Feed Them … with Flair!


The term “wedding reception” still conjures images of buffet tables with stainless steel pans and flickering Sterno flames – but the variety of fun and trendy food options is nearly endless! Here are a few suggestions:

© Kati Molin / Dollar Photo Club

© Kati Molin / Dollar Photo Club

Cocktail Hour

  • Bubbly Bar: A variety of champagne, liqueurs & berries to create a custom drink.
  • Signature cocktails named for the bride and groom.
  • Mini-food appetizers, such as “soup shooters.”
  • Non-alcoholic options: sorbet or gelato in the summer; hot chocolate or hot apple cider in the winter.

Main Course

  • Go “green” and serve locally grown/organic food.
  • Theme menus: Carnival Foods, Comfort Foods
  • Incorporate traditional flavors of your culture.
  • Late-night snacks: maybe a sugary “Cereal Bar” to fuel the dance party.

© Mitrs3 / Dollar Photo Club


  • Various flavors of cupcakes instead of one, large cake.
  • A Chocolate Table loaded with decadent confections.
  • A Cookie Bar – with milk, of course!
  • A black & white decor theme screams Oreos & mini ice cream sandwiches.

How to Serve?

  • A buffet can be most efficient for larger crowds so everyone can be served more quickly.
  • Food stations can make choices easier and more fun for guests.
  • A plated dinner might be easy for smaller crowds, but your caterer should make sure the food comes out at the same time. Plan to have one server for each table.
  • “Family style” is nice for a more intimate group – just forego the large centerpieces.


© Mitrs3 / Dollar Photo ClubAsk the Caterer

Ernie Eckerdt, owner of Elegant Catering in Swartz Creek, has 32 years of catering experience and offers a list of considerations for brides choosing a food provider. “Ask for some photos to see what they can do and how the food is presented,” Ernie says. “Photos can help couples decide what to serve.” He also suggests that a couple start by asking for a list of venues that the caterer has previously worked with. “A caterer should be able to provide the name of the venue, the location, pricing, and the number of guests it can accommodate.” Other important questions to ask include:

  1. Does the caterer have a license?
  2. Can you request a food tasting?
  3. Is the caterer able to prepare vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher or halal meals for a few guests, and is there an additional fee?
  4. How many staff members will be present at the event?
  5. What will the wait staff wear during service?
  6. When will the caterer need access to your reception venue and how much time is needed for set-up?
  7. How much extra food do they plan to prepare?
  8. Will the person in charge of your event be present?

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