Are you one of the increasing number of couples who want to skip the traditional seated, plated reception dinner? While this may feel like an unconventional — or even radical — move, it has an array of benefits. But to make it the most successful it can be, follow these important do's and don'ts.
Do Splurge Elsewhere. If you'll save significant money by paring down the catering, service, and full meals, spend that money on other wedding aspects that mean more to you. Splurge on a more expensive venue, the shoes you fell in love with, extra flowers, or a live band. The tradeoff will be worth it.
Don't Skimp on Seating. Forgoing the plated dinner often means not filling the venue with dining chairs and tables. But people still need a place to sit, relax, converse, and enjoy the festivities. Provide a variety of seating options, including regular chairs, loveseats, lounges, upholstered chairs, bar stools, and benches. Place them organically for convenience and conversation.
Do Tell Guests in Advance. Make your guests aware that there will be nontraditional (or no) food and beverage planned. Many couples include a short announcement with their invitations, simply letting invitees know that there will be a dessert reception, a buffet, or appetizers, for example.
Don't Schedule During Dinner. If you won't provide a full meal, don't schedule your reception during the dinner hour. This is the perfect time to arrange a daytime wedding or a late evening wedding followed by cocktails and cake. If planning a buffet, it's also a good idea to opt for a brunch time frame or early afternoon when people generally expect to eat less.
Do Have Fun With It. Once you're freed from the tradition of full meals served at tables, you can have fun with your food and refreshment choices. Consider something unusual like a food truck, grazing tables, wine pairing stations, smoothie or coffee bars, or even take-out from your favorite restaurant. People will remember your food choice with joy rather than worrying about what's missing.
Don't Forget to Talk With Staff. Before you make any choices about unusual food options, consult with the venue and staff. If you want a food truck, for instance, you'll need not only the venue's permission but also their help coordinating things. Wedding venues are often happy to indulge when possible, and they can help guide you if you work with them in advance.
Want more tips for planning a great reception even without the plated meal? Start by meeting with a wedding venue representative in your area. With their help, you'll find the right path to meet all your wedding day goals.
Your wedding day is one you will always remember. You and your partner are finally coming together and making a commitment to each other in front of friends and family members. But before the day comes, there are a hundred different decisions to make. Where will you hold the wedding? What will you wear? What dishes should be served at the reception? It can all be overwhelming, but the more you learn, the better off you will be. You can start learning more about weddings by reading the articles provided right here. We want to help your special day become the one you've always dreamed of.