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Journal Opinion
Bradford , Vermont
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July 2, 2014     Journal Opinion
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July 2, 2014
 

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Planning your reception: Which dinner service is right for your wedding? But sit-down dinners are typically Weddings are typically the culmina- more expensive as well. Guests are tion of months of careful planning, generally given several choices for the After a couple has officially tied the main course, and that could mean or- knot, a celebration typically follows, dering extra food and preparing it to Although music and mingling are in- be ready for guests' selections. Serv- tegral to a wedding reception, the ing meals may take longer, and some- meal is often the central component times meals may not arrive hot to the of the party. Couples have options when choos- ing dinner service for their weddings, and some need not serve dinner at all. An early wedding may consist of a brunch or some passed appetizers, while some couples opt for a cock- tail party in lieu of a dinner party. Still, some weddings feature only desserts. But guests attending more tradi- tional weddings expect to dine at the receptions that follow such affairs. Buffet service and a sit-down dinner are the most popular choices for wedding meals, and each has its ad- vantages and disadvantages. Choos- ing the dinner service that works best for your wedding may involve a care- ful comparison of the various offer- ings and keeping your budget and guests' comfort in mind. Sit-down dinner A sit-down dinner consists of sev- eral courses of plated food served by a waitstaff. Guests never have to table. Guests may be limited to cer- tain food choices, and portion sizes may not be what guests were hoping for. Sitting idle for a while can affect the mood of the reception and lead to boredom. Buffet service A buffet-style dinner is served from a long dais table that holds several chafing dishes full of food. Wedding guests will rise from their seats and make their way to the buffet stations, where they'll be able to serve them- selves or be served by staff manning the stations. Buffets present an array of foods that cater to the various dietary needs of guests. Those at the reception can sample several different foods rather than be restricted to one main course. Guests can limit portion sizes or sometimes return for second helpings. Buffets are generally less formal and allow guests to mingle more readily. But buffet-style meals may produce long lines as guests pick and choose leave their seats, and sit-down ser- their meals. While experienced cater- vice is usually in line with a formal ing managers and reception site staff reception. Some food offerings at should have plans in place to create a sit-down dinners tend to be fancy and free-flow of guests to the buffet eta- presented in a manner that is appeal- tions, there will be a first and a last ing both to the eye and the palate, table called to eat, and guests on the There are several advantages to sit- tail end of the service may be stuck down meals. Guests can focus en- tirely on enjoying themselves and with whatever is left over if food is not adequately restocked. In an effort to conversing with fellow guests rather accommodate everyone, extra food than getting up to seek out food, and may be cooked for buffet-style din- those with mobility issues do not ners, which can be costly and waste- have to worry about maneuvering to ful. In addition, guests are asked to do a buffet station or trying to balance more work, as they need to get up and food. Guests get top-notch treat- retrieve their own food. ment and will have a waitstaffon call A catering company or the banquet to fill their every need, which can manager at a reception site can work make an affair more memorable for with couples as they decide if a buffet all in attendance, or sit-down dinner is the best option for their wedding receptions.  The ( tA[cnen's Maid 4Honor  FOR THE WAY IT'S MADE,'* Products for o lifetime. Discover why. Free Gift With Bridal Registry! nut the ’,, 91 Central Street ° Woodsville, N.H. 603.747.2122 www.everythingbutthecook.com LARGE SELECTION OF WINES FROM AROUND THE WORLDI • MmnUGKS ............ 207 Main Street td , Bradford, Mr (802) 222-9348 Imported & Domestic Wine & Beer Hatchland Milk hing Licenses Also Available Let us help you with your Wedding Invitations! Palmer Brothers Dry Cleaning & Laundry CONVENIENT PICKUP SITES The Brick Store, Bath, NH The Party Store Woodsville, NH Newbury Village Store Newbury, VT Bliss Village Store Bradford, VT Kinney Drug, Bradford, VT w e o m 802-748-2308 Chapman's Country Store Fairlee, VT Patterson's Grocery & Deli Orford, NH 4 Corners General Store Piermont, NH Aldrich General Store North Haverhill, NH Sew Much More Littleton, NH 179 Eastern Avenue, St. Johnsbury, VT, frankrothel @gmail.com (I ridal Showcase July 2, 2014--JOURNAL OPINION--Page 15 Seating solutions: How to manage seating arrangements After all of the invitations have been sent and RSVPs returned, engaged couples who are including a sit- down dinner as part of their wedding receptions must figure out the seat- ing arrangements for their guests. Such a task can be both fun and stressful. The tim of making seating arrange- ments stems from reuniting friends and family members who couples feel will enjoy one another's com- pany and make the reception that much more fun. But feuding family members can make the task of as- signing seats somewhat stressful. Couples need not be relationship experts to plan seating arrangements that ensure guests have a good time. The following tips can help couples enjoy the process of mapping out their wedding reception seating as- signments as much as possible. • Make assignments by hand. While there is software designed specifically to help couples map out seating assignments, many couples find it easier to do the seating as- when assigning seats. signments by hand, which allows Keep special needs guests in To Our couples more freedom to rear- mind. Some guests at the wedding v, e,come range tables. In addition, makingthe may have special needs, and this must Bridal Room At seating arrangements by hand en- be kept in mind when planning seat- sures whothat coupleSnot spread out ing assignments. Guests with medi- :!l, TO .4" guests might get along, cal conditions may benefit from sit- 1'  • Don't seat guests in the hopes of ting close to the restroom, while ’i .%. quashing old conflicts. While the those with mobility issues might be " ,, PARTY STORI:" jovial spirit ofaweddingceremony best served sitting in a spot where and reception might seem like the waitstaff can more easily recognize , perfect atmosphere for feuding when they need something. Consider friends or family members to bury sitting older guests, whose vision the hatchet with regard to old con- might not be as strong as it once was, flicts, this leaves open the poten- as close to the happy couple as pos- tially ugly possibility that such con- sible so these guests can see every- flicts might escalate. 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