What Serving Style Is Right For Your Wedding

When it comes to wedding planning, one of the top considerations to keep in mind is the wedding menu. Once you’ve chosen your venue, the next step is to think about what kind of wedding food you’d like to provide for your guests, and that’s where things can start to get a little complicated.

At one time, wedding catering was a relatively simple affair involving a few sandwiches at a local church hall. However, those days are long gone! Nowadays, just engaged couples spend months and even years planning the ultimate stylish wedding celebration and selecting the perfect meal service is a key component of the urban wedding experience.

Any London wedding planner will tell you that the menu for your wedding reception can make or break your big day, so it couldn’t be more important to choose the right serving style to suit your celebration. Serving style has an impact on everything from portion size and guest options to the timing and flow of your event, so the importance of this decision should never be underestimated.

With this in mind, here are some of the most popular options you might want to consider if you’re using a dry hire wedding venue.

Plated Serving Style

Plated food service is a popular and very traditional option. It involves guests pre-selecting their meal on their RSVP card so that the chef can make each plate individually, with servers bringing them to the tables directly.

Table service has a high-class feel, and it offers the benefit of meals being served fresh, hot, and in a timely manner. Another major advantage of this service option is that it’s good for budgeting – no excess food costs will arise since the caterers know precisely how much food they need to prepare and serve.

On the downside, once guests have chosen their meal there’s no room for alterations, changes, or additions. Furthermore, there may be an additional charge for servers to bring your food out to the tables.

Delicious salmon served as a finger food on buffet
Photo by Katarzyna Pracuch / Unsplash

Buffet Style

Buffet-style food service is another popular option for wedding receptions. Guests select their own choice of food from dishes, plates, and chafing dishes in a separate area of the room. A buffet may have servers or guests may serve themselves.

The advantage of a buffet is that guests can mingle, and the event can flow naturally. Guests also benefit from portion sizes that suit their preferences, and they can choose from a wider range of foods.

On the downside, there may be delays when forming a line and, of course, there’s no way to know how much food will be needed, so you could pay for more than actually required.

Photo by Ulysse Pointcheval / Unsplash


A combination of table service and a buffet, family style dining involves the caterer making a variety of dishes, then serving them on large platters to each table so that guests can help themselves without having to get up or form a line. Guests are able to choose the food and portion size they prefer but, of course, you could still end up over-catering and paying more than necessary for food.

Christmas Feast, Australia, Summer Christmas, Table Spread, Top-down, Ham, Salmon, Vegetables, Celebration, Event, Family Gathering, Gathering, Recipe by Jacob Leung
Photo by Luisa Brimble / Unsplash

Food trucks

Food trucks are still a top wedding trend, and with so many options to pick from it isn’t too surprising that they’re so popular. Serving cuisines as diverse as burritos, sushi, hog roasts, and fish and chips, food trucks may result in guests waiting a little longer for their meal, but they’re a convenient way to match food with your wedding theme and they’re especially good for casual celebrations.

Dessert station

A dessert station is similar to a buffet, but with a more interactive element. It often involves guests selecting their own concoctions from a range of components. For example, an ice cream dessert station could provide an array of toppings for guests to add to their sweet treat, while a chocolate fountain allows guests to choose cut fruits and marshmallows to smother in runny chocolate. Dessert stations may get a little messy, but they’re a fun activity for guests to enjoy and they’re a great way to round off your celebration.

Now you know the various serving options available for your big day you’ll have some food for thought!

And if you are trying to figure out how much alcohol to buy for your wedding, please checkout our helpful blog here.

HI, I'm Cherelle

Welcome to the Perfectly Planned 4 You blog, home to my best wedding tips and inspiration.



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