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Indian Wedding Reception-Dinner Seating and Food Serving Options

Depending upon your budget, preference and the theme (formal, classic, fun, elegant or a combination of all) of your wedding reception you may choose from various available options:

a. Formal sit-down plated dinner: Also known as the "American Style" (for some reason), not only is this style one of the very formal ones but also very elegant. Each course is served in individual plates for each guests with the right amount of sauce and spicing. This require pre-arranged assigned seating for guests which means you may need additional staff/friends/family to escort guests to their table. As food is served on the table, guests don't have to wait in a queue for their food and can enjoy the evening in comfort of their seat. The choice of food will then be limited to two or three and usually caterers alternate this choice between the seat numbers unless special mean has been arranged (like vegetarian meal). This arrange will require a lot more waiting staff and will increase the cost of the evening.

b. Buffet style food stations: This can either be just couple of areas where all the food is displayed for guests to line up and self-serve (or served by staff). One variation of this is having different cuisine displayed in different parts of the room (only if you have a fair amount of space at your disposal). This can reduce your cost for waiting staff. Also you can have variety of food choice including different cuisines. Guests can choose what food they want to indulge in and how much. Some times (depending of the choice of food food can be prepared right in front of the guests. This means food if fresh and hot and will definitely taste better (it can also be entertaining).
c. Family Style Serve: This is a variation of the first option i.e. sit-down style but a lot less formal. In this style, various food dishes are served in the middle of the guest tables (you will need appropriate table size). Guests can then help themselves to their choice of food as per their preference. This does allow more variety of dishes than the traditional sit-down option (a) but not as many as the Buffet option (b).

As mentioned earlier, you can choose any of the above styles and even 'mix and match' them. For example you can have finger food served around the guests as they arrive and interact amongst themselves and then have just buffet style dinner. At the end of the day this will depend on your personal preference, your budget and the theme of the wedding.

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