Carol Rosen (Professional Wedding Coordinator) gives expert video advice on: What wedding reception usually follows an early afternoon ceremony?; Should I have 'food stations' at my wedding buffet? and more...
What should I consider when I make my wedding reception menu?
When you choose the menu for your wedding reception, you are going to have a few things to consider. One is, what do people like to eat? Are you and your friends and your family big meat eaters? If so, you know for sure you'd better order steak. Are you someone who has a huge number of friends who are vegetarian? In which case, maybe you should be looking at that type of menu. The other thing you need to consider is the cost. There's obviously a difference in cost between steak and vegetarian. That could be a very important factor for you at this wedding reception.
Should I have food tastings?
Absolutely, positively have food tastings! You've picked a venue that you think is lovely. You probably have some familiarity with it, or it has a reputation. But, at the same time, if you haven't eaten the specific food that you want to serve at the wedding, you should have a tasting so that you can be sure that you like the way they do the fillet mignon, or if you think that their stuff-breasted chicken is terrific. You might think that you want fillet mignon at your wedding reception, but at the tasting you might say, "Oh my goodness, this chicken is phenomenal, we're going to serve the chicken."
What role does the time of my ceremony play in my wedding style and budget?
The time of day that you choose to call your wedding will play a very definite roll in the budget and in the formality. As you can image, if your wedding is at 9:00am and you have a wedding breakfast, that usually feels a little less formal. If you have a lunch it perhaps has a little more formality, and if you have an evening wedding, usually we look at the reception as being much more formal and more elaborate, especially if it is on a Saturday night.
What wedding reception usually follows an early morning ceremony?
An early morning ceremony is normally followed by a wedding breakfast. A wedding breakfast is a little less formal than what you would have in the evening, of course. You might serve alcohol (the most is champagne) and we would expect that the guest would enjoy themselves and have a rather light meal following that ceremony.
What wedding reception usually follows an late morning ceremony?
A late morning wedding ceremony is generally followed by a brunch. That could happen around 12:00 in the afternoon. You would serve something that's between the breakfast and the lunch type of menu. You would have sandwiches, perhaps, or a buffet style. You would certainly have a bar, maybe even a cappuccino bar. That would be very fun. You would expect that to be a longer reception than you would have in the morning.
What wedding reception usually follows a noon ceremony?
A noon wedding ceremony is typically followed by a luncheon reception. I would expect to see 45 minutes for cocktails, to give the guests a chance to really enjoy their time, and then you would begin with a luncheon that might either be served buffet-style or it could be plate service. I would expect to see a bar. It could be a full bar, or it might just be a wine bar or light drinks, but it should certainly be a full afternoon.
What wedding reception usually follows an early afternoon ceremony?
An early afternoon wedding ceremony would be followed by a tea reception, or perhaps a cocktail reception. That might be one of your least expensive ways to do it. If you have a tea, it's really the least expensive because you would really reduce the amount of alcohol that you would be serving. Reception venues make their most money on alcohol. A tea would be lovely. You can have sandwiches, little pastries, fruit, a buffet kind of a spread, and maybe just serve champagne and cake. It's beautiful.
What wedding reception usually follows a late afternoon ceremony?
A late afternoon wedding ceremony, or an early evening ceremony, is followed by a dinner reception. If you're having a formal wedding, that's going to be a formal cocktail hour, followed by a sit down dinner of three or four courses and the cake, and music, dancing, etc.
What is 'sit-down' wedding reception?
A sit-down wedding reception is a plated meal that is served to the guests. There's a cocktail hour, the guests are invited into the room, and they sit down. They are served a series of courses. You probably start with a salad or an appetizer course. You serve an entree and a plated dessert, followed by wedding cake later in the reception.
What is a 'buffet' wedding reception?
A buffet wedding reception is similar to a sit-down, due to the fact that there are tables set. People do have a set place to sit. However, the food is served buffet style. It may be on long banqueting tables where the guests go up and select whatever they would like to have. It could be served in courses, sometimes, or they will do all of the salads for a buffet if it's a very large group. Later on in the reception, they'll bring out the entrées and the desserts. It can be split up that way.
What is a 'standing buffet' wedding reception?
A standing buffet wedding reception is a situation where we have not provided a seat for every single guest. They do not have a particular place to sit. The seating might be small cocktail tables, or stand-up cocktail tables without barstools, or chairs. The guests would typically go to the buffet. It would be a smaller plate. They would get some amount of food, sit for a while and eat, perhaps go back to the buffet, and get something else. There would be a lot more movement in the room, as opposed to just sitting down and eating a meal straight through.
Should I have 'food stations' at my wedding buffet?
Lots of people like food stations; they're fun. It's a whole different way of doing things. It's generally viewed as a less formal situation, so if what you wanted was a formal wedding reception, you would have plate service. Buffet service with food stations is fun. It gives you the opportunity to have different kinds of food. So sometimes people say, "We'll have an Italian buffet, we'll have a Mediterranean, and we'll have Chinese." That gives a lot of different food options for the wedding guests.