Here in the South in Mississippi, most of our wedding receptions are buffet style versus a seated dinner. When you have a buffet style reception with seating for a cocktail style reception that means you are not going to have a seat for everyone. This is how 95% of our receptions are designed. We have a mix of guest seating tables and cocktail/pub tables and the occasional lounge furniture. Most of the menus are heavy hors d’oeuvres and don’t require a knife. If the menu did require a knife we would need enough seating for everyone.
So we don’t have all of the guests sitting down at the same time for dinner. Most of the guests will eat upon arrival at the reception, but some choose to mingle while others choose to grab a few drinks before eating. Most of our couples prefer a more laid back reception which is why most go for the cocktail style reception.
Since the guests are not all seated at the same time having dinner together it makes it very difficult for couples to actually sit down and eat together at their reception. Once they arrive all of their guests are greeting them making it impossible to stop to eat. Even the couples that wanted a sweetheart table and have tried to sit down and eat where really not able to without a guest coming up to speak to them.
So what did we do to solve this problem?
Now, for all of our buffet style receptions we have the couple eat together in a back room BEFORE entering their reception. That way they can get something on their stomach before their celebration begins. This is usually nothing fancy unless we have the space to set up a nice table and chairs. This is usually a makeshift table and chairs wherever we can fit it. The point is for the couple to get some food on their stomach not the place for a pretty sweetheart table. A lot of them are so excited any won’t really eat much, but at least they get a little bite to eat before the end of the night. We always make sure the caterer packs a meal for the couple to take with them as well because they are always hungry once they get to their room after the wedding.
I know all of this may come as a surprise to those of you in other parts of the country, but this is just how it’s always been done here in the South. Most of our couples do have formal, seated dinners for their rehearsal dinners, but most choose for a more laid back buffet style reception. And our buffets are not your ordinary buffets. We usually have an array of stations and our caterers are amazing and their presentation is beyond gorgeous. So when I say “buffet” I don’t mean a row of chafing dishes all lined up on a couple of banquet tables. No, I mean a gorgeous presentation as you can see in the photos from some of our weddings past.
Pretty Presentations Catering is the caterer in all of these photos and their names speaks for itself…it’s always a pretty presentation when they are involved.