Signature Stations: Personalizing Your Cocktail Party Stations
Without question, the food at a wedding is a highlight of the celebration, and a tasty collection of diverse food stations lets guests enjoy the celebration more when they have so many different menu options to choose from, according to their dietary programs such as vegan, gluten-free, no dairy, kosher, etc. Guests with allergies, which is becoming more common now, also like having a wide range of foods that they can eat, since they know from the food ID cards at each station what’s in each dish. Many brides and grooms are adding to their station signs allergy-thoughtful notes such as ‘may include nuts,’ or ‘gluten-free.’
But in addition to informing guests of food ingredients, as well as flavors and levels of ‘heat’ or spiciness factor, brides and grooms are having more fun planning their cocktail party stations with personalized choices.
Here are some ways to create Signature Stations:
- Designating His and Hers stations. The groom gets to decide on, and customize with the chef, his signature station, such as a surf and turf station or a clam bake station. And the bride gets to select the Hers station such as her favorite Mediterranean or Greek salad tastes.
- Choosing dishes from your love story. Think back to the first dinners you ever cooked for each other, which type of pasta and sauce you made, and that pasta station can feature a sign sharing with your guests “this is what (groom) cooked for (bride) on their second date…he won her over with his Bolognese sauce!”
- If you have a favorite season, and your wedding takes place during that season, create stations featuring seasonal menu items, such as a bisque or a seasonal meat.
- Pay tribute to your parents by including one of the same cocktail party station types that they had at their wedding, such as a raw bar or sushi bar.
- If you have kids, let them choose one of the stations. Children love to be involved in the wedding plans, they appreciate being asked their opinion, and seeing one of their choices included in the big day.
- Name dishes on the stations after yourselves, family members, favorite places and other personalized ideas.
- Offer a drink pairing with your station menu items. Talk with your catering manager at your reception venue about picking perfect drink pairings to serve with each of your station offerings. If you’re beer-lovers, for instance, you might offer paired beers with certain dishes, or if you prefer wine, the dish/drink combinations can offer top vintages.
- Add an interactive element to your cocktail party. At each table set for guests, place voting cards on which guests can write down which station was their favorite. Set out pretty pens to make it easier for guests to play along. After your wedding, you’ll have these cards as keepsakes of your dream wedding day, and all the delicious food your guests enjoyed during your cocktail hour.