Pros and Cons of Different Menu Styles for your Wedding

When it comes to deciding on the food for your wedding, you must consider a number of different aspects; kitchen facilities in your venue, budget, allergies or dietary restrictions and how much time do you want to allow for dinner. Here we discuss seven different wedding menu styles and the pros and cons of each.

1. Seated

The seated or plated menu style option; weddings with a more formal, elegant, and conventional feeling tend to work best with a seated dinner. The meal consists of multiple courses, you can choose to do a duet (every guest gets two entrées) or the guests have a choice between two entrées that they choose when they RSVP.

This style of menu has the benefit of no leftovers at the end of the night. However, it is a more costly option since you need more wait staff.

2. Buffet

A buffet style meal is perfect for the more casual couple. The food is displayed on two sided banquet tables; this option provides everyone with a wide variety of food choices. A buffet will be your least expensive option.

The biggest benefit of a buffet is that there's something for everyone, and easier to give guest with dietary or allergies restrictions more choices. McHale’s however, will always give you an option to have special meals at no additional cost.  An added benefit is the guests will have the option to come back for seconds on the items they enjoyed the most.

3. Stations

For a wedding reception that's exciting and focused on the food, choose the stations menu style. This style consists of various stations set up around the room such as a carving station, a culturally themed station, or a dessert station. The food served at each station will typically come in smaller portions.

Station menu style allows interaction between guests and chefs, which can create a dynamic atmosphere ideal for foodies. However, with all of the additional choices in food and additional chefs required, this menu style may end up being priced even higher than a seated dinner.

4. Family

The family style menu is like the traditional seated style but more casual. Instead of having the wait staff come out and serve each individual, each dish will be set on the table where guests can pass them around - just like dinner at home.

This menu style allows your guests to interact more, like the buffet but without the unsightly lines. Keep in mind, though, how much space the food takes up on the tables. Cost will be slightly higher than a seated menu due to the increased amount of food needed with about the same number of staff.

5. Hors d'oeuvres

The hors d’oeuvres or cocktail style menu is only a trend that's been seen in more recent years. Instead of serving a full meal, your caterer provides hot and/or cold hors d'oeuvres for guests to eat.

If you have a smaller venue, the hors d'oeuvres style menu may be a good fit. Your cost can range from below what it would be to have a buffet to more than a seated menu depending on your food choices. You need to get multiple quotes from your caterer before deciding on this menu.  Do remember to let your guests know, however, as some may come expecting dinner.

6. Breakfast or Luncheon

If your ceremony is earlier in the day, a breakfast or luncheon menu style is also an option. Various breakfast foods, such as waffles or pancakes can be made a little fancier with some extra chocolate or fruit. Luncheons can include salads and/or finger sandwiches.

These options are often much less expensive than dinners and leaves your evening open for time with close friends and family. Your other vendors and facilities will also come at a discount.

7. Dessert

For something a little more fun and sweet, consider a dessert style menu. Along with the wedding cake, you can include a candy buffet, an espresso bar, a chocolate fountain with various fruits, and an assortment of desserts.

If you and your spouse-to-be have sweet teeth, this option is casual and lively. Remember to let guests know to not expect a full meal, however, and consider the needs of any diabetics, lactose intolerant individuals and children.

Call McHale’s Catering’s event planners today to explore which menu style suits your wedding.

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