reception dining style

Choosing the perfect reception dining style for your wedding

Which reception dining style are you considering for your wedding? People are starting to move away from the traditional sit-down meal and offer different dining experiences on their big day.

First, figure out what mood you want to set for your wedding reception. Do you want it to be intimate, sophisticated or cosy, or do you just want everyone up dancing? Your reception dining style plays a huge role in setting the mood for your wedding. We’ve put together a list of different dining styles that are most popular at the moment, and what kind of mood they’ll set for your wedding!

Food trucks

Food trucks are a huge trend right now – not just at festivals, at weddings too! This casual style of dining is great if you want to do something a little different for your wedding reception. Hire a variety of food trucks so that there’s something everyone will love! Having a few different options is a great way to cater for different dietary requirements and fussy eaters. There are so many cute food trucks out there that will create a beautiful cosy atmosphere at your reception. Keep in mind that most food trucks may need you to purchase a minimum amount of food / will have a minimum spend regardless of number of guests. This is perfect in the summer months for a chilled out, outdoor boho wedding.

Food truck reception dining style
Cocktail reception dining style


A cocktail style reception is great if you don’t have a large venue for your wedding reception. This wedding reception dining style is great for getting your guests up mingling! Cocktail wedding receptions create a lively yet sophisticated atmosphere where everyone can have fun. The best part about fingerfood is that everyone gets to try everything and even the fussiest eaters will be happy – there’s no fighting someone at your table for the chicken or the beef!  A cocktail reception feels more like a party and will have everyone up dancing but be sure to mention this on the invitation, as some guests will be expecting a traditional 3 course sit down meal. Don’t think that cocktail weddings will save you money though, some venues charge the same or even more for the cocktail dining experience so research your venues and offerings before deciding.

Classic sit down dinner

Sit down wedding receptions can feel exclusive and special. They don’t have to be boring! There are so many things you can do to make a classic sit down setting special. Create an intimate table setting with flowers and candles that will look stunning in photos. Table place settings can be created, although some brides can find this stressful and opt to have guests choose their own seats. Wow your guests with a delicious three-course meal that they wont forget! Traditional sit down reception dinners can be great if you plan on having a lot of speeches so that your guests don’t get tired of standing. This dinner style is more formal and in line with traditional wedding receptions, although there’s always a dance floor for after the formalities to keep the fun going through the night.

Sit down reception dining style
Buffet reception dining style


If you want your reception to be all about the food, then a buffet is perfect. Your guests can help themselves to as much food as they like and nobody will be complaining they’re hungry. Having a buffet can make a sit down meal feel a little less formal, as guests can get up and help themselves to food as they like. Because everyone is getting up from the tables and moving around, people don’t feel like they need to stick to their assigned seat talking to the same people all night! A buffet reception dining style creates a relaxed environment and puts your guests in the mood to have a good time!

We hope this has helped you choose a reception dining style for your wedding! No matter which of these you choose you can easily make your reception look and feel the way you want it to! Check out some cute styling ideas we put together for a blog we wrote last year here.

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