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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Trend Alert: Family Style Reception Dining

Large, banquet tables have been a thing at wedding receptions for a while now, but a new trend is emerging that piggybacks on the concept of the communal table: family style dining. A break from more formal, plated dinners or the informal station or buffet reception, family style dining is like a comfortable hybrid. And while this is not a new idea internationally, as many cultures have done it for centuries, it's relatively fresh here in America.

Perfect for a more casual, laid back reception, family style dining is just what it sounds like: platter and bowls of food are brought to the table for guests to pass around and serve themselves. The serving dishes are left on the table and replenished (or switched out) as needed by the wait staff. Not only is this a more personal feeling dinner experience, it can also be less expensive. But there are some pitfalls to watch out for. You'll want to make sure that your venue or catering team can handle this type of service. You will want to be confident that platters won't sit empty or that some guests at the table have to wait to get food while others' plates are filled. A conversation with your wedding planner and catering manager should help you discern if they can pull this off with excellence and whether or not this is a path you should take for your wedding dinner.

Here are some fabulous photos to inspire you to consider a family style reception dinner!
Cold food can actually be preset family style and waiting for guests.

Family style makes for a more relaxed reception dining experience.

Family style dining encourages more guest interaction.

Family style receptions are festive. Note the need for minimal d├ęcor on the banquet tables.
Banquet reception tables waiting for guests and family style food; there is not a need for extravagant centerpieces as the food will be the focal point (not to mention you will need more room on the table for platters). 

Comfortable, causal family style reception dinner.

Menus on the table can give guests an idea of the deliciousness that is to come.

Family style receptions are beautiful, simple and feel like home!

Family style wedding receptions can showcase farm-to-table goodness, important to the foodie bride and groom.

Family style dining at wedding receptions is like a slightly fancy picnic when held in the great outdoors!

Family style reception dining at it's finest - communal tables are warm, comfortable and fun!
image sources: 100 Layer Cake, Green Wedding Shoes, The Knot, Nook and Sea, Ruffled and  Style Me Pretty

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