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Feeding Your Guests: What’s Your Style?

Obviously we want your wedding to be a whole vibe. One of the things to factor into the feel of your day is how your food is served. Let’s break down your options!


Plated is considered to be the most traditional style of wedding catering. It’ll typically consist of an appetizer course and an entrée course that are served to guests at their seats. The guests usually preselect their meal choices when they submit their RSVP. A benefit to this option is costs are generally lower due the caterers being able to break it down per plate and know exactly how many portions they will be serving. On the opposite end, staffing fees may be higher because of the number of servers needed.

Buffet Style

Buffet style tends to be a more relaxed style of food service. Typically there is a long table with chafing dishes and serving utensils and guests grab a clean plate and serve themselves the foods and quantities they would like. This can be done where your guests are called up all together, or by table. Buffets will give your guests the most options to choose from, while allowing them to pick how much of something they want. Buffets are often higher in price because the caterer has to make everything in larger volumes, not knowing how much of everything will be consumed.

Family Style

If you want that cozy feeling of everyone around the table at Thanksgiving, chitchatting and passing food to each other, we recommend taking a look at this option. Family style gives you the informal feeling of the buffet but the served and seated aspect of the plated style. With family style service, wait staff will bring platters of food to be placed on each guest table and the guests serve themselves at their seats. This is usually the priciest option, as you need both the serving staff and higher food portions, and occasionally the need to rent extra platters, bowls and service utensils for all of the guest tables. One thing to keep in mind is with all of the bowls and platters that will be spread out on each table, you just need to take the size of your centerpieces into consideration because of the space everything on the table will take up.

Food Stations

Food stations are placed around the reception area and are good for keeping crowds from building up in a single line like at a buffet. It also allows you the options to set up different themes at each, if you’d like, such as an Italian or a pasta bar station, a meat or carving station, a sushi station, or a vegan station… the choices are endless! Because guests need to move about the room to get their food, stations usually extend serving time, so that should be taken into account when timing out your evenings activities.

Food Trucks

Food trucks are a great option for outdoor or at-home weddings! Food trucks are kitchens on wheels and generally offer a variety of menu options to your guests. You could choose to go with one company for the main meal and an ice cream truck for sweet treats after dinner. Guests will order their food at the window of the food truck, and for ease of service there are also a few stations set up around the food truck for guests to grab light bites and condiments. With this casual style of service pricing is usually pretty reasonable, you just need to make sure you have a venue compatible for a large truck to park and operate, and an area suitable for guests to access the truck’s service window.

Let’s find what fits your vibe!

The WPP Planning Team

Wedding Design
2023 Wedding Trends In Upstate NY
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