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.
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