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What to consider when choosing food for your reception!

Once your venue and caterer are selected, you will want to go over the type of service that you’ll be providing your guests. Here’s a brief summary of your options.


Is a combination of stationary food items and passed or experiential appetizers is the likely route to ensure guests have time and opportunity to get some food in their belly. Because alcohol is usually part of the event, you’ll want to emphasis having food with a bit of weight using meats and breads as well as considering vegetarian dishes as well. You can liven this up with appetizers that match your theme, colors, or even are presented in unique ways, such as on acrylic trays or in ice shooters.

PHOTOGRAPHY Studio 29 Photography & Design

PHOTOGRAPHY m three studio photography

PHOTOGRAPHY Heather Cook Elliott Photography


This is another more informal way to feed your guests, you need never worry about guests being hungry later, as everyone can fill their plates with however much food they think they need. You can also create a very familiar, cozy environment with guests getting served in a ‘family style’ way at each table, which is a step up from the traditional long buffet line but still allows for bulk food options. There is a myth that buffets can be less expensive than a plated meal, but that is not true. Buffets require extra amounts of food to be bought by your caterer to ensure that they don’t run out as people fill their own plates.

PHOTOGRAPHY Studio 29 Photography & Design


This is truly a culinary experience for your guests - getting to select, point and watch as their food is being cut and served. Carving stations do not even need to be confined to meat. You can have potato bar stations, pasta bars, sautéed vegetable and seafood bars, or even an omelette bar if you’re hosting a brunch reception. Carving stations tend to end quicker, so while this is a buffet type of serving style, be sure that your guests are aware that there is an end time to the food being available.


A classy step up from carving stations and ‘help yourself’ bars, small plates are exactly what they sound like: small plates of pre-served food that guests can grab. There are usually several small plate station