When a bride is planning her big day, she mainly focuses on the big picture, and that is great! It is my job as a coordinator to further educate my clients. The old saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” One area of confusion I see is what a guest dining table will look like. Often, clients see beautifully curated tables, usually from a photo shoot. Then, unfortunately not know what to expect when it comes to their wedding day. In an effort to avoid this, I have put together several examples of what a “typical” guest dining table could look like.
Please keep in mind that each wedding is unique and beautiful. Some weddings are very elaborate and others are very minimalistic. One style is not better than another. Both can be beautiful, just different. I recently worked with an insanely talented group of women (Joy, Nichole, Sandy and Nicole) to create mock table scapes to educate clients on what wedding tables might *actually* look like. Ladies, without your help, none of this would be possible! I am inspired by you daily. Thank you!
Often, family style (in my honest opinion) can become quite cluttered. Every guest should have adequate silverware, stemware and china available with enough room to eat.
*Pro Tip: there are ways to eliminate items from a table. Providing each guest with one dinner roll is a great way to eliminate a bread basket. Talk to your caterer or planner about ways to save space!
A plated meal is the most frequent dinner service done at weddings today. It lends for an elegant presentation and guests truly get the royal treatment. Any type of centerpiece is okay for this style of dinner service. Most people like either a tall centerpiece or something very low so guests can see each other across the table. Something at eye level is not an ideal height. Guests might try and remove the centerpiece all together if they can not see their table mates!
*Pro Tip: if you are offering meal selections (chicken, beef, vegetarian) then make sure you clearly label what each guest will be getting on their escort or place card. To learn the difference between the two, click here.
Buffet receptions are actually making a come back at some trendy wedding venues! Long ago was an idea that buffets were “cheaper” than a plated meal is in reality not the case. While it may come across as more casual than a formal plated meal, the cost per person is in most cases the same as a plated meal. Caterers can portion out a plated meal ex. 130 guests, 130 chicken breasts. However, with a buffet, some guests might take 2 chicken breasts thus, leading to an increase in cost.
*Pro Tip: A good caterer will always have a % overage to allow for guests to serve themselves or go back for a second helping.
The items used in the photos above are examples. Other pieces can/may be added or removed for each specific wedding or event need. Menus are a great way to inform your guests of the culinary experience they are about to have. Menus also provide an extra detail for your guests to enjoy. If you need further guidance or need other great reasons to hire a wedding planner, click here. If you are losing your mental sanity, click here and send me a note. I would love to chat.
For the complete list of the uber talented women who helped bring this educational content to life, check out their work!
Planning: Ashley Nicole Events Inc
Photography: Being Joy Photography
Floral: XO Design Co
Paper Goods: Emery Ann Design
(For a great resource on when to send out invites, click here!)
Rentals: Marquee Event Rentals
Venue: Fairlie Chicago