Charleston SC Wedding Planner – Food styles
As a Charleston SC Wedding Planner I often have brides asking about the different types of food service. Here is some information about the types of service here in Charleston.
- Buffet – all dinner food is put out on one long table/s and guests service themselves. Pros – guests select what they like & decreases the number of servers requires. Cons – not a good style if you are trying to achieve a formal feel to your wedding.
- Stations – very similar to the buffet except the tables are split up and placed around the room. Some stations known as action stations or chef attended stations will have a chef preparing food such as a carving station with a chef carving beef. Pros – guests also get to select the foods they like. They also can bypass stations they know they don’t want to go to which makes it a quicker service. Cons – some guests don’t like having to pick up their own food, also less formal and although it can require less servers it doesn’t necessarily require less staffing if there are chef attended stations
- Plated – each guest selects their entrée prior to the weding. Pros – can create a very formal feeling to a wedding. Cons – sometimes costs more due to paying servers to serve, requires a lot of organization including the count for each meal & assigned seating with place cards so the servers know what each guest is eating.
- Family – As a Charleston SC wedding planner, this is my favorite food style. Pros – it combines the formality of the plated meal with the options of the buffet or stations. Each guest table receives their own entrée and sides which they pass around as if at the dinner table at home. Cons – the biggest challenge is that many people don’t know about this style of service and not all caterers offer it.
As a Charleston SC wedding planner I have experience working with all four of the food styles. The dinner style you select may also depend on how much space you have for your reception. Buffets and stations can take up a lot of room whereas plated meals come directly from the kitchen.
Chef attended carving station
- Stationary – the appetizers are displayed on a table and guests help themselves. Pros – some stationary displays are so magnificent they are works of arts. Cons – sometimes guests are not aware of the display if they don’t have a good look or if guests get caught up in conversation.
- Passed – Appetizers that the servers pass around to the guests. They are usually bite sized finger foods
As an experienced Charleston SC wedding planner, I strongly prefer passed appetizers during the cocktail hour so that people can mix and mingle and have the food come to them. Your choice will also depend on what foods are stationary and which are being passed. For example it is very difficult for a very display to compete with passed seafood. Guests will almost always wait for those crab cakes to come around.
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