Post # 1
I am having a backyard wedding this coming October. Im looking for alternatives to a sit-down dinner. Our ceremony and reception is being held in the same space, so I am trying to make everything not feel crowded and have a nice flow.
We are having a small wedding–only around 40 people. And my thought was having little food stations set up around the backyard and people can eat what and when they want. Has anyone done anything similar or have suggestions to offer?
Any ideas/advice/insights will be appreciated!!!
Sidenote: We hosted a friends wedding reception in our backyard a few years ago, and we used so much space for tables when the majority of the night no one really sat (they had a buffet style reception).
Post # 2
Stations are great (that’s what we did)! But I would make sure you have some tables are seats available. Older folks like to sit and claim territory and people don’t always like to hold their plates when they eat or at the very least need somewhere to set down their drinks while they are eating. .. Think bistro tables
Post # 3
kaylabugx3 : I love the stations. I’ve been to a few weddings that have had them and I liked being able to choose what I wanted without the super long lines. One wedding had different cuisines (a pasta bar, a sushi station, a flatbread/pizza station, one with like grilled meat or something) and that was super fun.
In terms of seating, I agree with the previous Bee who suggested having some. You could do cocktail tables for people to stand at and have scattered chairs. I would definitely have some sort of option to sit. Juggling plates & drinks & wearing heels can be a lot for all night.
For 40 guests, it wouldn’t be too expensive to get tables. You could buy/borrow long plastic folding tables for like $40 each and once covered in tablecloths & decoration, you’d never know that it was a plastic table underneath.
Search “outdoor wedding mismatched chairs” for some cool ideas with outside furniture or even various indoor furniture brought outside. Maybe you could borrow from family members? Or if you know anyone crafty, you can make some wooden benches.
Post # 4
We’ve recently been to several weddings with alternative seating- food stations, heavy apps, and even food trucks. I think as long as you have plenty of places for people to sit/stand and eat, you’ll be fine! So fun!
Post # 5
I think your idea sounds great! We are doing something very similar–drink stations, appetizer stations, and then a build your own taco bar. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s perfect for our low key backyard wedding.
We are having enough chairs and table space for each guest, along with little lounge areas, but no assigned seating. The only thing I’m thinking of now is hiring a few people to make sure the tables stay clean and stocked, since we won’t have any hired caterers. Just something to consider.
Post # 6
I agree that I love stations. I don’t love eating standing up, or trying to hold my plate and drink while eating. So I definitely think it’s good to have enough seating/tables for everyone.
Post # 7
You don’t have to do a seated dinner, but you do need seats for everyone. I think stations sounds really yummy!
Post # 8
Stations are fine, making people stand and eat is not. Not even for just elderly guests – I guarentee you that some of your guests stand all day at work, they don’t want to stand all night, too.
What about picnic tables with benches? They can be dressed up nicely and don’t take up as much space. You can even put them together as one or two long tables and have the rest of the space open.
Post # 9
jellybellynelly : I agree with this. You do not have to a seated dinner but you do need a seat for everyone. Food trucks are great!!
Post # 10
You will have the seats for the ceremony, right? Can’t you just move all of those and have some tables ready?
Post # 11
I agree with the PPs who say to have seats for everyone. I really haven’t enjoyed the weddings I went to without enough seats and often left early.
Post # 12
We are doing food stations (carved meat station with grilled veggies, sushi station, sliders and build your own poutine, pasta stations and a salad/cold meats station) but we are having assigned seating to make things more smooth for out of town people who may not know anyone and be the awkward person trying to find a seat among groups of people who already know each other.
Post # 13
Love stations, love food trucks, but you still have to have a seat for everyone. When you don’t have assigned seating it’s best to have extra seating.
Post # 14
Thank you everyone for your feedback!
yes, we will definitely have seating!!
Post # 15
I prefer a buffet rather than stations. I’d rather wait in one line and get all my food at once rather than having to wait at or walk around to multiple stations.