At most wedding receptions, there are four types of food service My apologies to Jared and the Colonel, but Kentucky Fried Chicken or Subway would not be one of them!

1. The buffet meal is the meal chosen most often at wedding receptions here in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice. This of course allows guests to line up and select their own food.

To save time, see if your caterer can have both sides of the banquet tables available for guests to choose food from. You or your caterer may prefer to have one table of guests escorted to the banquet tables for the convenience of your guests. If a large number of guests are expected, consider more than one series of banquet tables, or even “food stations” placed in various areas of the reception room.

2. A formal meal usually consists of three or more courses and can take in excess of three hours depending upon how sophisticated the meal. WARNING: This sometimes is a real party killer because of the amount of time these meals take to serve!

3. A cocktail buffet is often held for one to two hours in late afternoon. Finger foods and wedding cakes might substitute for a full course meal. This should not be your choice if you are planning a dinnertime wedding.

4. A tea reception is usually held in the early afternoon. Tea sandwiches and hors d’oeuvres are the items just as the name implies.

Another area to look at is Guest Seating. I have seen setups where the Disc Jockey is stuffed into the corner with many guests tables in front of them and the DJs speakers. Avoid this at all costs! This can be a painful experience for those guests stuck in front of large speakers for the entirety of cocktails and dinner. Please look at some sample floor plans to help you plan a better experience for all.

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