What an event planner in Vancouver wants you to know about choosing a meal style for your event

how to choose a meal style for your next event - event planner in vancouver - susanna stewart events

I know right? There are so many things to decide on when it comes to planning meals for your event! That’s where I, as an event planner in Vancouver, come in. When you’re choosing what kind of foods to serve – and how – there’s a number of things to take into consideration, so I thought I’d give you a break down of some of the options available are and what I think are the strengths of each.

Cocktail Service

Many formal events – like weddings – are followed by a cocktail reception, which is a nice, low-key way for everyone to mingle, have a drink and stretch their legs.

At weddings, in particular, it’s a great way to keep guests entertained while the wedding party photos are being taken.

Depending on the nature of the event, this might be followed by a dinner. In either case, it’s usually accompanied by hors-d’oeuvres and can be as casual or as upscale as you want, depending on the setting. Having waitstaff in white dinner jackets whiz around offering glasses of champagne and plates of canapés can give your event an elegant feel while setting up a series of stations and some plush seating can make it seem more intimate.

how to choose a meal style for your next event - event planner in vancouver - susanna stewart events

The formal sit-down

For many years, this was the traditional way of serving food at big events and many people still prefer it. Having a three, four or five-course dinner served by professional waitstaff is an elegant way to end your event, not to mention the aesthetically pleasing perks of having your food served exactly the way the chef has plated it.

With this option, it’s still a good idea to let guests choose from one or two options for each course, and it’s especially important when taking dietary concerns into consideration.

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the way tables look when they’re elaborately set for a formal plated dinner!

how to choose a meal style for your next event - event planner in vancouver - susanna stewart events

Buffet-style

This is a particularly good option if you’ll be including more than one cuisine or have a large party to accommodate. It gives your guests more freedom in terms of portion and food choice, which I like.

I always like to set up buffets in sections, which helps avoid those long, awkward line-ups and lets people focus on one course at a time since a buffet can be somewhat overwhelming (in a very delicious way, of course).

This means a separate station for salads, fruits, cheeses, meats, seafood, desserts, for sides and so on.

how to choose a meal style for your next event - event planner in vancouver - susanna stewart events

Sharing Plates

Sharing plates – or “family-style” dining – seems to be gaining popularity and it lends itself particularly well to certain cuisines.

Certain cuisines, like Asian, for example, have always been served this way, where large platters are shared amongst tables and everyone chooses as they see fit.

It has an unpretentious, communal feel that pairs very well with certain events, like intimate weddings and birthday celebrations.

I’ve also seen it done with tacos, tapas and Latin American cuisines, like Argentinian barbecue. If your event has a laid-back feel and you love the idea of sharing with your friends, business partners or loved ones, this is a quirky, unconventional way of serving meals. It also makes for some great ice-breakers!

how to choose a meal style for your next event - event planner in vancouver - susanna stewart events

An event planner in Vancouver can help you decide what meal style best suits your event.

 

Before you think about how you plan to serve your meal, think about who you’re inviting, what kind of cuisines you want to incorporate and what kind of a feel you want your event to have. Each of these dining styles will contribute to your event in their own unique way.

Ready to plan your next event? Contact Susana Stewart, event planner in Vancouver today.

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