How many times have you been to a traditional wedding where chicken, green beans and redskin potatoes were served? That’s not necessarily a bad thing when the chicken is tender and the potatoes are seasoned just right, but what if you’re a bride or groom looking for a unique twist to your reception? Similar to hors d’oeuvres, food stations are a great alternative to minimizing waste by offering smaller portions with larger selections!
Picture this: a pasta bar, featuring rock shrimp and tri-colored cheese tortellini with lobster cream sauce—uniquely served in a martini glass by our professional wait staff. Or how about spicing things up a bit with a fiesta station—including all of the essentials items, such as: chicken, shredded beef, assorted peppers, shredded lettuce, guacamole, shredded cheese, salsa, rice, tortillas and much more! Whether your guest list includes vegetarians, gluten-free eaters, or mushroom despisers; food stations are truly a unique way to break up long buffet lines while offering your guests several customizable options at your reception. How often do guests get to try several combinations of flavors at a wedding? Hardly ever, we know.
Food stations are also great because guests are more likely to mingle, and this is ideal for couples who are looking for something different and fun. If you’re hoping to create more of a casual atmosphere, choose smaller sized plates that ensure guests continually flow through the room and with each other.
Whether your guest list includes vegetarians, gluten-free eaters, or mushroom despisers, food bars offer every eater exactly what they want (or don’t want). Another perk? Less waste! Instead of avoiding those green beans on his plate, Cousin Joe can skip it altogether as he picks out cucumbers with hummus and a delectable caprese skewer.
The key to executing successful food stations is having enough of them to replace a full dinner. A good estimate (depending on your final guest count) is to offer either hors d’oeuvres and three to four different stations. By the end of the night your guests will be pleasantly surprised at the variety of tastes and how filling the food actually was!
To add another unique twist to your reception, consider offering dessert stations a couple of hours after dinner has been served. Flambé stations are increasingly popular; offering several fruit toppings, flambéed, and served in a sweet sauce with ice cream. Not your forte? Well, then how about offering a simple shortcake station which includes not only the sponge cake, but several different toppings for your guests to choose from as well.
You can truly get as creative as you want with food stations—the sky’s the limit. And luck for you, Crystal Gardens’ catering staff and chefs are always willing to work with clients to create the perfect menu. If you’re not sold on food stations—you can always add two or three in addition to you buffet, family style or plated meal. Crystal Gardens is always dedicated to fulfilling your vision!