5 Wedding Catering Styles: A Comprehensive Guide for Your Big Day


Planning a wedding involves countless decisions, and one of the most important ones is choosing the right catering style for your reception. From formal plated dinners to trendy food stations, the options are vast and can leave you feeling overwhelmed. But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we summarise five popular wedding catering styles and help guide you to decide which one is perfect for your special day.

We’re a premium, experienced, and reliable event management and catering company, committed to delivering exceptional quality and luxury services for any wedding on the French Riviera and in Monaco.

Read on to explore our article about Wedding Catering:

  1. Plated Dinner: Classic Elegance and Chef-Driven Delights

The most popular option for wedding catering on the French Riviera are plated dinners.  Plated dinners are the epitome of formal dining, offering a sophisticated and elegant experience. Each guest is served a pre-selected meal by the waitstaff, creating a more structured and refined atmosphere. Let’s explore the pros and cons of plated dinners:

Plated Dinner Pros:

  • Overall Efficiency: Plated dinners ensure a more efficient timeline as servers deliver meals to each table simultaneously. Unlike buffets or food stations, there’s no need for your wedding guests to move around, allowing for a smoother flow of the meal service.
  • A Chef-Driven Experience: Plated dinners offer beautifully presented dishes and a more chef-driven dining experience. The attention to detail and elevated guest perception makes it an excellent choice for weddings where you want a more formal setting.

Plated Dinner Cons:

  • More Organisation Needed: Plated dinners require an additional organisation for staffing, including chefs and service staff, which can increase the overall event costs.
  • Gathering Meal Choices: With plated dinners, guests typically pre-select their meals. However, if you prefer table-side ordering, guests can choose their meal choices upon being seated, allowing for more flexibility. 
  1. Buffet: A Relaxed and Affordable Option 

The classic buffet style has been a staple in French Riviera weddings for decades. It involves setting up a selection of dishes on tables, allowing guests to serve themselves as they wish. Buffets offer a relaxed and communal atmosphere, making it a great option for various wedding themes. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of a buffet-style wedding reception:

Buffet Pros:

  • Buffets Offer Control: One of the advantages of a buffet is that you have greater control over the portions and can cater to guests’ specific preferences. Here at Adams & Adams, we can offer a wide variety of dishes to suit different tastes.
  • Relaxed + Affordable: Buffets create a laid-back atmosphere where guests can mingle and interact while enjoying their meal. This style also makes it a more affordable option for larger guest numbers.

Buffet Cons:

  • Style Clashing: Buffet-style receptions may not align with the formality or aesthetics of your wedding or venue. If you’re aiming for a more elegant or upscale atmosphere, a buffet might not be the best fit.
  • Logistical Challenges: Organising a buffet requires careful planning and coordination to ensure a smooth flow of guests and food supply. We have our Adams & Adams team on hand to assist guests and maintain cleanliness and orderliness.
  1. Food Stations: Variety and Exploration

Food stations have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a diverse range of culinary options set up in different areas around your wedding venue. This style allows guests to explore different cuisines and create their own personalised dining experience. Let’s explore the pros and cons of food stations:

Food Station Pros:

  • Food Allergies: Food stations provide the flexibility to cater to guests with dietary requests or food allergies. You can offer gluten-free, vegan, or dairy-free stations, showing your guests that you’ve considered their needs.
  • Crowd Control: With food stations, you can avoid long buffet lines and give guests the freedom to choose their own pace. This reduces congestion and allows everyone to enjoy their meal without feeling rushed.
  • Create Variety: We love that food stations provide an opportunity to tie in a theme or showcase your favorite cuisines!

Food Station Con:

  • Expanded Serving Times: Food stations are not suitable if you have a tight timeline and need to ensure wedding guests are served quickly.
  1. Family Style: A Warm and Interactive Experience

Family-style dining bridges the gap between plated dinners and self-service options. Platters of food are brought to each table, and guests can pass them around, creating a sense of togetherness and shared experience. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of family-style catering:

Family Style Pros:

  • Family Style Catering Offers Control: Like buffets, family-style catering allows you to have smaller, more intimate tables where platters can be prepared for each table to enjoy.
  • Great for Community: Family-style dining encourages conversation and interaction among your wedding guests. Passing dishes and sharing food becomes a conversation starter, fostering a warm and friendly atmosphere.
  • Great Variety: Unlike plated dinners, family-style allows guests to sample multiple main dishes and side options, creating a diverse culinary experience.

Family Style Cons:

  • More Organisation Needed For Table Decor: Family-style service requires ample space on the tables for platters, which may limit the room for floral arrangements or decor. Consider alternative options such as hanging installations to maximise table space.
  • Requires Direction: With communal tables, guests may be confused about which dishes belong to their section. Experienced servers are essential to guide guests and ensure a seamless dining experience.
  1. Food Trucks: Fun, Casual, and Adventurous

When we started out with Adams & Adams in 2003, having a food truck at your wedding would have been unheard of! 

Today, food trucks have become a popular choice for couples seeking a unique and unconventional catering experience. With food trucks, you bring the kitchen to the venue, allowing guests to enjoy a variety of delicious offerings in tandem with ad-hoc catering and event management by us. Let’s explore the pros and cons of incorporating food trucks into your wedding day:

Food Truck Pros:

  • Great for Outdoor Settings: Food trucks work particularly well in outdoor settings, such as garden or beach weddings. They add a fun and casual element to the event while embracing the outdoor ambiance.
  • Adaptable + Affordable: Food trucks provide an affordable alternative to traditional catering while offering a wide variety of menu options. They bring a sense of excitement and adventure to any wedding reception.

Food Truck Cons:

  • Venue Limitations: When considering food trucks, we can check whether your chosen wedding venue can accommodate them logistically, with easy access to serving zones, electricity for generators, and appropriate parking facilities.
  • Best for Smaller Events: Food trucks are ideal for intimate gatherings or events with a more relaxed atmosphere. They may not be suitable for larger weddings where a high volume of guests requires quick service or extra demand.

Finding Your Perfect Wedding Catering Style

Selecting the right event catering for your wedding day is an essential decision that sets the tone for your reception. Each style offers unique advantages and considerations. Whether you opt for the relaxed atmosphere of a buffet, the elegance of plated dinners, or the adventure of premium food trucks, consider your guest count, venue, and personal preferences.

Adams & Adams excels in making dream weddings come to fruition to ensure a seamless and unforgettable experience for you and your guests.

Your wedding day is a celebration of love, and the right catering style will add an extra touch of magic to the festivities. So, get in touch with us to explore your options, and savor the journey of creating a memorable culinary experience that reflects your unique love story.

Bon appétit!  

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