Every wedding catering project is different, but the one thing that is always a critical factor to the success of the following reception is the catering of the food and beverages. In this short guide we cover most common wedding catering styles.

Run out of food and drink, and your party might be over before it even begins. Professional caterers will want to ask you a few questions when helping you to decide on the final menu selections.

  • How many guests will be invited?
  • Do you have a theme for the reception already in mind?
  • Would you like to include alcohol at the event?
  • Are there any special dietary requirements for the wedding party and guests?
  • What are your budgetary constraints?
  • Have you already chosen a venue?

Depending on the answers to these questions, there are different ways of serving the wedding catering menu. You can choose the traditional sit-down meal. You can opt for a buffet style of service. Or you may simply choose to go with finger foods and a more casual style of wedding reception.

Formal Sit-Down Reception

This is the type of affair where a wait staff will deliver the meals to your guests. Usually a seating chart will be designed before the affair where each guest is assigned a specific seat. But this is not always necessary. You can also designate one table for the wedding party and leave the rest of the tables open for the guests’ choosing.

The hiring of the wait staff will be an additional expense that you should consider. A reputable wedding catering company will know where to locate the best serving staff to suit your budget. If you find that your reception is exceeding your predetermined monetary constraints, you and your caterer might choose to limit a couple of the meal courses or choose a buffet style of service instead.

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The Buffet Reception

The Buffet Wedding Reception comes with its own series of pro’s and con’s. You will save on wait staff for certain, but a buffet is basically an “all you can eat” dinner. This may mean that your food budget may need to increase slightly. Buffet wedding catering style can allow you the ability to offer a wider range of dish selections, too.

You can set up the urns on a long table at the end of the room, or divide up the choices into individual serving stations spread throughout the event to avoid long lines and wait times for your guests. You can have salads and cold appetizers on one station, hot meats and vegetables on another, deserts located in another corner, and maybe a pasta station with different sauces and noodles located somewhere else. Always try to offer some vegetarian choices as well.

For those on a very tight budget, try serving a selection of finger foods and sandwiches. If done properly, finger foods can still look very elegant and sophisticated, especially if you choose a reputable wedding catering service to help with the planning and coordination. Remember, this is your wedding day. Make it a memorable occasion, but always keep your budget in mind.