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!
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.
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!
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!
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!