Posted on by Bliss

Deciding what type of dinner or meal you’ll serve your guests can be a big decision. From a sit-down dinner to a buffet, or food stations to a family-style meal, the options can be overwhelming. Whichever type of meal you decide to serve at your celebration, we have menu options to meet your needs.

Individual plate menus

The most traditional and formal option, a plated, sit-down dinner is when each guest is individually served a meal. Most commonly, guests are served three courses: appetizer, entree, and dessert. When serving a plated meal, guests are normally given a choice of two-to-three entree options (for example: beef, chicken and salmon); guests select their meal choice prior to the reception, typically on the wedding invitation RSVP. At a sit-down dinner, individual plate menus are placed at each guest’s table setting so they can follow along with each course and know what is being served on their plate.

Plate dinner menu_BPB318_4

Family-style table menus

At a family-style reception, guests are assigned to specific dinner tables and waiters bring the food to the table. Waiters place large portions of the meal offerings at each table on serving platters for guests to fill their own plates (it’s just like sitting down for dinner at home with your family). When hosting a family-style meal, one or two dinner menus are placed in the center of each table, this way all the guests at the table have the opportunity to read which dishes will be coming to the table.Family Style Dinner Menu BPB324_4B

Board menu

A large, graphic menu is very eye-catching, and does a great job of listing each dish and its ingredients. To make sure your guests don’t miss it, prop it up on an easel near the buffet table or position it near the reception entrance. A board menu can be used for all types of meal styles – plated, buffet or family-style, and, it’s very cost effective for a bride on a budget!

Dinner board menu BPB202_55

Buffet cards

At a buffet-style meal, food stations are set up on long tables where guests can walk along and serve themselves. Another option is to have servers stationed behind the buffet table serving each dish. Each buffet card is placed in front of the different food item, explaining to your guests what they are about to place on their plate, or not. A buffet-style reception is usually considered more casual, and it helps save on the budget if you don’t use servers.

Buffet cards BPB310_65

Bar/drink menus

When offering a limited bar or even an open bar, you offer a selection of drinks—beer, wine, and/or mixed drinks, or, signature drinks (for example his and her cocktails). Placing a drink menu at the bar ensures guests know what alcoholic beverages are being offered by the hosts. If a guest wants a beverage not on the menu, they will then understand they need to purchase that beverage themselves. You can also limit the amount of time your bar is open, for example, simply add a line to the bottom of your menu that says, “the bar will be open prior to dinner and for one hour during dancing” – this will help make sure you stay in budget and guests won’t go overboard.

Signature drink sign BPB133_36

Specialty food signs

Creative food stations are crowd pleasers; guests love dessert bars, candy bars, popcorns bars, etc. These speciality signs add that extra unique touch to any wedding. The signs also help serve as a decoration component in your reception space – often times brides put the specialty food in a creative and beautiful display, helping add a visual element to the space. The specialty table will most likely end up being one of the most frequented spots of the night. Plus, it’s open to guests of all ages!

Love is sweet sign BPB310_43

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