Download our Catering Menu!

    6 Popular Wedding Food Catering Styles

    What are popular wedding food catering styles?

    1. Buffet Style
    2. Plated Dinner
    3. Cocktail Style
    4. Family Style
    5. Serve-yourself Style


    Back then, you didn’t really need to think much about food catering services. After you’ve chosen a venue, you would either go for a sit-down dinner or a buffet-style dinner. In recent years, wedding food catering services have gotten more creative and can fit any type for venue or theme. You could make your reception mealtime more conversation-inducing than ever before!


    Buffet Style

    Buffet Style

    A buffet-style catering for your wedding food service is perfect for any kind of reception. Guests will have the freedom to choose the food they want and how many servings they’ll get, making it quite the popular catering style for many. What’s great about buffet style dinners is that there’s sure to be food for everyone. At weddings, it’s common to have a server behind the buffet table to assist with giving food and describing the dish.

    This style should definitely be a part of your wedding catering checklist as it gives you the option to save more by not having to hire too many servers and waiters. It also provides your guests with a variety of food choices. Buffets are also a good way to encourage interaction among guests. A few drawbacks of this food catering style is that the guests may have to fall in line to get their food. You’re also going to need larger quantities of food, you should expect every guest to make the most out of the buffet.


    Plated Dinner

    The most traditional and the most formal catering style of all, plated sit-down dinners are perhaps the most eloquent of food services. Usually, guests will be served a three- or four-course meal. Catering services will give the guests a limited selection of appetizers, and entrées. Before the reception, guests are given a menu on what meal course they will have. A sit-down meal service will require more servers, waiters, and most likely more expensive food. This option will require you to shell out much more money than other catering style options.

    This may be a costly catering service, but it’s worth the price. Your guests will experience a lush dining event where everyone receives their food at the same time. Having everyone seated gives the event an opportunity for activities such as band performances, dance numbers, and dedication speeches.


    Cocktail Style

    Cocktail Style

    This catering style has recently grown in popularity for weddings and other formal events. Instead of serving full meals, guests are served hors-d’oeuvres and bite-sized food throughout the event. Usually, cocktail style catering services offer hot and cold food options. You could have the meals served on a table much like a buffet-style or have servers walking around to offer food to guests. If you have a small venue in your wedding catering checklist, then cocktail catering services will be the ideal option.

    This catering style has been trending in recent years due to its space-saving potential. It allows the bride and groom to roam the reception area and interact with friends and family members. This option could prove to be cost-efficient due to the fact that you won’t be serving any main entrées. Cocktail-style receptions highly encourage guests to interact and mingle since there won’t be any set tables or fixed seating arrangements.


    Family Style

    In a family-style setting, guests are served on their table, much like the plated style. But instead of set menus being served to the guests, meals are served on the table for guests to serve themselves. In some events, waiters may even replenish the dishes upon request of the guests. It’s just like having dinner in your own home, hence the name.

    This catering style cuts across the buffet style and plated style catering service. Guests are served a meal that has been previously chosen, and they can get as many servings as they want. This makes for a more efficient mealtime as guests can help themselves with the presented foods. This style may be costly due to the serving pieces and serving sizes of food that have to be prepared. Rental for larger tables and more platters may require a large venue.


    Serve-your-self Style

    Serve-your-self Style

    A trendy option would be to go for a serve-yourself-catering service. Much like a buffet style catering service, a serve-yourself-service doesn’t require the guests to fall in line and have them all pass through the same table of food. This style sets multiple stations of different cuisines very similar to hotel buffet set-ups. These stations are a great way to spice up your wedding reception’s theme.

    Guests can enjoy a wide variety of cuisines and the freedom to choose what they want to eat — minus having to fall in line. You could have different stations that serve different cuisines or you could take the more traditional approach of having separate stations for appetizers, entrees, finger foods, and desserts.


    Key Takeaway

    There are many food catering service styles to choose from, all of which have their own pros and cons. It’s important to allocate your budget properly so that you can have more creative and fun food catering services options to choose from.