Choosing Your Wedding Dinner Options
Wedding dinners come with a host of choices: choosing appetizers, seating arrangements, dinner timeline, the way to serve dinner. The latter choice may not be as fun as choosing the finger foods for cocktail hour, but can go a long way toward creating a wonderful—and unique—wedding dinner that guests talk about long after the last dish is served.
Today’s couples have more choices of ways to serve dinner than ever, ranging from traditional sit-down meals to interactive food stations. The choice of dinner service can guide other decisions, which makes it one of the first decisions you should consider when planning the wedding dinner.
Plated/Sit Down Dinner
This traditional dinner service is synonymous with a formal and elegant affair. Modern sit-down meals come with far more options than in the past. Today’s caterers can customize dishes to meet dietary and guests’ tastes. Couples are usually charged per plate, and are rewarded with a plate of delectable selections (chosen by the couple to fit with the wedding atmosphere) served to each guest.
Why guests and couples prefer this option: Each guest’s plate is delivered by service staff, nixing long wait times and concerns about food temperature.
Why a sit-down meal is not for every couple: This option is usually the most expensive and limits the interactivity between guests.
Buffet dinners are all about options. Guests leave their tables to choose from a variety of options, all chosen to fit with the unique wedding atmosphere. Options for buffet dishes are limitless and range from a traditional chef carved roast sirloin entree to a theme-based menu with lobster mac & cheese. Buffets are an affordable option, allowing couples to suit the appetites of a larger crowd affordably.
Why guests and couples prefer this option: Buffets are all about choice. Couples can select their favorite dishes that suit the atmosphere, such as a Mexican buffet dinner.
Why a buffet meal is not for every couple: This option is not suited for the impatient couple; not everyone wants to wait in line (or for their guests to wait).
Semi Sit Down
This menu is a pleasant combination of a sit down dinner and a traditional buffet. Guests will experience the elegance of a sit-down dinner including service of salad and dessert course, and coffee service. As an alternative of the main entree being served table side, guests are excused to the buffet table.
Why guests and couples prefer this option: This style still provides the choices of a Buffet, but with the table services of a sit down dinner.
Why a semi sit down meal is not for every couple: This option does require guests to wait in line, although it is a bit quicker than a traditional buffet.
Food stations are a wonderful way for guests to mingle and enjoy couples’ favorite foods. This dinner service is perfect for unique wedding venues; food stations can be strategically located so guests can appreciate the exceptional spaces and features of the venue. Food stations offer couples an extensive amount of choices on their big day (like these delicious food station ideas).
Why guests and couples prefer this option: Couples (and guests) love the one-of-a-kind dishes and networking of a well-positioned food stations.
Why a food stations are not for every couple: Not everyone enjoys the mobility that comes with food stations.
Couples considering a family-style meal need only to picture the stereotypical large family gathering where plates of food are passed around. Family-style meals are based on this concept, with large platters circulating among guests at long tables.
Why guests and couples prefer this option: Couples who want their guests to converse and feel like family love the simplicity of a family-style meal.
Why family style is not for every couple: Not every venue has the space or large tables needed for a family-style affair. Food temperature can be a concern.