5 Alternative Ways To Dine With Your Wedding Guests

rehearsal dinner decorationsFood and beverage is one of the most important aspects of your big day, which means it’s vital to get it right! We’ve all been to the standard wedding where you get breakfast and a lunch buffet, followed by a sit down table service-reception. While there’s nothing wrong with this, who said it’s the only way to dine with your guests?

At Carriages HQ we believe the world is your oyster, especially when it comes to your catering. There are no right or wrong ways to serve and present your food during your celebrations, because it’s all about showcasing your personal style – and let’s face it, everyone is different.  There are so many ways to make your catering a little different and  fun – just think outside the box. Go on, leave your guests licking their fingers and talking about your wedding for years to come.

Here are our 5 favourite alternative styles to make your catering different (which we’d personally love to see more couples incorporate into their big day):

1. The breakfast
dinner wedding ideas

Breakfast is your first chance to make an impression as it will set the tone for what’s to follow for the rest of the day. Don’t be afraid to move away from the standard jalebi and ghatiya served with masala chai. You can still keep things traditional, but give it a slight twist with some delicious South Indian treats. Mini uttapams and spicy masala dhosas accompanied with coconut chutney and sambhar are winners with any crowd. If you want to go one step further, than continental food stations are perfect. No guest will ever say it, but all anyone really wants is a plateful of tasty pastries or pancakes with fresh fruits and cream or how about a British favourite of butter and jam on toast?

When it comes to the beverages you can offer a selection of Twinings teas, hot chocolates and lattes, or go one step further and offer a mix of fresh, colourful smoothie shots. Your guests will love you for it – especially if they have travelled from afar. For more ideas on alternative breakfast ideas click here.

2. Thali lunch service

dinner wedding ideas

If there’s one thing we love than it has to be a good thali. For lunch, instead of a standard buffet, why not treat your guests to a serving of multiple items directly on their plate? There’s a reason this is a favourite across India, and some high end establishments in London and New York have even followed suit. While food is always about taste, this service can be very much about style too. Serve your food on large steel plates with multiple individual bowls for the different food items. Have your waiters consistently circulate the floor to make sure no one is left wanting more. Serve with masala chash or lassi in tall steel glasses to give your guests the authentic experience.

3. A canapés and manapés-only reception

dinner wedding ideas

You probably think we are crazy for even suggesting this but why not? If you’re looking to create an informal and relaxed atmosphere for your wedding reception than canapés and manapés will enable you and your guests to mingle and enjoy each others’ company and not have to worry about timings on the night. Choose from a selection of six canapés during the drinks reception to welcome guests and then a further ten manapes including, dessert options, to float around the room until the dance floor opens. Think marinated skewers, martini papdi chaat or poppadum scoops. Take it to another level if you have a specific theme and serve dishes accordingly.

Have a selection of cocktails and mocktails floating around with the food too. Garnish elegantly with selected fruits or if your event allows, go all out with some colourful over the top umbrellas to match your informal atmosphere.

4. Silver service

dinner wedding ideas

We’re not just talking a three-course al-a-carte option here; we are talking about a full formal affair. Treat your guests like royalty and opt for a five course silver service set up. Start with a spicy soup and bread rolls and then move on to your salad or chaat, appetiser, entree and dessert. Serve with prosecco or champagne to really up your game. Remember to account for any dietary requirements and to supply these details on a spreadsheet to your wedding planner and the caterers to ensure seamless service.

Have specific waiters assigned to each table so they can ensure wine and soft drinks continue to flow nicely. Alternatively ask your waiters to take your guests’ bar orders so no one has to leave their seat.


5. Street style

dinner wedding ideas

Live food stations and food stalls are becoming more popular, especially for pre-wedding functions such as the Mehndi night. But, you can also incorporate this into your wedding reception. Bring the streets of India right to your guests and have fun with it. If you are looking to have live stations at any of your events make sure that there are no restrictions from the venue as the caterers will be working with open flames around guests – health and safety alert! When it comes to the beverages make sure this also has a street feel. Opt for India favourites such as Thumbs Up and Limca, not forgetting the gola station with tasty syrup flavours.

We work along side only the best caterers within industry to ensure our couples have a memorable day. For further information regarding catering contact a member of the Carriages’ team on 0116 268 8804 or email enquries@carriagesevents.co.uk.

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