Want a Relaxed Wedding Vibe? Family Style Dining Creates An Intimate Ambiance for Your Wedding
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
As a bride, when you consider your seemingly endless “to do” list, a mellow, back porch wedding vibe appears nearly impossible. But Celeste Morris, owner of catering service, Mrs. J’s Baking and Catering, will prove you wrong in a second, especially when gushing over her family style food option! Sprinkled by vintage, Southern charm, my conversation with Celeste sparkled as she happily explained the beautiful ways that family style food creates a family style environment!
Can you tell me about the family style dining option for a wedding?
Family style encompasses several things. Instead of wedding guests lining up at a buffet, they’re given tableside service, and rather than individual entrees, meals are brought out in bowls or platters, which guests pass amongst themselves. The ultimate goal and typical response from the family option is that people come to know each other, talking and laughing in a more intimate ambiance. The vibe that’s produced is similar to a feeling you might get at a holiday gathering or family reunion as everyone is brought together in a laid back environment.
What do you offer for those who select the family style option?
We can just about make any entrée or side family style. When it’s time for the meal, everyone sits at tables where salads are already arranged and prepared as the first course alongside baskets of rolls. As the meal gets started, 1-2 foods are brought out on platters to be passed around amongst the guests, who are always welcome to request seconds!
What type of couple/wedding style is the family option great for?
The family style option doesn’t fit with a super upscale, fine dining experience. Most couples are aiming toward a vintage or southern style wedding. While there’s always china and silver, the environment is still laid back compared to other atmospheres. Oftentimes, country or farm tables are incorporated into the reception style, perfect for venues such as Front Porch Farms, where we’ve done weddings outdoors, polished with porch swings and pavilions. The family style works for the couples that want to offer a casual, good feeling experience for their guests—almost a breath of fresh air from their day-to-day lives while providing them a chance to get to know the other guests who love the couple as much as they do.
We know that you love focusing on how food brings people together for an event. Can you tell us how the family option brings a special focus on food compared to the other options?
The family style option provides a more intimate experience than other options that might be slightly more awkward. Everything feels approachable—the people beside you, the people at other tables, everyone is sharing food, so you’re naturally breaking the ice with your neighbors, which adds even more love to the wedding air. With a buffet, there’s sort of a drudgery in getting in line, especially for the people toward the end, but with the family style, this isn’t a concern in the least, because there’s no delay. Everyone is served food at same time by an individual server for each table.
Is the family style option more expensive than others?
There are two things to consider when thinking about the family style and cost. First, you must think about how many entrees and how many sides you’re looking to have, because everything needs a platter or bowl. You can always rent bowls and platters for the catering services to use, and this isn’t usually too pricey. The second thing is, depending on how many tables your guests fill, you might need a couple of additional servers than you would under other options. All in all, going family style is very doable with little cost difference, and undeniably worth every penny!
Where noted, photos by Jonathon Campbell Photography