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Buffet and formal aren't two words you'll typically hear in the same sentence together, but nowadays, it's definitely not unusual for brides and grooms to opt for a buffet-style meal over the more traditional sit-down dinner. If you like the idea of a formal wedding yet you prefer a more mix-and-mingle atmosphere, here's how to serve up a swanky buffet that'll blow even your most pretentious guests away.
Keep Everything Uniform
To avoid the casual backyard BBQ vibe, the catering experts at Paramount Events in Chicago recommend making sure your caterers use platters, chafers, and bowls that are all the same color. "Using all silver, glass, copper, white, gold, wood or wrought iron display equipment creates a cohesive and elegant look," they say.
Think Outside the Box
Give your food stations that extra wow factor by utilizing unique heating elements, such as paella pans or induction burners, advise the Paramount Events experts. "We also like to use petite jars and unique platters to add personality to a station. There is nothing more boring than a bunch of chafers all in a row at a station."
Decorate in Style
Presentation is everything, and not just with your food, but also with your decorations. "Add a menu sign in an elegant frame, on a chalkboard or hanging from a wire, and tell your florist to include at least one arrangement at each food station, as this will instantly dress up the tables," points out the caterers at Paramount Events.
Make It Interactive
Instead of a self-serve buffet, the Paramount experts suggest having action food stations with a chef in a traditional chef coat and hat manning each one. "Guests love interactive stations and chatting with chefs. It also allows for a very clean look to your event space and is very inviting to everyone."
Brighten up the Buffet With Fresh Produce
A pop of color in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables brightens up any boring buffet! "Make sure the produce makes sense with what is at the food station though, for instance, by figuring out what vegetables are in the salads and using those to decorate," instruct the caterers at Paramount. "We like to create lush farmer's market style stations with lots of fruits and vegetables for guests to choose from and present them either in glass jars, bushel baskets, vegetable cartons or even right on the table when appropriate."
Display the Food at Various Heights
Make your stations that much more appealing by displaying the food at various heights. "This can be accomplished via risers, crates, glass vases and more under some of the platters," the Paramount experts advise.