A Meal to Remember

Today we are going to go over the different types of wedding reception meal types. There are pros and cons to each one and you should go with the one that suites your wedding and personal style best. Enjoy!

Sit Down Dinner

A sit-down dinner usually consists of a salad or appetizer and a main dish with sides. They can be as simple as garden salads, grilled chicken or steak, and steamed veggies or as gourmet as a goat cheese and arugula salad, grilled fillet with lobster tail, and sautéed asparagus. Everyone loves to be served during a meal, a reception is no exception. One very important thing to consider when doing a seated dinner is your seating arrangement. You want your guests to have a good time, enjoy each-others company, and for them to have a great dinner conversation. In order for that to happen you must carefully plan their seating arrangement. You want to mix family with friends, yours with his, and try to match up like interests or personalities. Make sure to do this early. You don’t want to be planning the seating arrangements the week of the wedding.

Buffet Receptions

Typically, the food will be set up in a buffet line or in stations and your guests will help themselves to the food. Guests can eat as much or as little as they want and this gives your wedding reception a more relaxed feel. You can have everything from prime rib to stuffed potatoes on your buffet. It can be as simple or gourmet as you like. Some brides and grooms choose not to assign seating with buffet-style dinners but it does help you to make sure everyone from your families meet and have a time to get to know one another. It can also help if you have a lot of single friends that may not know anyone else at the reception feel more comfortable.


Cocktail receptions generally consist of hors d’œuvres and a bar. Again, the food selection can be as upscale or as simple as you like. You can have a full bar or wine, beer, and signature drinks. This type of reception is great if your wedding ceremony takes place after your guests have eaten dinner. This type encourages your guests to walk around, get to know one another, and you won’t have to worry about a seating plan.


A dessert reception is the newest reception trend. Typically, your reception would include a selection of tasty sweets and perhaps even a coffee bar. Much like a cocktail reception, these are great if your wedding ceremony takes place after your guests have eaten a meal and you won’t have to worry about a seating plan.

So what kind of meal will you be having at your reception? Are you still looking for that perfect caterer, bar tender or coffee bar? If so check out our great selection of Caterers and Beverage Services in our Vendor Directory!

All images via Real Simple here and here.

3 thoughts on “A Meal to Remember”

  1. Very helpful! I think you meant dessert in the last section, though the idea of desert reception made me giggle 🙂

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