Leah Moyers
Editorial Category: 
Date: 
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

How Catering Affects Your Timeline

As you create your timeline, you’ve detailed almost every moment of the day, from your hair and makeup to your sparkler exit. What most people don’t think to consider, though, is how different catering styles can add to or deviate from your timeline. Consider the following before making your final decisions.

For the traditionalists, or for the couple planning a strictly formal wedding, a plated meal is the necessity. However, a plated meal will also add to your timeline for two reasons. One, this option takes longer due the fact that servers have to match specific meals to specific people, as well as monitoring table service, such as drink refills. This option also requires that your guests be able to navigate a seating chart in a timely manner. If the arrangements are especially complex, or if the guest count is rather large, you will need to add in time for a plated meal.

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More time efficient than a plated meal, but an option that will still elongate your timeline, is family-style catering. Family-style catering allows your guests to remain seated for the meal by bringing platters of the entire menu to the table and allowing your guests to make their own selections. Although one of the most expensive catering options, family-style catering shaves down a little time by sheer virtue of a degree of self-service. Still, you want to be sure that you allocate a little extra meal time, regardless.

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If you like the idea of guests serving themselves, but you don’t love the idea of a buffet dinner, consider having food stations set up throughout your venue. This option allows your guests to get their own food on their own time, but also allows for more creativity with your menu. Whether you’re breaking up your stations in terms of different courses or each station highlights a different genre of cuisine, food stations are a well-paced catering choice, as long as the number of your stations reasonably reflects your guest count.

 

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The most affordable catering option, a buffet is also perhaps the most time efficient choice. By centralizing all of your food in one location within the venue and allowing guests to make their own plates, you also inherently streamline the dinner hour. It’s easy, it’s affordable, informal, and kind to your timeline when done correctly. Plan to dismiss by table, however, to ensure that the buffet line doesn’t create a bottleneck, which is one of the quickest ways to unnecessarily inflate your timeline.

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