Action Station Wedding Reception
When cocktail party meets buffet and interactive moments, you have a recipe for action stations. Stations are the most pizzaz-filled way to cater your wedding, and a fantastic way to pull a theme together. Allowing guests the opportunity for self-discovery, and a very memorable event. Food becomes an activity when you utilize stations for your wedding.
- Stations can look similar to buffets, but each mini buffet has unique menu offerings, and are placed throughout the reception area. These stations can be filled with grab-and-go bites, or run by a chef with options prepared in front of guests.
Stations Menu Design
- Consider the story you want to tell at your wedding. Stations can be a great way to pull a theme together, to tell the story of your love, or nod to different locations that are meaningful to the couple or the guests.
- The number of guests is a critical consideration when planning your stations. While the separation encourages movement and can decrease lines, there are other factors that won’t allow guests to move as freely and quickly through stations. Having a chef preparing bites will slow things down, so for a large group, we recommend having a mixture of station types; chef-run, passed bites, and grabbable stations.
- Stations require more staffing than a standard buffet but can be achieved at various budget tiers by mixing formats. Having the flexibility in your timeline to allow for various service styles, stations, passed, and exploration will be important when designing your menu.
Advantages and a Few Things to Consider
- Encourage Movement - stations require a bit of self-discovery, as there will be something unique to offer at each. Stations offer the ultimate flexibility as a sit-down dinner is still possible, or can be cocktail style, where guests can wanter, mingle, get a plate when they are ready.
- Space requirements - stations are a great way to fill up a large space that might not otherwise be filled by your guests or other activities. You will want to have enough flexibility in your space and your budget for at least three stations.
- Timing - A good caterer will know how to time your stations right. Like making their first batch of waffles ten minutes before the food starts so there is minimal waiting. Or ensuring the menu has a healthy mix of interactive items and items that require minimal finishing.
- Thematic and memorable - Dressing your stations to a theme can help you tell a story, and can be highly entertaining. But sometimes less is more. Unless you can afford to have chefs for all of your guests, stationary bites are highly suggested and can play on the themes and build to the story. Guests will appreciate the flexibility and still be able to enjoy the interactive stations and leaving them with good memories instead of memories of lines and an attempt at pizzaz that went awry with poor planning. Deciding the experience that’s important to you is the first step in drafting your menu.