Our Wedding Blog

Wedding Menu Styles: Stations


There are three options when it comes to creating your menu – buffet-style, plated, or stations. What are stations? Stations are a crossover between a plated meal and a buffet in the way that it is setup as a buffet but prepared in front of you by a chef and served by the caterers. All three offer their own unique style to your overall reception atmosphere and theme but today we’ll focus on stations!

Photo: Dustin Lewis Images

Why stations?

Stations allows the ability to create a theme around your food while also offering a variety of choices for your guests.

Instead of the traditional chicken and side of mashed potatoes you can offer a carving station where your guests are able to choose which part of the meat they’d prefer and a mashed potato bar, where your guests can add toppings, such as bacon, cheese, sour cream, and butter! By choosing stations, you’re giving your guests more of an experience and more options to customize their plate in a variety of ways.

Stations also creates a better flow of traffic since you have the option to keep the stations near each other or strategically place them throughout the reception area, while also creating more of a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for your guests since your guests can now bounce around from one station to the other giving them a reason to leave one conversation and start another.

Couples also don’t have to worry about which seasoning their guests may be allergic to or who may not like seafood as guests can sample foods, portion out their selection, and even ask the chef himself about any dietary questions they may have or guide them through the selections for the best food experience.

Photo: Dustin Lewis Images

Each Station is its own meal

When you create your stations menu do not think appetizers or sides. Think full on different meals at each station. For example, the Lesner Inn mac & cheese station lets guests add chicken, cheddar cheese, bacon, jalapenos, sautéed mushrooms, pulled pork and sour cream. The taco stations can include chicken, shrimp, pulled pork in a flour tortilla with cheese, cabbage, cilantro, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. The grilled cheese bar offers a classic grilled cheese and a gourmet version which can include tomato & mozzarella with pesto, bacon & pepper jack, fig & prosciutto  accompanied with a tomato bisque, pulled pork, or chicken. All stations can be customized to create a full meal selection so be sure to remember that when creating your menu!

Creating Your Stations Menu

When creating your menu try to add a salad that can be plated for guests to have at their tables to eat before going to their preferred station or create a salad bar for your guests to enjoy before their main meal. Think about putting the bread and butter on the table as well to keep the little ones distracted as their parents get their meals. Once you have the pre-dinner selections out of the way next is picking out the stations.

Think about the theme and atmosphere that you’d like to create for your wedding day. Is the atmosphere you desire more of the classic black tie occasion or is it more of the relaxed waterfront vibe?

If it’s the classic black tie occasion then a carving station, grilled vegetable skewer station and sweet potato bar is the way to go! For a relaxed vibe then the shrimp Alfredo pasta station, grilled cheese station, and crab cake station would be a wonderful waterfront experience!

When it comes to creating your stations don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and really add some flavor and variety to your selection because again your guests can pick and choose their plate selection no matter the options you offer them!

Add some after party flare with a hot chocolate bar, s’morelicious station, slider station or even an ice cream sundae bar!

There’s so many ways to create a stations menu and we can’t wait to see how you create yours!

New Menu

The Lesner Inn is happy to launch our new 2021 menu! Check out the full menu by clicking here! We’re so excited to bring you more flavors, options, and a whole new experience for your big day! Reach out to a Lesner Inn manager today to help create your perfect menu!

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What People are Saying

  • Mr. & Mrs. Horne

    SEPTEMBER 12, 2020
    We had such an amazing wedding at the Lesner this past weekend. With all of the hurdles we had to go through with COVID protocols, Alexis, Kim, and Lindsey went above and beyond to make our day feel normal- and it was PERFECT! They were so attentive to detail and helpful with things I had not thought of during the planning process. They took care of every detail and we had nothing to worry about on the day of Our wedding except showing up. I even had some last minute changes to decor that they were able to help with. The food was amazing and the view is seriously one you can’t beat. The sunset deck is Covered, so some rain is not a total game changer- but it also gives the guests a nice break from the reception hall (which is inside), which made our guests comfortable with spacing out during these times. Luckily our weather was perfect and the photos are literally amazing- there is no better view in Virginia Beach. I would highly recommend the Lesner for a wedding !!
  • Mr. & Mrs. Jurko

    JUNE 22, 2018
    I could NOT be happier with the service from Lesner Inn. Our coordinator Liz was SO helpful each time we met with her and had questions. The ceremony and receptions spaces were absolutely beautiful. If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing and I would recommend this venue to anyone!
  • The Bells

    SEPTEMBER 24, 2016
    Alexis, We just wanted to say thank you for all that you did Saturday & all the planning leading up to our wedding day. We had such an amazing day! And we really appreciated you making sure we were taken care of throughout the night. You’re amazing at what you do & helped our wedding day turn out to be perfect! Thank you again!
  • Jon & Brit­tany Wil­son

    JULY 15, 2017
    Girls at the Lesner Inn, Wow! I can’t believe it’s been just about a year since Jon and I came through the doors and knew that this would be the place we say “I do”. You guys are awesome and made planning a breeze even for this bride who didn’t have it all together. Thank you guys so much for everything, our day was perfect!
  • Kyle & Elise Miller

    APRIL 8, 2018
    Lindsey! I am speechless! Friday was truly amazing. You went above and beyond to make our day so special! We loved every second of the night. Thank you also for the champagne glasses and kitchen towel. You are so sweet! Everyone raved about the night. You and Lesner Inn are AMAZING! Love you Kyle & Elise Miller
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