Wedding Reception Catering Styles

Food is an important part of a wedding. It leaves a deep impression on guests – whether positive or negative – so it is no wonder that much time is spent on choosing a caterer, designing the menu and ensuring that everything tastes delicious. Now that you have the “who” (caterer), “what” (menu), “when” (wedding day), and “where” (reception venue) decided, don’t you think it’s time to put some thought into the “how”? How will the food be served at your wedding reception?

There are, in general, three catering styles that are used at weddings. These are buffet, seated meal, and finger food reception. Please read on for an overview of each catering style, some advantages and disadvantages, and pictures to give you an idea of how it looks.


We all know what buffets are – ALL YOU CAN EAT! This means variety when it comes to your menu and no limit to the guests’ potion size. Food can be placed on long tables (beware of long lines and impatient guests) or strategically by stations (ie pasta, salad, etc). This style stimulates socializing and mingling among guests. You decide if you want to assign seating.

In regards to cost, this option is cheaper in terms of wait staff but, overall, it may be more costly. Why? Because people will naturally eat more (and hopefully not waste more) and they have the freedom as to what they eat. Depending on what you offer, guests will head to the higher end menu items. Caution is needed when choosing your menu to ensure you stay within your budget while providing enough for your guests.

Catering - Buffet

Seated Meal

The most traditional and formal of all serving styles, guests are seated in pre-assigned seats and served by waiters. Don’t assume that this is also the most expensive style as you must remember that unlike the buffet, guests can only eat what they’re served and nothing more, giving you control over quantity. Another way to save money is to decrease the number of courses.

What should you include in your entrees? Items that will have the widest appeal, therefore chicken is honestly the safest option. It is also the least expensive meat. If you really want seafood, farm-raised salmon is quite reasonably priced and popular among guests. Always have the option of a vegetarian entrée. If you have to cut corners even more, provide dinner rolls and other inexpensive sides to fill up your guests tummies. Whatever you choose to serve, ensure that it will not get soggy or cold while waiting to be served to all the guests.

Catering - Seated

Finger Food Reception

Really tight budget? This is the style for you; it is the most wallet-friendly and least stressful. Rather than hosting a full reception, at a finger food reception, the reception is shorter in duration as waiters circulate the room with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails to standing guests. On average two hours in length, this option is ideal for late afternoon to early evening receptions.

As a general rule, make sure all food is easy to eat using fingers or toothpicks. You don’t want any guests dirtying their fancy clothes. And how many appetizers should you offer? Another rule: Serve at least 6 different appetizers for a 2-hour reception and at least 9 if you choose to lengthen it to 4-hours.

Catering - Finger Food

[Image Credits: Wedding Engagement NoiseWedding BuffetYelpCarter CenterAnonymousKiss My TulleColorado CateringPull Up A SpoonMartha Stewart WeddingsIt’s A Bride’s LifeHostess With The Mostess, C Web News]



I have to start off by saying that purple is my all-time favourite colour so I just had to have a post on it. You understand, right? Now the ombre part of the title, I like it, but it seems everyone else loves it as it has been trending for the past year and there is no indication that it will die anytime soon. I don’t blame people for loving it though. It is quite eye-catching.

For a little background information, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, the word ombre (pronounced ombr-ay) is the past participle of the French verb ombrer which means to shade. In modern terms, it is when colours or tones shade into each other. So you have a favourite colour and you take several shades of it, place them in gradual succession, and voila! you have made something ombre.

Now combine the concept of ombre with the colour purple, make it into a wedding theme and you have the following wonderful suggestions:

THE FLOWERS to smell

Purple Ombre 01

It doesn’t have to be just your centrepieces that are themed. You can have a matching bouquet if you so desire. Just remember to have it in levels of flashiness, if you get what I mean. Don’t let your guest table centrepieces outshine your headtable centrepiece and don’t let your headtable centrepiece outshine your own bouquet. See, level of flashiness… I know what I’m talking about.

An option that isn’t shown in the photos is to have a row of centrepieces that each individually are one colour but collectively form an ombre effect. This is a great idea if you are not using traditional round tables, but are opting for long tables instead.

 THE CAKE to eat

Purple Ombre 02
As I go through the photos, I scream in delight at all the yummy pictures. I think many of these cakes are a girl’s dream come true. If it isn’t ombre in the cake layers, it’s ombre on the outside icing, often with flowery details. It has pretty princess colours, flowers and butterflies. What else can we ask for?


Purple Ombre 03
Zazzle and adori DESIGNS are both online sites that provide a lot of variety and customization. For invitations, Zazzle provides a template with textboxes where you fill in the event information information and then select a paper type. adori DESIGNS is sold on Etsy, an online marketplace. The same theme can come in a wide range of colours and is also available for ancillary items such as response cards, envelopes, menus, save the dates, you name it.

Also, ombre can be and is often matched with patterns such as scallop, chevron or horizontal stripes, as seen in the samples above. An idea would be to try it with other patterns such as polka dots (my fave), vertical or diagonal variations of the stripe, or swirls. I’m sure the results will be awesome.

[Image Credits: Belle the Magazine, Beautiful Bridal, Budget Brides Guide, Kootation, Weddings by Lilly, Trend Hunter, Cake Central, Mazel Moments, I Heart Baking, Zazzle, Zazzle, Zazzle, Zazzle, adori DESIGNS]

BLUE weddings

The year is almost over. Can you believe it? It feels like it just flew by. Did anything special happen this year? Did you start dating? Maybe get engaged? If not, don’t worry. Who knows what the future will bring.

For those who got engaged, congratulations! There is a lot of planning in store for you. One of the first decisions many couples make is the colour theme of the wedding. So for those getting married in 2015, pay attention. BLUE might be the colour to have at your wedding. Blue is almost everyone’s favourite colour and no surprise as it is said to be beneficial to the mind and body. Maybe that’s the real reason people have “something blue” at their wedding and not for the supposed luck it brings with it. Interesting fact: The colour blue suppresses appetite, so maybe you can save on the reception bill… just maybe.

There are so many inspiration boards out there but I like to break it up into categories. I find that more helpful for suggesting wedding ideas. What shade of blue would you use at your wedding? Dark, light or a variety? Tweet us your response. You’ll notice that some things, like cakes, tend to be in a lighter shade while other things, like flowers, are in a darker shade. Pick what you like and feel free to comment.

Blue 01

THE BRIDE for her

Blue 02

THE GROOM for him

Blue 03

THE SHOES to walk

Blue 04

THE NAILS to flaunt

Blue 05

THE FLOWERS to smell

Blue 06

THE CAKE to eat

Blue 07


Blue 08

[Image Credits: MultiVu, Wedding Bee, Wedding Dress 5, brideOrama,
One Wed
, One Wed, ловлю-улыбку, Glamour Weddings, Glamour Weddings, Muslim Fashion 2013, Christy Ng Shoe Haven, Fashion Diva Design, Stylespk, Nail Art and Things, Black Bride, Belle the Magazine, Bloomers Floral Design Inc, Wedding Bride Dream, Bouquet4Princes, Wedding Flower Ideas, Martha Stewart Weddings, Ideal Bride Magazine, CakeChooser, Kazzaland, PRWeb, In Casa Gifts]