Help! Too many for Easter dinner....buffet or sit down?

joaniepoanieApril 6, 2014

I have always hosted Easter dinner for my brother's family (they do Thanksgiving). Never a problem until this year. We have 7 kids between us....two are now married ( 1child and a baby) and 3 now have SO's. So lots of extra people plus 1set of close friends. I'm expecting 18-20. My DR table seats ten. I have an L shaped LR/DR and neither one is big. Setting up a table in the LR will be tight and some chairs will be half on/off rug. I can rent an 8' rectangular or 5' round. Furniture will have to be shoved out of the way to set up the table just before we eat. The living room seating space is approx 10x8.

I hesitate to do a's so hard to eat with a plate in your lap..especially trying to cut meat...I am having roast pork(bro's fave) and ham.

I need suggestions as to logistics! Rent a table (rd or rect?), buffet, or make reservations(lol)? TIA.

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Annie Deighnaugh

We are having 21 and I'll do a buffet for serving and multiple tables for eating...some in DR, some in bkfst nook and some in FR.

So add the rect table which should seat 10 and 10 in the dr and you're done.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 12:45PM
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You are right that it's much nicer to have a table to eat from when you are serving meat that needs to be cut. We have a crowd at Christmas and seat people wherever we can fit a table. We put 12 in the dining room, 6 in the breakfast room, 6 in the den and 8 in the living room. The living room table is a folding table that is cleared and removed after the meal so that we can visit and exchange gifts. It's easy enough to do as long as you have a plan for where the table will be stored once it is removed. Plus, you will have all those helping hands to move furniture around for you.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:02PM
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I usually have two large tables of ten and it's tight but I make duplicates of the entire meal, essentially it's like being a caterer haha. Lots of work but sooo worth it when we play games or sit and talk for hours. Everyone loves a relaxed casual feeling so you really can't go wrong, it's family.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 2:40PM
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I would go with the rectangular table and set up in the DR. '

That's what I do at Thanksgiving.

If you need to move some LR furniture to the garage or a bedroom for the day, then do that if it will give you more room.

Happy Easter.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 4:41PM
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If you must serve things that will need to be cut, I think you must have seating.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:54AM
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Thanks have calmed my panic. I have decided to rent an 8' rectangular table to set up in the will be tight, but I think we can make it work for the 1/2 hour or so we will actually be eating (hours of prep and the meal is over in 20 min!) I have a smallish galley kitchen, but there is enough room in front of the slider where the kitchen table is to squeeze in a second table....I will set everything out there buffet style. There will not be enough room on the rented table for serving dishes as the table is only 30" wide so buffet seems the logical choice. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 11:12AM
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Definitely serve buffet style...otherwise you would need a serving dish for each item for each table...way too many dishes. You will probably want to put condiments like butter and salt and pepper on each table, though.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 12:17PM
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We have 20+ for Easter and Thanksgiving every year, with a lot of young adults there. And I have a smallish galley style kitchen.

As others have suggested, we always do buffet style serving with butter and condiments on the tables.

Some of the things I do that make it easier are to set up drinks on the patio and appetizers somewhere away from the kitchen. I used to put a table in my office for the teens/tweens that was very popular - they liked being in there by themselves and preferred that arrangement. Sometimes I set tables out on the patio with either heaters or fans, depending on the weather.

The bratty teens/tweens have grown to be such charming, intelligent and fun people that we all prefer to have them sit with us, and they keep that whole end of the table laughing. So no more tables in the office.

Have fun enjoying your family at Easter. At last count we're having 25 people, possibly 27. I can't wait!

This post was edited by daisyinga on Mon, Apr 7, 14 at 17:40

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 5:37PM
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I don't understand how a buffet necessarily relates to 'eating on your lap'. When I have a buffet, tables are set, except for dinner plates, which are placed on the counter next to the food. After you serve yourself, you go to the table where utencils have been placed, and it avoids eating on your lap. Of course you do need the extra tables.

Since the grands no longer need high chairs or boosters, and want to sit with the 'big people', last Christmas I brought my round table/chairs from the breakfast area into the foyer, which is right off the DR. It's almost the same size, and the little ones loved having their own table set up, including candles(votives in glass). It was nice to actually have a * real* use for the spacious foyer.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 11:30PM
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