Garden Wedding Reception in New Haven, CT

How to Choose the Best Wedding Reception Meals

Planning what to serve for your New Haven area and Connecticut wedding reception meal may feel like one of the most stressful items on your to-do list, simply because there are so many important details to cover. Formal or causal setting, the size of your budget, and finalizing the guest list are typically the key wedding planning considerations when it comes to your wedding reception meal. But, there are a few other details that require your attention as well from the managers of Fantasia, a reception venue covering the New Haven area of CT.

Choosing the Appropriate Time to Serve Your Reception Meal

The budget is set; the guest list has been confirmed. The next item on your list is to determine the time of day to have your wedding reception. Time of day is a critical factor in serving your meal, since you’ll want to choose dishes that are tasty, as well as appropriate for your wedding reception setting.

Afternoon or midday

Just as a morning reception meal can serve a wide variety of dishes, afternoon reception meals provide that same flexibility with meal options. Wedding guests can enjoy formal, seated meals with a number of courses, or casual lunch dishes with smaller plates and hors d’oeuvres.


Traditionally, evening wedding receptions are reserved for more formal settings-replete with place cards, multiple courses and alcoholic beverages. Depending on your serving style, dinner receptions can also be the most expensive, as couples normally pay per guest and any standard fees associated with bar service.

Selecting a Serving Style

After you’ve selected the time of day, the next step is to meet with your caterer to discuss a serving style and menu for the wedding reception meal. Remember, your serving style should reflect the atmosphere of your wedding reception site and fit within the theme of your wedding.

Buffets and Food Stations

Your guests will enjoy the creative presentation, ease of self-service and the assortment of delicious dishes that buffets and food stations provide. They are also a great way to add elements from your personality into the meal. For instance, if you’re a couple that loves sweets, have ice cream bars for guests to make sundaes with their favorite toppings.

Table Service

For a more formal Connecticut wedding reception, table service with a full wait staff is the way to go. Traditional table service includes a cocktail reception with passed hor d’oeuvres followed by a first course, a main course, dessert and wedding cake. While table service is quite elegant, guests are usually only given the option of poultry or beef as an entree (with pre-selected side dishes). This option is great for a uniform execution, but cold be problematic for finicky eaters.

Your wedding reception meal should be the ultimate experience for you and your guests. To make a lasting impression, always serve the ones you love with foods you enjoy, in a setting that reflects your individual style.