You’ve probably come up with a few ideas for your wedding menu, but before you say yes to any dishes, you’re going to have to select a wedding catering style. There are a few popular options, and each will help set the tone for your event. From elegant plated dinners to more casual cocktail style bites, you’ve got options.
Here are the wedding catering serving styles you need to know.
If you’re going the traditional route, a plated dinner is the way to go. It’s exactly what it sounds like, your guests will order their meals in advance (or once they are seated at your reception) and then waiters will serve it in courses. This style lets your guests mix and mingle without getting up to grab an extra roll or another side of mash, allowing their conversations to flow seamlessly. Keep in mind that it tends to be the priciest option of the bunch, so you’ll want to be mindful when selecting your dishes.
Another tried and true option is the buffet. It is usually reserved for more casual affairs, but it can definitely have a gourmet twist if you want it to. This wedding catering style is usually less expensive than plated meals and has the added bonus of allowing your guests to choose what they put on their plates (minimizing waste). You’ll want to opt for eats that are easy to serve, as there will probably a line up of hangry guests waiting to fill their dishes.
Food stations are probably the trendiest wedding catering style and are perfect for more modern celebrations. They give your guests the ability to DIY their meals, allowing them to craft their perfect plates. How does it work? You’ll set up various stations around your venue that serve different types of food - for example, one could focus solely on breads and cheeses while another could serve up salads - and your guests will take turns going from station to station, filling up their plates.
Want to give your wedding reception a comforting, homey vibe? Opt for a family style wedding catering. This works amazingly for meals like Sunday roasts, which involve sharable dishes like mash, seasonal vegetables, yorkshire puddings and, of course, the roast. Plate them on large sharing platters and ask your guests to divvy it up amongst themselves. This will save them from lining up at buffets or food stations.
If you don’t want to splurge on a banquet style dinner, ditch the fancy place settings and do a standing reception instead. This type of event calls for easy-to-serve cocktail style eats instead of full plated meals, so you can get creative with your menu and offer a few more options. Bonus: a selection of canapes tends to be the least expensive of the bunch, so you’ll be able to save a couple quid.