Wednesday, 19 December 2018 18:16

Wedding Catering: The Family-Style Wedding Dinner

Written by

What may seem novel in a world of food stations and buffet lines, the family-style wedding reception actually has a long history (as told in art).

Should a wedding reception be akin to a work of art? Can the celebration of a marriage become a classic event to remember for all time?

It needn’t be quite the raucous occasion of Pieter Bruegel’s “Peasant Wedding Feast” or involve Grandma serving the main dish as in Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want,” but there is something to be said for the extensive history of family-style dinners. It’s convivial. People can choose what they want. And there’s no standing in lines (buffet style) or the one-dish-serves-all-regardless-of-appetite plated meal. 

You would need to discuss this with a wedding caterer, but it can be less costly as well to serve entrees and side dishes on large platters.

And, it might be a matter of the bride and groom’s backgrounds. Typically, large families are very accustomed to a pass-the-gravy lifestyle, something that feels just right at a family celebration. Los Angeles wedding caterers note in the polyglot of ethnicities that make up the region this is very common almost regardless of where families originate. 

But there are some specific advantages to family-style wedding banquets:

Friendly ambiance. Even when guests don’t know each other they have a reason to interact with each other. Asking for a vegetable dish to be passed is an excuse to talk about the vegetables, which then leads to discussing so much more.

Cost-management. Wedding catering companies are loath to present this option as a means to save money – because there’s rarely an apples-to-apples comparison between different styles of food service. Where family-style and a buffet table might reduce staff costs, food costs might be higher because quantities are less controlled (and no wedding should ever run short). That said, family-style can be less expensive in some circumstances.

Portions as wanted. To the last point about never running out, note that no guest will leave hungry. Nor will any guest feel guilty about not eating what was served to them. This way Uncle Harvey can eat to his heart’s content while lithe Cousin Courtney can daintily serve herself just a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

More elegant than a serving line. Indeed family style is more relaxed, but no one has to get up, walk over to a buffet, then walk back with a loaded plate. And, every table is served at the same time. (No one ever painted a triptych of a food station.)

Maybe you would like your reception to be like Paolo Veronese’s 1563 “The Wedding at Cana,” Giovanni Bellini’s 1514 “The Feast of the Gods,” or John Martin’s 1821 “Belshazzar’s Feast” (but probably not Peter Paul Rubens’ 1638 “The Feast of Herod,” which is decidedly grim). 

Those paintings have stood the test of time, which is a great concept for the couple that is beginning a life together. 

Huntington Catering

Huntington Catering is an innovative, full service Los Angeles catering company providing wedding, corporate and private event catering and at home with the most sought after special event venues in Southern California.

footer logo outline