Wedding Food Stations – A Better Way to Present Reception Food

Food stations better for wedding reception dinner

Food station receptions are in and sit down dinners and buffet lines may be dinosaurs.

Utilizing food stations at your wedding reception is less about food and more about social mixing. The wedding trend at Key largo Lighthouse Beach shifted to this more social style of reception.

Food Station wedding receptions are very misunderstood. Find out why they are rapidly gaining popularity. The shift to food station weddings is summed up in three points:

1. More Guest Mingling

What changes socially? Mingling. The wedding food stations can be together or strategically placed on opposite corners of your reception area. This makes guests feel free to move. They have a reason to leave one conversation and start another. Strangers standing in front of a unique food station are given something to talk about, to break the ice.
“Food stations are the tools that let people mix”, said Sabrina Hocker, wedding planner. Your guests are not waiting in a buffet line. They are not stuck at a table with a few close friends or family. They are mobile. They are roaming the entire wedding reception area. It is friendly and jovial. Nobody is restricted to their own “space”. Guests have the ability to “bump into” new people and get to know them. Most important; the bride and groom get to spend hours mingling too.

Are you asking yourself, “Is this more like an all hors d’oeuvres meal?” Not at all. It has main courses at different stations often located apart from one another. Some stations are manned by a chef and some are self-serve. Typically we do also pass hors d’oeuvres. So the main meal and the hors d’oeuvres are served together. It makes so much sense on so many levels. When we serve hors d’oeuvres by themselves, some people fill up on them because they are hungry, and some because they really don’t know what comes next. It is much better to have at least some of the main courses available immediately. And it is less expensive. Why? You need fewer hors d’oeuvres. The main course (less expensive) food is available immediately and throughout the evening.

Guest Mingling, food station

We suggest using fewer traditional tables and chairs. Instead use smaller tables, high and low. You will find that most people will not sit or they won’t sit very long. Stand up cruising tables are really a hit. People stay near these tables to visit someone for a few minutes and then off to the next conversation. We call it “Bump and Run”. Doesn’t a “Bump and Run” party sound more inviting? Make sure you have plenty of staff to continually clean the tables so they always look fresh and inviting for the next guests to use.

2. Better Wedding Rhythm

The rhythm with a food station reception is better. Think about this. After the ceremony perhaps you have a champagne toast and hors d’oeuvres. Just as the party is getting started you do what? You segregate and separate the guests by putting them at tables for the evening. Or you stand them in a line only to be later sent to a table with a few other people. Boring.

With a food station reception, there is no break in the action to segregate guests to tables or stand in a line. Instead, the momentum continues to build. The traditions like first dance and cake cutting are still there, but the time is more flexible. I think it should be pointed out that your Wedding DJ really becomes an MC. A good MC guides people to the food stations as they become available. Also, he knows when and how to inject wedding traditions.

3. Bolder Menus With More Choice And Less Waste

Sit down dinners and buffet lines are not bold, they are boring. The change to a reception with food stations allows guests to sample more foods, different foods, expected and unexpected. They get to select things unfamiliar. And there is less waste because they take a portion they believe they can eat, plus they do not choose the food they know they won’t eat.

wedding food station ideas

“Guests get to eat on “demand” not on “command”. They have continuous access to the main course. A real blessing for the people drinking alcohol.”

Gone are the days of two entrees and a salad. People are more food aware and avoid some foods by choice or because of dietary restraints. Food stations offer the varied menu necessary.

There is another change driving the use of food station wedding receptions. In the past, people tended to marry people more similar to themselves. So tastes of the two families were similar. Now we often have two families with cultural tastes on opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s the perfect application for food stations.

Bon Appétit