Let's be real here... wedding food is tricky. Do you provide a sit down meal and hors-d'oeuvres? Or do you save money and have small plate food stations about the reception space? Whatever you choose to do... just make sure that your guests are well aware of what they should expect in regards to the food selection. Here are a few different ways to provide food to your guests.
Sit Down Dinner
This is the most traditional service seen at weddings. Everyone gets their seat and patiently waits for your delicious food to be served to them. This is great for the guests because they don't have to worry about fighting for a good spot in line or worrying that there won't be enough of their favorite food to go around. Before you decide on a caterer... taste the food they are going to serve! Your dear uncle might be willing to do it at a cheaper price but food isn't always the best area to skimp on. Also, be mindful of the time between the ceremony and reception! Nothing is worse than waiting for hours to eat, especially if there are no appetizers at cocktail hour. If you have a big gap between your ceremony and reception... tell the guests to bring or pick up a snack so they aren't dying of hunger by the time everything is ready to be served.
This is definitely a more relaxed way of serving food. You can even cut some cost by having guests serve themselves rather than having someone standing behind the buffet serving. The great thing about buffets is that people can pick and choose what they want to eat and you can order a variety of options to adhere to all dietary needs of your guests. And often times, you can get much more food when ordering in bulk quantities! The great thing about a buffet a shorter wait. With a sit down dinner, guests could be spending two hours at the table waiting and eating. With a buffet, you can get the party started right away and let people nibble as they please.
These are becoming more and more popular as the years go on. Not only can you provide various types of food to please your guests' tastebuds, now you can give them something to do while they're waiting for your grand entrance! Millennials especially like to be entertained throughout the whole event. Add in a s'mores making station or add a fun spin on things by hiring food trucks to come after everyone has enjoyed the open bar.
Only serving appetizers or small plates is definitely less expensive than a full service meal. If you do decide on this option, make sure that your guests know and are not expecting to be fully fed at your reception. If there is any room in your budget... consider getting a food truck to come out towards the end of the reception so guests can soak up the fun that they had at your open bar with delicious grilled cheese or tacos!
At some point in your planning process you are going to realize “Oh no, I forgot to plan the menu.” Which then sends you into panic mode because you have no idea what you are going to feed your 150 guests. Well I am here to tell you do not worry, planning your menu is easy! Especially with all of the amazing food trends that are going on right now.
1. Are you having a late ceremony? Consider serving hors d'oeuvres only at your reception. Chances are if your ceremony is starting at 7pm or later your guests will have already eaten so you don’t need to plan a full menu. Pick out a couple of staple foods, such as sliders, grilled cheese, and even shooter glasses filled with soup. If those options don’t float your fancy consider having a meatball bar, you can serve different meatballs with a variety of sauces and cheese toppings, this will definitely be a hit! This will keep your guests bellies full but will cut down your costs on the catering.
2. Do you not want to go through the hassle of coordinating a dinner service or picking out a ton of food for your buffet? Consider serving dinner family style. This not only gets your guests at their tables talking. It also can cut down on your costs, since the caterer is not having to plate each dinner on individual plates. I promise you will not regret serving dinner family style, and your guests won’t hate you for it either.
3. If you plan on getting all of your photos done before the ceremony, consider hosting cocktail hour BEFORE the ceremony. I know it may sounds crazy, and you are thinking to yourself “What if my guests get drunk before my vows are event exchanged.” I promise you they won’t, but if it would put your mind at ease consider only offering beer and wine. Another bonus to hosting the cocktail hour before the ceremony is that if some guests are showing up a little late, they won’t miss your I Dos. This is also a great way to get straight to your reception after your I Dos, the reception is one of the biggest parts of your wedding and why not get right to it after you marry the love of your life.
4. I have good news for all you breakfast lovers out there. Serving breakfast foods for dinner is a new up and coming trend! Not only is breakfast food cheaper than serving your typical dinner plate, it is also something your guests are going to love! Think about having an omelet station, or a donut bar, and your guests will think your wedding is the wedding of the century!
5. Don’t forget about the most important thing: Dessert! We are seeing a lot of desserts being served on sticks, consider serving cake pops, mini cheesecakes, or macaroons. This is another way to get your guests up and mingling because they don’t have to worry about a plate and fork, just walk up to the dessert bar pick up a stick and continue your conversation!
Still need inspiration to make sure that your catering is the best anyone has ever had? Give us a call, we would love to share more tips and tricks!