Food stations, family style, buffet style, plated meals — when it comes to your reception menu the possibilities are endless. Becca of Chef’s Market is here today to share how to choose your wedding catering serving style. Whether you consider yourselves foodies and want food to play a large role in your big day or prefer to go heavier on hors d’oeuvres, there is a lot to consider when deciding on your cuisine. Not only will the team at Chef’s Market work with you on a menu, but they’ll also help you with the presentation portion as well. They always have knowledge of trending food styles too. If you’re wondering how to choose your wedding catering serving style, keep on reading to learn more from one of the best in the business!
There are so many options when it comes to ways to serve your food at your wedding! Can you describe some of Chef’s Market’s favorite ways to serve food at weddings?
Becca: One of our favorite suggestions for our couples who want to switch up the traditional wedding food service is one of our many interactive stations. These stations are created with you and your guests in mind! Not only for excellent food service but also for a fun, entertaining atmosphere on your wedding day. By far, one of our favorites is the Italian Styled Cheese Wheel Pasta Bar. This station incorporates all things fun and unique, from an authentic round cheese wheel to a lite flame of 151 rum that melts all the yummy and delicious cheese for your warm pasta. We typically style this particular station in a way that the guests can chat with the servers while they build your warm bowl. We incorporate some fun toppings for guests to add themselves such as bacon bits, prosciutto pieces, shredded parmesan, and diced tomatoes. We have also created more unique stations for cocktail hour such as hanging bacon, walking chili pies, boozy popsicles, and a build your own burrata bar! We like to go about things in a way that we can truly take the couple’s vision and make it a reality so whatever your mind can dream up we would love to try to tackle.
What type of wedding calls for a buffet? What should couples keep in mind?
Becca: We often tell our couples to consider the type of food service that they would like to have as well as how quickly they would like this food service done. You also have to keep in mind the venue or the space that you will be eating in. We sometimes suggest that larger guest counts either opt for a double sided buffet or a staff served buffet. This helps to speed up the food portion of the evening. Unique ways to make your buffet come to life could include adding in an interactive chef attended carving station. With all buffets you must keep your guests appetites in mind. If you suspect guests to fill their plates with more than they can eat then we would lean more towards the staff served buffet to control food portions.
What type of wedding calls for family style? What should couples keep in mind?
Becca: One of the most important things to note about a family style dinner service is the cost difference. This style of service is beautiful but it does incur more expense. You will not only need more staff onsite to handle the service portion of the event, but you will also need to factor in the amount of rented items of serving bowls/platters that you will need. We like to explain this to couples to keep that open line of communication for expectations. This style of service does give a more intimate and personal feel. We like to use this for rehearsal dinners and elopements.
What type of wedding calls for a plated dinner? What should couples keep in mind?
Becca: Plated dinners are very versatile when it comes to your guest count. You can chose to have a plated dinner for a rehearsal dinner, elopement, or a large wedding. Some things to note when discussing plated dinner style of service with your catering company are there specific needs in order to accommodate their service. This service is beautiful and seamless. It does often go by more quickly than a buffet or family style type of service. It allows your guests the opportunity to sit back and relax instead of serving themselves food. An important thing to keep in mind is this is not the most cost effective. Oftentimes your catering team will need a very large prep kitchen or space that has both running water and electricity. They will need additional catering items such as hotboxes, plate covers, speed racks, and things of that nature.
What type of wedding calls for heavy hors d’oervues? What should couples keep in mind?
Becca: Anytime you have a cocktail hour with other agenda items such as wedding party introductions, first dances, speeches, and any other activities that may keep your guests from eating within two hours after your ceremony we would then suggest a larger selection of appetizers. You want to be mindful of your guests and their time. If you are opting for a more intimate wedding such as an elopement or micro wedding during non-traditional dinner times I think heavy apps are a great alternative. This allows you to still feed your guests but also allows you more freedom with your timeline than a traditional sit down meal. You can also keep in mind that if you are only serving hors d’oeuvres you will not need to rent a place setting for each guest which will allow you to cut down on overall costs.
Which style of service are you seeing more?
Becca: We are still seeing a wide range of styles of service post-covid. During the pandemic all of the weddings that could take place really leaned more into safer styles of service such as plated. We have seen all events really open back up to a little bit of everything!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Becca: No matter what, at the end of the day your wedding is about the union of two people. Committing your life to loving your new spouse. It is easy to look away from that when you get thrown into planning such a special day. Weddings can quickly get stressful, overwhelming, and ultimately lead you to forgetting about what it is all about. Choose the vendors who will have your back and work as a team to complete the one giant goal of making YOU happy! We are only as successful as the vendors we work with. Choose the ones who make you feel confident, happy, and overall trust your vision.
Special thank you to Becca of Chef’s Market for sharing how to choose your wedding catering serving style!