Sit-Down Meal

A sit-down lunch or dinner creates a great sense of occasion, but it is a more expensive option, mainly because it requires more staff and more work. They are, however, the most usual format for a wedding reception.

- Half an hour should be allowed for the guests to seat themselves after the arrival drinks; on average, a three-course meal takes two hours.

- A simple starter is the most effective. A cold vegetarian option is easy as it requires fewer ovens in the kitchen or catering tent and suits every guest.

- The staff should bring the starters out once everyone is seated rather than have them ready on the tables.

- For the main course, it is sensible to choose an easy dish that can be served on a single plate.

- Alternatively, meat or fish can be served on a plate and guests can help themselves to bowls of salad or vegetables and potatoes.

- Another option is to have a dish that one guest is nominated to serve to the rest of the table, creating interaction and conversation among the guests. For example, a carving joint or a large pie.

- Silver service requires skilled staff and often makes the serving of food slow and cumbersome.

- For pudding, individual plates, brought to the tables, work best.

- Many couples now choose to serve their wedding cake as pudding, accompanied by a coulis or berries.

- Serve both red and white wine at the table and provide plenty of still and sparkling water.

- As a general rule, allow one bottle of wine and one litre of water per person. Staff must never let a table run dry.

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