No wedding reception is complete without food. Aside from the dishes to serve, the serving style is something you need to decide on as this will affect the flow, portions, timing and options for your guests, making it an important consideration. Your catering style should not leave guests waiting or the food cold. The following are some of the most popular options.

Formal, sit down meals

wedding formalA more traditional wedding catering style is a sit-down meal where beautifully plated multi-course meals are served. A more high-end wedding reception lets guests pre-select their meals via RSVP cards. Chefs create each plate, and guests wait for their plates on their table. This means guests get to enjoy fresh, hot dishes on time. However, this may be more expensive as it requires more labour and equipment.

Buffet style

buffetA buffet is an informal catering style everyone is familiar with. Guests line up and go to the buffet table, where food is set in large warming dishes. Professional chefs still prepare dishes, and it’s a matter of finding the exemplary catering service to ensure you are serving exquisite meals. You can find tips, cocktail ideas and premium suppliers at for a hassle-free process. A buffet is a more affordable, practical option that gives guests the freedom to choose the food they want. Professional catering services know how to ensure a seamless flow and avoid long lines, a common issue in this serving style.

Family style shared meals

Family style catering is a relaxed dining style where guests can enjoy platters of dishes around a table. The food can become the centrepiece of a table, and guests can help themselves and pick the ones they want to try. What’s good about this serving style is that visitors can take control of their food portions and initiate conversations. They also do not need to stand up from the table to get food. However, it can result in a crowded table as dishes are brought to individual tables, but this should not be a problem with the proper serving staff. Consider the logistics, including space requirements with this catering style, and if you have hundreds of guests, you may need larger tables.

Food stations

foodAnother serving style that is becoming more popular for events is food stations. These may include carving stations, dessert stations, sushi stations, cook-to-order stations, etc. Food stations mean fresh food, shorter lines and a less formal dining style. However, they can take up more room than other serving styles.

Catering companies can help you find the right reception style for your wedding. The first thing to consider is whether you want a formal or an informal, more casual setting. The best type depends on your unique taste, budget and requirements. Ask your caterer all the questions you might have, and let them know your concerns. Your overall vision of your wedding reception will help you decide on the best menu style.