After choosing a venue, the next big decision the couple must make, is selecting a wedding caterer. Back in the day, wedding caterers offered one of two choices: a sit-down dinner or a buffet. At present, a good wedding caterer provides many more choices, such as family-style dinners, food stations, cocktail-style receptions and even food trucks to consider.

We specialize in wedding catering and would love to walk you through some of the different food style options available for your wedding:

1. The Classic: A Plated, Sit-Down Dinner

This traditional option features a formally served dinner, with guests seated at dining tables Typically, guests are served three courses: appetizer/salad, entrée, and dessert. Additional courses can be added, such as an intermezzo or amuse-bouche before the entrée, or a pasta course in between. Wedding caterers will usually give guests a choice of two or three entrées, which they select beforehand via their RSVP; or another option is to serve each guest two proteins, such as meat and fish, on one plate sometimes called a "duo" plate.
A wide range of plated style courses are available at different price points, making this a great option for any budget. When you pick TOBEN as your wedding caterer we customize your menu based on seasonality, and your unique tastes. When you select a sit down meal everyone dines at the same time and you can spread out activities (like dances and toasts) in between each course to keep guests engaged and maintain a nice energy throughout the meal service. This style of dinner offers attentive service, but lower food cost overall as you are ordering exact quantities for your guests as based on their order in advance. As your wedding caterer we walk you through this process and all options, to provide a seamless service.

2. The Smorgasbord: Buffet-Style Wedding

A buffet style menu, is presented on a long table with a variety of menu offerings for guests to select from. There are servers behind the buffet to describe each dish especially for allergy purposes and to provide appropriate portions on each guest's plate. As wedding caterers we can offer many suggestions on how to best outfit a buffet with many choices for guests, while keeping service logistics in mind. Some client's opt to combine a plated service with buffet, where the first course is served individually, and guests then visit the buffet for the mains and sides. Typically a buffet style service requires less service staff but a higher quantity of food to allow for guest preference - which as expert wedding caterers we can detail and assist with at every step.

3. Gourmet Food Stations

Over years of catering, food stations have become a very popular choice for wedding receptions. This allows for a more mix-and-mingle style service, with less pressure placed on eating all together, but rather as you/your guests wish. As wedding caterers, we typically offer 3 or more stations with a different menu at each, to offer variety and interest for your guests. We like to think of food stations, as a series of mini-mains for guests to enjoy. The best part about food stations is that they are spread out to let guests roam around while they pick and choose and Not everyone has to stop dancing to eat at the same time.

One of the things we love about food stations is that creative presentations give a visual wow factor and are crowd pleasers for that reason alone. Food stations often feature exciting, live-action Chefs preparing items to order in front of guests. Themed displays are also possible, to speak to your desired colour palate, inspiration or feel. As wedding caterers we recommend food stations is to offer a wide variety of dishes along with an interactive element to please guest senses, in more ways than one, providing a great overall experience.

4. Family-Style Wedding Dinner

A family-style reception would be similar to a plated dinner, where guests are assigned specific dinner tables and the waiters bring the food to their table. The difference being that in a family style arrangement, large portions of the dinner offerings are placed on each table on serving platters for guests to fill their own plates - just like sitting down for dinner at home with your family!. With this style of dinner, guests can help themselves to as much food as they would like and the mealtime will be very efficient since guests can begin eating immediately after serving themselves.

5. Cocktail-Style Reception

A present day trend, cocktail-style receptions features hors d'oeuvres and other small bites offered in a passed format, all evening long in lieu of a sit-down meal. The hors d'oeuvres are usually one- or two-bite portions and can be a combination of hot and cold options. As wedding caterers we recommend that the hors d'oeuvres be passed by servers directly to guests, so food can be served fresh to guests wherever they may be. Cocktail style is a good choice for couples wanting a more casual atmosphere and for their guests to really mingle and meet each other. This is a great way to still substantiate dinner, We usually recommend serving 10 to 14 hors d'oeuvres per guest, in combination with dessert, leaving guests feeling satiated. Typically, the servers circulate them for two to three hours. The best part about a cocktail style reception is that if your venue is small, cocktail receptions allow you to have more people since you won't need dinner tables and chairs for every guest. This style also allows the bride and the groom to easily circulate throughout the room and chat with everyone. Since you're not serving a main entrée, wedding catering costs are often more affordable, requiring less rentals, a more budget conscious food cost, and less staff to execute.

6. Food Trucks

The most recent development, that wedding caterers are receiving see a high demand for, is the request for food trucks to serve guests. Whether the whole service is provided by trucks, or a portion - such as late night - Food trucks are an ideal form of catering for outdoor receptions. At TOBEN, the sky's the limit with the our food truck menu and we are happy to coordinate a number of your favourite food trucks on your behalf. Food trucks are an unique wedding food style that most guests will have never experienced before and will always remember a wow factor at the wedding, assuring you to be a trendsetter!

We were featured in BlogTo's Best Catering Companies in Toronto -