Wedding Reception Catering Choices

Now that you are engaged and are enjoying the wave of wedding excitement, there are more choices and decisions you had not anticipated around the corner!  Your wedding reception catering is just one of many choices you have to make.

Linens: You know you need linens for your guest tables, but there are new choices of linens you had no idea existed…polyester, lamour, shantung, velvet.

Flowers: You know you need flowers…boy are you in for a surprise with the wide variety available!  It can be very confusing … do you want standard or miniature roses, or possibly hydrangeas? Cala Lily or Lily of the Valley (seriously?) Possibly succulents, the latest trend? You only thought you had to choose the color!

an attractive arrangement of purple flowers, the epitome of a flower bouquet

Bouquet of succulents & flowers

Helping You Make Decisions: There are so many details to work through for a wedding. Once you get the ball rolling and get the major players in place you’ll feel much better.

But initially, after you meet with your caterer and after your first consultation, you begin to even question whether this wedding is worth all the effort. But if your caterer is anything like Creations in Cuisine Catering, we are here to make life much easier for you. On this page, we have described several of the most common styles of wedding catering and hopefully, this will help to reduce your stress levels, answer your questions and make your planning much easier.

In addition to catering, our certified wedding consultant can consult with you on linens, table setting, table and chair rental, bar service, and offer many recommendations for a florist, DJ, etc.  We work with the finest venues in Arizona, so you can be assured that your special day will be executed flawlessly.  Our goal is for you to leave the worry to us and you enjoy your day!

Wedding Reception Catering Style Choices

Here are five of the top trends in wedding reception catering options:

Buffet Style Catering


This is the most cost-effective type of service and a very popular choice.  For the cost-conscious bride or planner, it is simple and non- complicated. The food is placed in chafing dishes (to keep it warm and covered) and displayed on linen covered tables so your guests can walk up and serve themselves.

While this is perfect because of how non-fussy it is, always remember there are guests that eat a lot more with their eyes so it may be a good idea to have the catering staff serve the food rather than offer self-service. This style is a lower cost option because few service staff are required.

Plated Catering

Catered double entree of filet and sea scallop

Plated Catering is the more traditional sit-down style of meal service It is a more formal style as your guests are served individually from the first to the last course. It is much more organized because the caterer allocates enough staff to make the service smooth and discreet. The portions are sized perfectly and each course is served with perfect timing.  The cost for plated catering is higher than buffet catering because the ratio of serving staff to guests is higher in com

parison to buffet style.

Family Style Catering

While this style of catering is quite similar to plated, the biggest difference is that your food is on platters and the guests serve themselves (think family dinner at your favorite Aunt Harriet’s house)

There is a more relaxed intimacy about this style because guests not only feel at home, but they can converse and reminisce about your childhood!  (Comments like. . .” now look at her..all grown and married! Why I remember her when she was. . . .”)

Your caterer will point out the need for table space and the flow of the meal. The service staff, of course, is required for placement of the platters and replenishing as necessary.  We think you’ll love the intimacy and fun of family style dining!

Action Stations

Action Stations are relatively new and fast becoming popular.  They are unique stations serviced by qualified chefs.

Some fun options for action stations we offer are:

  • Taco
  • Fresh Pasta
  • Sushi
  • Slider
  • Specialty Carving
  • Breakfast Omelet
  • Donut

The variety and choices are endless —  we can create any type of station you desire! This is a fun and interactive way to engage guests and caterer. It can cost a little more than other styles because of the need for qualified chefs per station.  Some couples opt for one or two stations with the remainder of the catering as buffet style.  Many options are available!

Hors-d’oeuvres Reception Appetizer Tray on a black table setting.

This is one of the newer options for wedding reception catering.  An hors d’oeuvres reception is a beautiful less traditional style that has typically been associated with business events where the goal is to encourage guest interaction.

The choices for an hors-d’oeuvres reception include hand-passed hors-d’oeuvres, appetizer stations or an appetizer buffet.

Many brides and grooms are now adapting this style to wedding receptions. The only seating is a scattering of tables for guests to sit if they choose and with whom they choose. It can make for a great wedding reception because it alleviates formality and encourages socializing with ALL the guests and bridal party.

This style requires more staffing for hand passed hors-d’oeuvres compared to appetizer displays.

Trust the Experts to Make Your Wedding Reception Catering Successful

Whatever catering style you choose, the Creations in Cuisine Catering team will be happy to help you navigate through all the details.  We will work with you to create the bespoke culinary experience of your dreams on your special day!  Call us to book your tasting and we’ll discuss the many possibilities!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.