Food Services at Weddings: What’s Best For You?

Wedding Venue Food ServiceOf all of the things your guests look forward to the most, besides watching you get married of course, one of the most anticipated is the food. Food brings people together, denotes a celebration, and delights the senses.

But planning your wedding’s food, for many couples, is complicated and challenging (and sometimes incredibly expensive), each person bringing their own opinion, ideas, and tastes. So while we’ll leave the choice of food up to you and yours, we’ll help you decide the best way to approach food service for your big day.

There are four main types of food service styles that are used at weddings: Plated, Buffet, Tapas, and Homestyle. Below is a quick reference of the pros and cons of each to help you make this decision as tasteful as possible.

• It’s the most formal style of service, elevating your big day from a simple celebration to a wedding
• Because guests will give you their meal choices ahead of time, it can take away a lot of planning issues and day-of concerns (Will there be enough? What about vegetarian Aunt Jo?)
• The meal time maintains a sense of ease because all guests can stay seated and relaxed

• The service is time consuming since each guest is served individually
• It tends to be the most expensive of options (i.e. the cost of hiring a waitstaff)
• Most plated menus have fewer options than you can have at the other styles, so be sure to not overlook any dietary needs/restrictions with your choices

• This style of service literally brings people together, making it a fun way for your guests to interact and see each other
• This choice is less expensive than most plated options, but can still reflect your personal style and taste
• There are more options available for your guests to choose from and they are able to try a variety of dishes in small portions

• Inviting tables to serve themselves at the buffet can be awkward
• It can be hard to know when guests are done or estimate the time that this type of service will take
• Most people view the buffet option as more informal, which might not be a good match for your wedding style

• A trendy food service style that allows for a constant flow of tasty snacks
• Keeps the focus on the party, letting guests socialize and mingle while simultaneously being fed
• Because of the small portions of these little bites, you and your SO can choose several food options that will make both of you happy

• In order to take advantage of this food style, having a waitstaff to bring plates to your guests will cost additional money
• The cost of the food can stack up quickly depending on the types of tapas you choose (your caterer will have to prepare lots of different options, not just a few)
• You will hear occasionally the snarky comment of, “This is all we’re getting to eat?” or “There’s no real dinner being served?”. Your teenage cousins will complain, “But I’m hungry!”

• Similar to the buffet, this style keeps the atmosphere relaxed and casual
• Unlike the buffet, the homestyle service puts the food on each table (think: dinner at mom’s), alleviating the lines of standing guests
• Service is controlled by your guests, which means they can take as much or as little of a dish as they want

• Your guests will be forced to interact. Depending on where they are sitting, your guests will either love this or hate it
• This style doesn’t work as well at formal venues where the tables might be too small and will feel crowded with addition of large plates of food
• Some venues will not allow for this kind of service at all – so check before you get your heart set

The in house catering team at The Avenue can design and create a variety of international foods. Our food menu options constantly change.

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