Wedding Reception Forum

Food Stations? Tacky? Tasty?

Has anyone ever been to a wedding with food stations? I've never been to one. And our caterer is trying to talk us into having them. They're much cheaper.... and they sound pretty good. But I have no experience. I'm not sure if it will be enough food.
Does anyone have any opinions?

Thanks!! : )

Re: Food Stations? Tacky? Tasty?

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    Stations are actually pretty popular.  IMHO, they are a lot nicer than a standard buffet.  We did a carving station, a pasta station and a salad bar.  The first two were chef attended.  The pasta station was hugely popular.  People really enjoyed getting to choose their pasta, their sauce, and their meat/veggie options and have a fresh pasta dish.  I wanted to add on a stir fry or a quesadilla station, but we didn't have the budget. 

    I think people really like the option to order their food exactly like they like it and watch it prepared right in front of them. 
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    LasairionaLasairiona member
    First Comment
    edited December 2009
    How long does it take for each person to get their food? I've heard that some caterers have the food cooked to order so that guests are standing waiting the entire time it cooks (some foods can take 30+ mins and multiply that by 100+ guests and multiple trips through each station....). While other caterers have everything pre-cooked and is just in a warming tray waiting to be dished up.

    Don't assume that they are cheaper. For most caterers, they are actually more expensive because they have to have at least 100 servings of each item at each station, whether it gets eaten or not. That equates to a larger bill per person. However price varies by caterer and largely depends on where you are located. Large cities are more expensive than small towns for the exact same food.
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    I've never been to a wedding with stations, but I love the idea!  I'm very picky and like to choose what I eat and I would love to have all those different options.
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    I loathe the word tacky, I really do.

    The only concern I'd have about stations is that the line be kept moving quickly.  We used to have a similar setup at my college dining halls, and if it was a popular item you could be standing in line for upwards of 20 minutes.  (The sushi lines in particular got ridiculous until they started providing more staff on sushi days.)

    You don't need to adjust your plans for your guests' personal styles or expectations, you just need to adjust them for their comfort and enjoyment of the evening.  If your guests are going to have to be waiting a really long time to get their food, that's bad.  If it's just that it's something they haven't seen before, it's fine.
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    I don't think it would be tacky at all.  Speak with the caterer about the logistics of it to make sure there would not be too much congestion.  I feel as if stations would work better on small and medium sized weddings.  
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    We had stations at our reception

    • mac and cheese
    • soup shooters
    • mashed potato bar
    • prime rib carving station

    I didn't notice anyone waiting for more than a few seconds for anything and everyone left mewith the impression that it was a big hit.
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    We are doing food stations.  It actually worked out cheaper for us.  We are having a carving station, a pasta station, and a salmon station (I forget what they called it).  Plus we will have a salad station. 
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    I like stations better than a buffet, they're definitely not tacky at all!  Go for it!
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    In Response to <a href="">Re: Food Stations? Tacky? Tasty?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I loathe the word tacky, I really do.
    Posted by aerinpegadrak[/QUOTE]

    We all know this.  You bring it up in every single post with the word tacky in it.
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    Stations are extremely popular for cocktail hours in my area. I really love stations.

    As long as people won't be standing on a long line and waiting for food, I see no problem with stations. IMO, action stations (fresh pasta with sauce, meat carving stations, etc.) are a nicer option than a standard buffet. But this is coming from someone who lives in an area where buffet weddings are rarely done, so in your circle it might be different.
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    We had the station set up.  Beef, potato martini bar (loved!), fruit and cheese display, smoked salmon station, and vegetables.  IMO, the station set up is much nicer looking than a traditional buffet, people can move around freely, etc.  We did have some complaints about the meat carving station being a little slow, but that was all.
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    We're doing stations at our wedding. I don't know why a lot of people think they're cheaper than a sit down dinner, we're paying the same price per person with the same package as we would if we chose the sit down dinner. We chose stations so the guests don't have to pick what they want for dinner 6-8 weeks in advance and so they have more options and are able to eat more than one serving. The weddings FI and I have been to that are sit down we're always starving afterwards because there isn't enough food, and half the time the sides that come with our entree are not something we like. Whenever we're at a wedding that has stations we are able to choose what and how much we'd like to eat plus we have the option of going back up for more. We love that! And all our friends and family we've told about us having stations too have been happy that we decided against a sit down service. We're going to have a carving station that'll have ham, turkey, and prime rib, a pasta station, a tuscan station, and a summer grille station. Plus, there will be salad served so our guests won't miss the salad course. I definitely do not find stations tacky, they are very tasty and satisfying! 
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    TASTY!  My groom to be loves taco's so were have that as one of our stations. they're a great way to have a lil bit of everything. and it makes the atmosphere family and friend cozy and fun
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    Awesome! Thanks girls for all of your input!! You've really helped out! My major concerns were lines and enough food... but from what it sounds like, from those of you that have been to weddings with them, that really hasn't been an issue.
    I'm going to talk to my caterer some more about this. Since it is the cheapest option out of the three (Buffet, seated, station) on our caterer's menu we were leaning towards it... Now after hearing what y'all have to say I think we're def going to go for it.

    Thanks everybody!! :)
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    Stations IMO are the only way to go. A plated dinner makes me cringe since I know I will be left hungry.
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    we have gotten quotes that the stations are much higher than buffet and sit down. I would love to do the food stations.... but it doesn't seem budget friendly. Plus, I kind of like the idea of guests being served

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    I have been in many and attended a ton of weddings and they all have been different!  I think if you are watching your budget and stations are a more inexpensive option and it's what you both are happy with...go for it!  My brother's wedding had stations and my dad said he didn't like their choices being the picky man he is...but everyone thought it was fabulous...lines were much shorter and there were different choices at each!  I would just speak to the caterer and much sure they keep an eye out so nobody misses something they want.  I thought it was a great add to the reception.  Good luck!  Congrats on the engagement and let me know what you went with!  Have fun!Wink
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