Family Style Wedding Dinner

Are you planning your wedding reception and you can’t decide what to pre-select for your guests for dinner? So don’t! Check with your venue or caterer to see if you are able to do a family style dinner. It’s a great choice because you’re able to provide your guests with lots of tasty options. Most likely you’ll start with a soup or salad. Next you’d serve 2 proteins, a vegetable, a starch and maybe an additional carb family style. And then you’d serve dessert. For example, I recently went to a wedding whose food was catered by a yummy Italian restaurant. We started with salad, bread & butter. Then served family style (food served on platters that you pass around the table) was Italian sausage and peppers, a lightly breaded garlic and capers chicken, Parmesan green beans, a pasta in vodka sauce and smashed potatoes. It was delicious! Everyone found something they liked and we had a nice little food base while we were drinking. And it was replenished! Often family style dinners are replenished. It’s a part of how it works. When you’re at a wedding that serves a plated meal of chicken, vegetable medley and potatoes you can’t ask for more chicken, right?

Some tips if you’re doing a family style dinner…..

1. On your RSVPs leave a line item for ‘dietary restrictions.’ People are allergic to all kinds of things now a days so you’ll need to know who is allergic to what and where they are sitting so you can let the venue/caterer know. Also, sometimes people are gluten free, vegan, pescatarian……there’s all sorts of dietary restrictions these days.

2. Go light on your reception table decor. If you’re serving food family style those platters take up lots of room, therefore you don’t want to go crazy with a low full centerpiece surrounded by candles. Do something small, maybe with some height. You need to make room for the food. And there’s no need for a fancy, expensive, textured table overlay. No one will be able to see it because the table will be covered in flatware, silverware and platters. When designing your tables, save room for all that delicious food.


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