The catering style you need for your wedding reception depends on multiple factors, including guest count, the size of the venue, and the overall theme of your wedding. For whatever type of wedding you're planning, here are four catering styles to consider for your wedding reception.
If you're planning a traditional wedding, the classic sit-down dinner may be right for you. Guests are seated at tables in groups of up to ten people and served a formal three-course meal. This is the most adaptable catering style as it will work for any number of guests. It'll also be easier to plan your budget because the caterers will know exactly how much food to prepare in advance. If you're prepared to plan a seating chart and table settings, a plated sit-down dinner is the perfect choice for your elegant wedding reception!
For larger weddings with 100 guests or more, a buffet may be a more suitable catering style. Dishes are arranged on long tables where guests will serve themselves before taking a seat, allowing for a greater variety of food without the added stress of creating a seating chart. Though it's less organized than a sit-down dinner, a buffet makes it easier to accommodate multiple dietary restrictions and can lower your overall catering costs, since you won't need to hire many waiting staff to serve all your guests.
While not the most obvious choice of catering style, a standing party is a great option for huge wedding parties of 500 guests or more. Like a buffet dinner, guests serve themselves from the variety of dishes available, but no seats are provided. This allows for more room to accommodate hundreds of people and a livelier environment for guests to mingle. Be aware this catering style will limit your choices to fork-only foods and hors d'oeuvres, and it won't be the most comfortable option if you have children or older guests at your reception.
Not every wedding has to have a grand reception for hundreds of people. If yours will be a small and intimate wedding for 50 guests or fewer, a casual dining experience can be a fun way to let your guests enjoy the food and engage with each other without having to set up a formal reception, especially if your wedding will take place in a private space like your backyard. This catering style is not recommended for large receptions, but it can make any small wedding with just close friends and family even more enjoyable!
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Planning your dream wedding will require a lot of decisions, some careful budgeting, and orchestrating a variety of projects.
One of the most significant decisions you will make during your wedding arrangements, and quite possibly the largest task, is choosing the catering. Get the service and food you want by following a few tips to hire the perfect caterer for your big day.