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2016 Wedding Trends: Family Style Wedding Dinner

February 22, 2016 by The Marquardt Ranch

Your wedding is a wonderful way to bring together all your favorite family and friends. However, if you’re looking for a way to make the gathering more intimate, consider a family style reception.

Family style implies dinner around the table, just like you would host in your home. Beautiful centerpieces, passed dishes, and comfortable conversation are the hallmarks of this new trend that blends elegance with casual.

First, imagine long tables with décor that can be rustic or lavish. Trade tablecloths for runners and elaborate place settings for simpler wares. Add candlelight, and the warm atmosphere is set.

Next, plan a variety of hearty dishes. Embrace farm to table with seasonal vegetables and grilled meats. Or share your favorite comfort foods, especially on a winter evening. Because you can have so many choices, this option works very well when considering dietary restrictions of your guests. They can pick and choose dishes while still enjoying the meal.

Finally, enjoy the interaction happening all around. Guests can’t help but speak to those sitting by their sides—but the true test of a successful party is when they converse across the table because passing the side dish or basket of bread led to great connections.

Other Advantages of a Family Style Reception:

  • Less expensive than a buffet or plated dinner.
  • Requires less serving/wait staff.
  • Guests can serve themselves and opt for seconds without leaving the table, so there are no lines clogging your reception area.
  • The intimate setting is still classy without being formal.
  • You can choose your own platters and serving dishes that suit your style.


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