Reception Ideas

Family Style dinner

Okay,

One of the venues that we liked does a family-style dinner...This is where they put the food on table and the guest pass the food around and etc...suppose to help to mingle. I really thought that was cool idea....that way people didn't have to continue to get up to get food from the buffet, plus the venue ensures that the servers will keep the food coming. BUT one of my bridesmaids says this is a bad idea, since you might have a porker at the table that eats all the food and other guest are left with very little....

So now I am confused, I think she has a valid point...but still not sure.


Any thoughts? I have never been to a wedding with this set-up....Any of you? Problems you saw....etc...

Thanks!

Lisa
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Re: Family Style dinner

  • edited December 2011
    Side not....

    The family style includes 4 meats.....

    We are going in Feb...for a tasting....
  • I love family style dinners! Most people have never been to a wedding like this, and it's nice offering them something new! Plus, I don't know about your family but my family is very careful on the first portion they take as to allow everyone else to have an equal portion. I'm sure that your venue wouldn't offer this if it was a common thing to run out of food. I would voice your concerns to the coordinator or chef there and see what they say!
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  • tldhtldh
    2500 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    We've been to a wedding with a family style reception dinner.  I wouldn't worry about having a "porker" at the table.  Unless a person was raised in a barn, they know how to behave in this situation and not dump the entire plate of food onto their plate.  Also, you r venue is going to be replacing food as it disappears off the serving plates, right?
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  • I went to a wedding with family style dinner - it was totally fine!
  • What a fun idea ! I think you should go for it =)

    May I ask what kind of food you will be serving ?
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  • Thanks for the quick responses!!!

    The manager said that they always make extra food and that the servers will refill the dishes....and I do have faith in my guests, that one would not just pile it up and be rude like that....

    The manager said that the family style has the largest food amounts also....

    Thanks

    Lisa
  • I don't think its very nice to call any of your guests a "porker."  However, I'm going to have to disagree with the rest of the class.  I've been to a wedding where food was served family style and I barely got any!  If you can't afford a plated dinner I'd go with a buffet.  However, if the venu will refill the serving dishes maybe it doesn't matter.  I know that did not happen at the wedding I went to.
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  • Erinkathleen84 , I do not have the menu with me right now....but there are 4 choices of meat; beef, chicken, fish and pork...then 4 sides, a salad, and dinner rolls. OR she said if there are special dishes we want the chef can prepare and they will adjust the price....
  • I love family style!
    Lizzie
  • SCogs18 sorry didn't mean to be mean by calling a guest a porker...just want my bridesmaid used and it stuck....

    I will talk with the manager about the food and I have emails from two brides that used the venue this year...so I will ask them.

    Thanks!
  • I've been to a couple weddings with family style serving and there has NEVER been a problem with running out of food on the first go around.

    When people realize that everyone at the table is eating from a dish no one will take so much that no one else gets any. People are more considerate than that!

    Do family style if that is what you WANT to do/can afford to do. I think you'll find more often than not there's a little bit of everything left over rather than there not being enough.
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  • Family style dining is so fun and relaxed - I think it would work perfectly for a more casual, laid-back wedding.
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  • skippylouwhoskippylouwho
    1000 Comments
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    edited December 2011
    DD chose family style for a couple of reasons.

    1  we all hate buffets and we didn't want guests having to stand in line to serve themselves and then carry the their plates through a crowed room and possibly spill on themslves and others.

    2  The caterer needed fewer wait staff with buffet so that is a cost savings

    3  DD's reception was in an 1880s building, the reception hall was a tight fit for all of the guests they wanted to host. Serving family style meant we didn't have to leave as much room between tables for the servers to have racks to hold the trays of food and for them to manuever so it allowed for a couple more tables.

    We had attended a wedding about a year before DD's wedding, the used family style and we really liked it.  They didn't have a space issue, they just liked the concept and we did too.
  • since the venue keeps the food coming the 'porker' isn't an issue.
    also=-the SERVERS are supposed to serve the food, not have the guests pass it around-that's how i've seen every family style place do it.

     

  • Alithebride,


    I will ask the venue...it sounded like it is on the table and they re-fill it....but good question and I will address it.

    Thanks again everyone.
  • I think it's great that you have the emails of two previous brides.  I would definitely contact them, not just about food, but the space and decorating ideas in general :)
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  • SCogs18,

    Yeah I emailed them, but nothing yet....will keep ya'll posted....I love this website....

  • Went to a wedding last year that did family style and it was really nice.  I strongly disagree with the PP that said do a buffet over family style b/c of how much you get.  If they will refill the plates, they will cook as much for family style as they would for a buffet but you don't have to inconvenience your guests with getting up, balancing a plate in nice clothes, standing in line etc.  I think it is a preferred alternative to a buffet
  • Allthebridge - family style, at least around here, means the bowls/platters are put on the table and those seated at that table pass it among themseslves. I've never see it done the way you are describing it.  When you eat family style at home do you have someone serve you individually?  I'd think not and that is what is meant by family-style, you pass the food yourself.
  • I think a sit down dinner is the most ideal. The least guests have to do to feed themselves the better. I think the family style would be more ideal then buffet so if it's a cost thing then I would say go with the family style but don't chose it over sit down just because of more meat choices. The only thing I would think *could* be a problem is people might drop some food because the plates being heavy. I know it will probably be fine but I have super weak wrists and I hate holding those plates so just think of grandma or anybody like that...that's why I say sit down plated dinner is the best.
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  • I always prefer plated, but understandably it's not always in the budget or even possible in every situation.

    I've never actually been to a family style wedding before, but I have to say that it does sound better than buffet.  If they are going to refill the dishes it should be totally fine, but like PP said I think most people know to leave some for others.  No one ever takes 3 rolls the first time the bread basket is passed around, right?
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  • tenofcups4metenofcups4me
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    edited December 2011
    I've been to a few family-style events and have enjoyed them. The servers keep coming around to make sure the platters are full and will refill if necessary so it shouldn't matter how much any one person takes. In my experience, the guests served themselves.

    It has a feel that's a bit more casual than a plated dinner, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I've found them to be fun and a good conversation starter as everyone discusses the food.
  • I hope they don't take 3 rolls the first time....LOL....
    thanks!
  • Never experienced this---but it sounds like a fun idea. I think I would enjoy the interaction with other guests and the benefit of not standing in a long line!
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    I prefer sit-down, but I think family style is a great option.  

      I'm sure every group has a 'porker' but I would not let that random person sway my decisions anymore than the random drunk swaying my choice to still have an open bar. 

      I would inquire that the servers will be replacing food as they get low and call it a day.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • I prefer plated, but if that isn't an option, I'd rather have family style over buffet...
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination
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    I've never had it at a wedding, but I've been to family style restaurants and I found them annoying.  I hate the whole 'pass it around' thing, and I was always having to stop eating to pass something back and forth.   And I have eaten with someone who will happily take half the bowl of something for himself (always a guy) and leave half the table waiting for a refill to even get their first serving.  I also think it's very casual and not ideal for a formal setting. 

    I've never had a good experience with a plated meal (and I've had a lot of them), therefore  I hate them and will not even consider it for my wedding.  Food is always cold, there's never enough of it, I never like everything on my plate, and it just takes too long to get everyone served.  I've even had servers remove my half-eaten plate from in front of me before I'm done with it, and have had to chase them down to get it back (true story!).  I'm always disappointed when I'm at a plated event, and I don't want my guests to feel that way.

    I'm only willing to do a buffet for my reception, and I'd rather cut elsewhere so I can afford it.  It's the best possible option all around, so long as there's plenty of food.  People can take as much and as little as they want, mix and match, the food stays hot and is served, and they can come away with a meal that is best and works well for them.  I don't see the problem with getting up and getting your own food if it means that you get a wider variety to choose from, fresher food, and to make your own choices.  Anyone who thinks they will spill or drop their food can have help with their plate. 
  • I never though much about it, but apparently my cousin did this at her wedding last summer.  My mom complained that by the time she got some plates they were already depleted.Apparently my dad finished off all the potatoes before others had gotten a serving.

    So basically, if you're going to do this you need to make sure that there is more than enough(and then some).

    I also think it is kind of frustrating/annoying having to pass plates around.  it's probably harder to serve yourself than a buffet and other people at the table aren't always conscientious enough to pass things the right way and make sure everyone gets what they want.  I also don't want to spend the whole dinner having to pass dishes to others who are wanting seconds halfway through.  Let someone else be in charge of serving.
  • In Response to Re: Family Style dinner:
    I've never had it at a wedding, but I've been to family style restaurants and I found them annoying.  I hate the whole 'pass it around' thing, and I was always having to stop eating to pass something back and forth.   And I have eaten with someone who will happily take half the bowl of something for himself (always a guy) and leave half the table waiting for a refill to even get their first serving.  I also think it's very casual and not ideal for a formal setting.  I've never had a good experience with a plated meal (and I've had a lot of them), therefore  I hate them and will not even consider it for my wedding.  Food is always cold, there's never enough of it, I never like everything on my plate, and it just takes too long to get everyone served.  I've even had servers remove my half-eaten plate from in front of me before I'm done with it, and have had to chase them down to get it back (true story!).  I'm always disappointed when I'm at a plated event, and I don't want my guests to feel that way. I'm only willing to do a buffet for my reception, and I'd rather cut elsewhere so I can afford it.  It's the best possible option all around, so long as there's plenty of food.  People can take as much and as little as they want, mix and match, the food stays hot and is served, and they can come away with a meal that is best and works well for them.  I don't see the problem with getting up and getting your own food if it means that you get a wider variety to choose from, fresher food, and to make your own choices.  Anyone who thinks they will spill or drop their food can have help with their plate. 
    Posted by RebeccaB88
    I'm sorry, but I have to ask how guests getting up, standing in line, and shuffling around with plates in formal attire while getting their own food (buffet) is less "casual" than a meal that is brought to the table by waitstaff, even if it has to be passed around....
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    In Response to Re: Family Style dinner:
    In Response to Re: Family Style dinner : I'm sorry, but I have to ask how guests getting up, standing in line, and shuffling around with plates in formal attire while getting their own food (buffet) is less "casual" than a meal that is brought to the table by waitstaff, even if it has to be passed around....
    Posted by KellyBrian2013
    This






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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