Aside from the romance, the tear-jerker stories and toasts, and a great time on the dance floor, there’s one thing that all wedding guests look forward to, whether they admit it or not: the food. However, we’ve all been to a wedding where we’ve had the painful experience of waiting for what feels like an eternity before you get a chance to get your turn at the buffet.

Whether you’re feeding fifty people or three hundred and fifty people at your wedding reception, getting food on every guests place is a logistic challenge. Luckily, after forty years of catering weddings all over Tennessee, we’ve learned a few tricks to make sure your wedding food is served to your guests as quickly as possible. It’s our pleasure to share some of those ideas with you today!

It’s the little things…

First of all, there are a few little tricks that will help buffet lines move a little faster that are often overlooked. For example, one thing that keeps wedding guests at the buffet longer than necessary is stopping to butter their dinner roll or season their meal. This time can easily be eliminated by placing butter, salt and pepper on each table. Depending on the meal, you can even consider having other items like gravy or salad dressing on each table as well.


Another small trick that makes a big difference is to work with an experienced caterer whose staff is watchful and ready to replace a near-empty dish before it needs it, rather than letting it get empty and holding up the line while wedding guests notify staff, then wait for more food to arrive.


Double up!

Who says you only need one buffet line? The time it takes your guests to get their share of the wedding food can be majorly reduced by having a line on either side of the buffet table. For larger weddings, you may even consider having two buffet tables, with a line on either side of each table, creating a total of four lines of service for your guests.

There are also a few creative options for spreading out your buffet service. Your meal can be split into different service stations, such as a salad bar in one area of the room, a pasta station in another area, and a chef-carved prime rib table.

Keep them entertained…

A great way to take some of the focus off waiting for their chance to enjoy the buffet is to give wedding guests some entertainment at their seats while waiting. Musical performances or funny tidbits can be a great way to keep people focused on something other than their growling stomachs.

To take it a step further, ask your DJ or emcee for help determining the order in which to release tables to the buffet by organizing a simple game or competition. For example, have tables compete in a game of ‘Name That Tune’ for their chance to head to the buffet. The DJ will play a few seconds of a popular song (from whatever genre is most appropriate for your wedding guests), and then guests must raise their hand or stand up when they think they know the correct artist and song. If they have guessed correctly, that table can head to the buffet. This is a great option because it gets wedding guests excited for the good times on the dance floor later in the night, and it provides a bit of an entertaining distraction during the wait for the buffet. Nothing fires up a little healthy competition like the smell of a delicious meal! A similar option is to ask trivia questions about the bride and groom or their relationship to determine what order tables head to the buffet. Just be sure to ‘rig’ the game so VIP guests such as the parents or grandparents of the couple get released to the buffet first!

We hope that these tips and suggestions will help you plan for your wedding reception food service effectively! As always, if there is anything we can help you with, don’t hesitate to contact us – we simply love helping Houston Couples here at Binders Gardens Venue




Picking an exit for your wedding is a tradition to wish couples an abundant, bountiful, happy and great marriage. Now couples have many options to use for your newlywed couples exit from their wedding.  This is one tradition that isn’t going away and many have a fake exit for photos only.  They want all their guests in the photo instead of waiting til the end when their guests are not sober and only a handful left.

It should be something that matches your personality and theme of your wedding.


Years past many ears have lost their hearing from “Rice” being thrown at you during your wedding exit and it’s been around the longest.  Rice symbolizes Fertility from Roman times and is environmentally safe.  Now medicine is advance no one loses their hearing.  Don’t want to hard effect, try oatmeal tossing for an eco-friendly exit.


France throws it to symbolize bounty.  Herbs: If you’ve got a cooking couple on your hands, throwing herbs is a perfect way to tie it in. Not only do they smell deliciously fresh, but they’re also environmentally friendly.


The couple has decorative umbrellas and guest waive white napkins as the guests stomp and cheer to the Saints music.


Italians throw rain candy and sugared nuts over couples for sweetness in marriage.  Rainbow sprinkles are always a good idea.



These bring out the “kid” in everyone.  It also gives

guests something to do at their reception tables between dances.  Guests fold

their own paper airplanes & get ready for the exit.  Use colorful paper to match

your wedding colors.  It’s inexpensive & an easy exit item.


Lavender, Baby’s Breath, & Floral Petals – A romantic option for a pretty exit.

Lavender smells so good, doesn’t hurt when thrown at you, is

friendly to the environment & if you can time it just right with

your photographer, makes for great pictures.  Often, brides put these in small

sachets or paper cups for guests. Do ask your manager where

floral petals can be thrown- some have dyes

BIODEGRADABLE CONFETTI:  Easier to clean up.

STREAMERS (RIBBONS ON DOWELS): Colorful  -these often have swirls of

ribbons & noisemakers attached to them. They’re inexpensive & no clean up.  Guests can take them home with them.You can personalize with your themed colors or add lace, & notes.


These stay in the air for a long time, so the photographs are AWESOME!  They’re inexpensive & available all over the internet for ordering. They’re whimsical & always a crowd favorite.


If you’re planning to wed in autumn months, make use of your natural surroundings. Plus, falling leaves create a great backdrop for photos.  Hole punch leaves of all colors and make this an all Green wedding.


Golf Clubs or Toy Guns looks very military or can match your hobby to your personality.


Cap guns can bring the wild, wild west back in the ceremony or a nerdy way is with Nerf guns.


This can be done in a variety of ways.  Some do a “release” while others have guests

take them home with them.  Use your wedding colors or introduce a new element (school colors,

red / white/ blue for something patriotic, red / gold / green if it’s in December, etc).  Some

fill the balloons with LED lights or glow sticks- beautiful for pictures!


These are a real crowd-pleaser because they’re introduced

to the party during the reception when guests are still

dancing.  They make for great photos for the night shots

and can go home with guests.  No risk of anything dying or staining

your clothes & nothing is being thrown at you!


Best if you have a more affordable reception dress, or traveling clothes that you’re changing into, because you’re pretty sure to have a dry cleaning bill. But holy moly, the pictures.


SPARKLERS: dangerous and flammable and most Venues insurance won’t cover this.


Perfect if you and your partner are driving off to your honeymoon (or your hotel) in your own vehicle. So consider “letting” your friends or family decorate your car before hand, then see you off in all your tinseled/ painted/ ballooned glory. Tip: if one of your friends is a mechanic… don’t let them near the car.


If you have no plans to leave your wedding in grand style, you can do variations of many of these exits as you head back up the aisle, or on the church steps (should you have them). I’m pretty sure that’s what church steps are for.


What’s your price?

It’s not always fair to ask what’s your price, instead ask what do I get and what different options do you have. Try to match apples to apples to all your vendors.

What do I get?

You should have a general idea of what you need and be flexible to talk about option to get what you want, so you can find something that fits your vision or dream.

Should I get a Wedding Planner before finding a Venue?

This is so old school and many reverse this and find their venue first and then the wedding planner. But if your not an detailed oriented bride, the. We recommend you getting a planner first.

What’s your estimate of guests? Many don’t know that you shouldn’t count 3 year olds and under. You should consult with other family members to help estimate you list.

What’s your budget?

Knowing an estimate of what you need it all to cost does help vendors; if a vendor knows your budget they can help you stay in your cost budget. Sometimes you have to give up a little to make what you need over what you want.


Styled Bridal Photo Shoots aren’t new and it’s a great way to collaborate and use photos marketing for all vendors.

At Binders Gardens we host not only Photography Workshops we host small Bridal Style Shoots. They are trending now everywhere. Many do them for publication and use for marketing material.

Style Shoots only take a few days to plan and once it’s set, the timing is everything. Once makeup and hair is done and the setup location is complete, the shoot is done in minutes with focusing on exactly what you want to capture. These are collaborated and done with ease.

We are sharing a few from the last month we hosted with the following Vendors.

Southern Spirits Events

A Finer Event

LBL Event Rentals

Yaul Rustic Rentals

Classically Unique Photography

Morgan Linzee Photography