Every engaged couple we talk to asks the same two questions: Should we have a sit down dinner? and What about a buffet or food stations? It’s true that today’s engaged couples have more choices than ever, which can be a good thing. But having to navigate what seems like a million decisions can seem,well, like a bad thing. So let me make it a little easier for you.
You basically have three serving choices – a traditional sit down meal, multiple food stations, or a dinner buffet. A traditional sit down is exactly as it sounds – the time honored dinner served to guests at assigned tables. Typically, a meal choice is given with the wedding invitation and one theme or food flavor is followed from beginning to end. Food stations can literally be anything you want them to be – you can have an Asian food station next to an Italian food station, next to Spanish tapas. If only the world got along so well side by side. The last choice is a dinner buffet – kind of a hybrid between sit down and food station. Guests get to choose from a mixture of food offerings – typically a beef entrée, a chicken or fish entrée, a potato or rice dish and vegetables.
Now that you know your choices, it’s time to figure out what makes sense for your wedding. Start by asking yourself, “What kind of guests am I inviting?” I know it sounds like a strange question when thinking about seating but trust me, it matters.
Say you’re having a wedding and you have a lot of guests coming from all corners. You want your west coast friends to mingle with your east coast friends, or your college friends to meet your work colleagues – then go with the food stations. A beautifully presented food station with culinary treats never fails as a conversational icebreaker. Think, “Wow is that French cut medallions of tenderloin grilled over hickory chips and adorned with molten Roquefort, walnut crown, and burgundy reduction I see?” Okay maybe not exactly what they’d say, but you get my drift.
Now if you ‘re lucky enough to have living grandparents or other honored elders attending your wedding, consider the sit down as people this age are more comfortable with a stationary table and being served. For those of you who have guests who like the social aspect of a food station, but want the structure of an assigned seat, the dinner buffet is the way to go.
Whatever type of reception you choose- just relax and enjoy the day. The best weddings I’ve seen are with happy, relaxed brides and grooms. You know the type – the ones who keep the day in perspective – and celebrate the fact that they are marrying the love of their lives and are surrounded by all the people who matter to them.