even a baked potato bar, large potatos in a roaster and let them add the condiments, cheese, bacon, chili etc. Super easy!

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August 19, 20180 found this helpful

Chili spaghetti, taco bar, or walking by tacos are popular with teens

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May 6, 20210 found this helpful

For my daughters Prom party were having Appetizers and dinner
Tostitos and salsa, Buffalo chicken dip, vegetable tray ,fruit tray.
pasta bake( vegetarian ) pulled pork sandwiches, cornbread, garden salad and Caesar salad and then ordering pizza around 11pm.
Homemade Fruit punch , water , pop, and sparkling non alcoholic wine.

Pasta bake is easy
Cook pasta, once cooked drain water , and pasta sauce and your choice of seasoning, and 3 cups of marble cheese to the pasta.
Place in a casserole dish. Bake until cheese is bubbling and slightly brown on top. See easy

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By ritz (Guest Post)
July 5, 20081 found this helpful

Pizza always works!

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By Andrea (Guest Post)
September 3, 20081 found this helpful

Make a bbq, there are also really great vegetarian recipes and go along with it. I am planning my supper and the trick is to wing it see what your sisters favorite food is as well as her future husband and go from there.

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February 10, 20170 found this helpful


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