Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception

Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception – Sarah Zlotnick is a journalist with 10 years experience and seven years as a writer in the wedding space. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia Wedding Magazine, Washingtonian Weddings, Bethesda Magazine and The Huffington Post.

Buffet dining has long been a staple of wedding receptions, and for good reason: It’s an economical and efficient way to feed many guests with different dietary preferences at once. But during social distancing weddings, some changes will need to be made to ensure the safety of event guests and catering staff.

Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception

Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception

The buffet style reception offers one menu, which is set on a large table in one area. This is in contrast to a station-style reception, which will feature multiple menu concepts spread across multiple displays.

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We spoke to catering experts Ro Cantrell of Cantrell Occasions and Leila Miller of Constellation Culinary to gather everything you need to know about hosting a buffet-style wedding reception.

Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception

When it comes to the most common types of catering, buffet style is usually more affordable than plate, station or family style. “With plates, you have to hire more staff to take orders and carry plates to guests. Cantrell says. “With a buffet, you may need half the number of people to serve the food. As well as requiring more staff, Miller notes that station-style and family-style dining also require more equipment and service equipment, which further increases prices.

At Cantrell Occasions, the price per person for a basic buffet reception usually ranges from $16 to $19, but prices can vary greatly depending on the menu selection and the addition of additional services such as hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hour. For Constellation, Miller says buffets typically start at $165 per person.

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Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception

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There are many ways! For more intimate affairs, Cantrell likes to introduce takeout containers so guests can leave with leftovers. “When things start to relax and everyone is full, we will announce that,” he said. Cantrell has also worked with organizations in Atlanta (Goodr is particularly well known in the city) to pick up leftover food and redistribute it to homeless families.

Food donations have specific requirements: “Once something has been out for a certain amount of time or has passed through a few hands, it’s not food safe,” Miller explains. So food suppliers have also started composting dishes they can’t donate.

Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception

“Foods with a lot of moisture are good for a buffet,” says Cantrell. “Shrimp and grits, chicken with sauce – dark meat holds up better than breast – and things with sauces like meatballs can handle a heat attack.” Frying pans – metal pans that use an outer layer of hot water to keep food warm – are a staple of buffet lines, but they can dry out dishes like salmon and broccoli when not served in a soup. At Miller, the buffet menu usually includes a salad, bread, two proteins and sides. Side dishes or side dishes are often a combination of vegetables, starches and grains chosen to complement the main protein.

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Miller plans to have one buffet table for every 50 guests to keep things moving efficiently. Wherever possible, buffet tables should be double-sided. Events with a large number of guests may include more than one buffet table, but each buffet will contain the same dishes.

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Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception

Miller prefers to pile the plates at the top of the buffet line rather than spread them out on the tables. “It’s tiring to go to your table and then go to the buffet,” he said. However, if you are having a social distancing wedding, it is likely that plates will be filled with food and delivered directly to the guests. Expect cutlery to be rolled into napkins and picked up individually too.

“Every [Constellation] buffet will be attended by a chef and there will be Plexiglas screens,” Miller said. Constellation is also making changes to the seating areas of the buffet reception: Butter, cream, sugar, salt and pepper will be available on request in single portions, and when water is poured in advance, it can be fitted with a protective lid.

Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception

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Constellation has also added a number of additional health and safety procedures to its event manual. Workers temperature will be taken on arrival and they will wear masks and gloves throughout the event. Timers will instruct event staff to wash their hands every thirty minutes, multiple hand hygiene stations will be located in kitchen facilities, and high-touch surfaces will be regularly disinfected with CDC-recommended cleaning solutions. Each event will have a designated “Safety Champion” on site to manage and oversee these processes.

Cantrell has also moved on from convenience stores. “You can have a buffet, but the guests won’t be able to line up,” he said. “We will put their food on a plate and take it to them. This will require more staff, so couples should consider budgeting for catering accordingly.

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Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception

Southern inspired: Baked chicken and roast beef; rice pilaf; green beans cooked in soup; mac ‘n’ cheese.

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Jamaican Inspired: Curried Chicken; rice and peas; mac ‘n’ cheese; Plantain flakes taste and chicken skewers.

Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception

Asian inspiration: Peking duck carving station; moo shu pancakes; lo mein with napa cabbage, dried baby carrots and garlic chives; edamame, ginger pork and lemongrass chicken dumplings; Korean beef and shiitake barbecue skewers.

New York inspired: Reuben sliders with cumin sauerkraut; everything Frank in a blanket; potato knives; mini falafel and lamb and beef shawarma pitas; mini bagel tower with smoked salmon and sides; Chopped Hamptons salad with tarragon dressing.

Decorating Food Tables Wedding Reception

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Inspired by comfort food: Korean fried chicken, Beyond burger, ricotta chicken meatball and cauliflower and chickpeas; buffalo chicken meatballs with blue cheese sauce; fried cottage cheese; Applewood Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese; Chips; Tex-Mex tater tots.

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