When it comes to food and beverage options there are many: cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a plated dinner, a casual buffet , champagne and cake, just desserts, or even an early afternoon brunch. Whether causal or black tie, the possibilities are endless. The Castle plays host to all of these options, but to be realistic, not all of these food and beverage options work for all size groups.
We are finding that one of the most popular alternatives to the traditional dinner with couples these days is a cocktail reception. A cocktail reception offers a somewhat more casual atmosphere than a sit-down dinner and gives your guests the chance to really mingle. You and your guests can enjoy an array of hors d’oeuvres while sipping on signature cocktails.
Cocktail receptions also save on rental fees and staffing from the caterer, allowing more money in your allotted budget to go toward food and beverage. With a heavy hors d’oeuvres presentation your caterer will:
- Provide as much food as with a traditional dinner
- Offer a wider variety of foods
- Provide a fresher presentation
- Serve your guests quicker than a traditional sit down meal, which means more time to enjoy your guests!
Hors d’oeuvres do not have to be pretentious and can offer a wide variety of small bites and displays of foods that are familiar to most people. Guests are free to choose foods that appeal to them, plus you will not have to worry whether everyone gets their plate at the same time. Take time to craft a menu full of different flavors, your favorite foods and popular crowd pleasers. We can recommend caterers who help you create an amazing hors d’oeuvres event.
The tradition of providing a full dinner to wedding guests is long and rich. There are basically two service options:
- Plated with full table-side service by waitstaff
- Buffet self-service with waitstaff providing more of a supporting role
The two options present both advantages and disadvantages, see Bride.com for more insight. When considering a full meal presentation keep in mind that the meal will take the better part of two and half hours of your reception time. A full meal also requires a much more rigid timeline for your event because timing will be critical to your caterers ability to time the meal.
For couples with a big sweet tooth, a dessert only reception is a neat idea. Cupcakes, cookies and sweets of all kinds provide your guests with a fun twist on
the standard food table. Choose desserts that go with the overall theme for your wedding, whether that means color accents or sweets from a specific country.
If budget is a concern, make your event short and sweet, stick to a basic cake and champagne reception. This lets the bride and groom focus on each other as well as their guests, whether they have a small or large group. Sticking to cake and champagne eliminates a lot of monetary limitations and keeps things simple.
This brief article by About.com provides a helpful list of pros and cons when it comes to selecting a certain reception style. If you need help, we are more than happy to help you wade through the various choices for reception styles to find the one that will make your day fit your desires!