How will you Devour your dinner? Let us count the ways....

A beautiful buffet waits to be Devour-ed... Photo by Kristi Sneddon Photography

A beautiful buffet waits to be Devour-ed... Photo by Kristi Sneddon Photography

Who knew there were so many ways to serve dinner? Whether your event is elegant and formal, or a lively celebration that goes late into the wee hours of the morning, the way you serve your food is key to creating a seamless event, from start to finish.

From a family-style dinner to a formal plated meal, different serving styles create different dynamics, and can also affect the way people interact. The good news is that beyond the menu, you’ve got options. A lot of options. The even better news is that we can help you decide which style will work best for you.

Stunning dining tables waiting for family-style dinner service. Photo by Gary Ashley of The Wedding Artists Collective 

Stunning dining tables waiting for family-style dinner service. Photo by Gary Ashley of The Wedding Artists Collective 

Family-Style

When you think of “family”, you (usually!) think of love, sharing and a whole lot of laughter. And that’s really the vibe that this serving style creates. Each course is brought to the table on platters and your guests then share the items. Even though they may not be family, this style will make them feel like they are. Guests can serve themselves as much or as little as they’d like, and talk as they pass each other dishes and ooh and ah over the food. It’s a really great option for a family-style Calgary wedding,  where people have the chance to connect. One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need spacious tables that can hold all the food platters and tableware (and your stunning centrepieces!). 

Platters being prepared before the salad course at a family-style dinner.

Platters being prepared before the salad course at a family-style dinner.

Buffet

Offering a little bit of this, and a lot of that, no style gives guests the variety and freedom like of a buffet dinner. Space and cost efficient, buffets allow your guests to personalize their plate and work around dietary needs, food allergies and preferences. With a buffet, you’ll have one designated food area where guests can get up and serve themselves.  There may be a bit of wait time with this option and not everyone will start eating at the same time. They will however enjoy all the options you’re giving them.

Fresh and vibrant flavours are abundant on summer buffets. Photo by Mud River Photography. 

Fresh and vibrant flavours are abundant on summer buffets. Photo by Mud River Photography. 

 Plated

The most traditional and formal of the three styles, a plated dinner service is often considered the most elegant. With a hand-selected menu, the food can be presented in a cohesive and beautiful way, right down to the garnish on your guest’s plate. There’s less interaction with this style, so if you want guests to be getting up and mingling, this may not be the right option for you.

A delicious plated dinner of leg of Alberta lamb with Israeli couscous. Served at an elegant Egyptian themed fundraising dinner for Calgary Opera. 

A delicious plated dinner of leg of Alberta lamb with Israeli couscous. Served at an elegant Egyptian themed fundraising dinner for Calgary Opera

Mix it up

With each style offering unique benefits, you can always combine a few to fit your needs. You can start with a plated style to serve salad, move on to the buffet, and finish off with a plated desert. Or treat your guests to a desert buffet. That way, you’re mixing casual elements with more traditional ones, and keeping things fresh for your guests. Remember, there’s always room to get creative when it comes to the look and feel of your party. And if a 'cocktail dinner' is more your style, we can also help you with how to host a cocktail party wedding. 

From planning to plate, serving styles allow you to put your unique stamp on your event. Learn about your options, think about what you’re trying to achieve, then experiment with new and unexpected ideas.  That’s how you end up with an event that people will remember. If you’re looking for a creative Calgary caterer who can help you personalize your plate, we’d love to help. The ideas are already flowing! We have been catering Calgary events for over 10 years and would love to help you celebrate!