No wedding is complete without food. For many guests, the menu is one of the most memorable parts of their experience. However, if they get food poisoning from poorly stored or served food, they’ll probably remember little else. Thankfully, we’re here to give you a few tips to consider if you plan on serving the food yourself.

Elite Tents and Events Keeping Food at a Wedding Recepition Cold 1010x450 - How Do You Keep Food Cold for a Wedding Reception?

Keep Food at Safe Temperatures for your Wedding

The most important element to consider when serving food at your wedding reception is safety. You don’t want your wedding to be remembered for its food poisoning. Cold foods can be placed into coolers to keep them cold while guests serve themselves. You can also keep them cold prior to the reception in a freezer or a refrigerator, depending on how much food you have and how much space you need. As a general rule, you want to keep food at about 40° or less to ensure freshness. If you’re having your reception outside, then you should avoid placing trays and tables in direct sunlight for best results. When you work with us, we can provide catering rentals that will help you keep your food cold before and during your wedding reception.

What About Warm and Hot Foods?

For food items that need to taste like they’ve just come out of the oven, you’ll need chafing dishes. Chafing dishes keep food warm by using steam. All you need to do is fill the bottom compartment with water and then light the Sterno fuel canister beneath it. The fuel will burn for about 2 hours before it will need to be replaced, but that should be more than enough time for all of your guests to enjoy a nice hot meal. As a general rule, hot food should be kept at an internal temperature of 140°, but your chafing dishes will ensure your success. For best results, move your hot food from the oven to the chafing dishes at the last possible moment.

How Else Can You Ensure the Food Stays Cold (or Hot) For Your Reception?

One of the simplest ways to address this is to incorporate room-temperature menu items. Even if they are made with dairy, meat, or eggs, they can be left out for about 2 hours of guaranteed safety according to the FDA. However, please note that “room-temperature” is around 70°, so take caution on hot days.

If you’re flexible on tradition, you can always take pictures before the wedding to cut down on time between the ceremony and the reception.

Elite Tents and Events Can Help with Wedding Rentals in Maryland

If you’re looking for a party partner for your wedding, then Elite Tents and Events is here to help you. We have a huge selection of tent rentals, catering rentals, and everything else you need to create an amazing reception. If you don’t see something you’re looking for on our website, give us a call. If we don’t have it, we can find it, and if we don’t handle it, we can find you someone who can. We look forward to making your special day complete.