When deciding on what type of service style you would like for your reception, consider budget, time and formality of your event.
If you want a formal atmosphere and have the budget for a multiple course dinner, a seated meal is your best option. Seated meals typically require more time for service, so if you are limited with time or really want to get out on the dance floor right away, this may not be the best route to go. Fun ways to incorporate your couple personality into your seated meal would be with personalized names for each course or doing fare from your first date—like Italian if you went to Maggiano’s on your first date).
Also remember when doing a seated meal you will want your food to be served on china, which typically runs $4-$10 more per person depending on the stemware, flatware and plates that you choose. One of our caterer’s, Columbia Culinary Team makes sure that all of their food is served on china and is included in your package price. Brides always ask about the price difference between seated and buffet meals and seated meals only cost more than buffets because of the amount of staff needed to serve all of your guests. Approximate one server per every two tables so that your guests are not waiting for too long to get their next course.
Buffet or food stations:
Buffets are the most popular style of food service at Plaza Lecea. Many brides and corporate clients like the variety offered with food and the lower cost of service. Lots of guests enjoy buffets because they can pick and choose what they want to eat and the amount. Don’t worry too much about running out because every caterer brings a little extra to make sure that everyone will get a plate! Don’t forget to ask your caterer about added décor for the buffet as well. We always love the trendy stuff that An Event to Remember and True Flavors bring over when they do buffet services at our facility. Also remember when choosing a buffet, you have the option of serving your food on nice acrylic plates (standard) or you can upgrade to china.
Worried about guests standing in line for too long? We love having our overhead screen and projector in the Boardroom because guests are able to watch slideshows of the couples while they wait. They never complain while oohing and ahhing over the couple’s childhood pictures!
We have had a lot of fun food stations at Plaza Lecea. One of our favorites was Hill Country Catering’s pizza station for a recent Quinceanera. The teens (and adults!) got to choose what toppings they wanted and in less than five minutes they had their own personal pizza ready to enjoy. We have also had stations based on ethnicity and locale:
Mexican Comida: Quesadillas, nachos, fajitas, tacos
Asian Cuisine: Sushi, pot stickers, and different types of rice
Classic American: Mashed potato bar, pizzas, mac-n-cheese (w/yummy bacon, mushrooms and chicken toppings!)
Italian Fare: Pasta bar with different veggies and proteins (sausage, chicken)
Family style service has really caught on in the past couple of years. What is family style, you ask? Our best way of explaining it is kind of like a buffet at your table. Servers bring out large platters of food and you get to share those platters amongst the table. So if you don’t really dig asparagus, or want an extra helping of scalloped potatoes, you can help yourself! It also gives your guests an opportunity to get to know each other because people really bond over food and those extra helpings.
Family style does require more staff to ensure that your guests are served in a timely fashion, but it’s worth it in the end. Absolutely Delicious Catering and Columbia Culinary Team specialize in family-style service. Remember that like a sit-down dinner, family style service takes time! Generally speaking, make sure you have at least an hour to an hour and a half for service.
If you don’t wanna spring for an elaborate meal, or if you and your soon-to-be hubby want to have a casual reception, hors’ duerves are an awesome way to serve food and show off your personalities. All of our caterers have appetizer options to choose from (some of our fav’s include Absolutely Delicious Catering’s Chicken Diablo and Spice of Life’s Meatballs) but they also can create a completely custom and unique menu for your reception.
Just remember to start your reception a little later if you are planning to have a cocktail reception because if guests arrive at 5:00 p.m. for the event, they are most likely expecting a full meal.