All in the Family

Whether “family-style” conjures memories of a raucous meal and a cacophony of relatives’ voices or an orderly dinner party, family-style meals are a new trend in weddings. How would that work, one might ask? We asked expert Lisa Peters of Randy Peters Catering for some answers and inspiration on how to make a passed meal part of your reception.

Our Wedding: What does family-style meal mean exactly?

Lisa Peters: It is where the food is brought out on large platters or bowls, depending on the food, and everyone passes it around the table as if you were eating at home with family.

OW: Are there some dishes that work better than others? What are they?

LP: No, not really. It will work with most foods. I have never done it with large steaks—I think this is harder to do—but it’s still possible. If there is a meat option I would prefer to do a sliced protein such as a garlic encrusted sirloin. Estimate 6 ounces of protein per guest.

OW: How does the service work?

LP: You will need servers, which is a good idea on any type of event whether it be plated or buffet. This is a special day for the bride, groom and family; they shouldn’t have to lift a finger. Servers will bring out the food on large platters or bowls and then the guests pass around the platters and serve themselves.

OW: You mentioned 6 ounces of protein per person. What about sides?

LP: Depends on the side but most are between 3-4 ounces per person.

OW: Anything else you would tell couples?

LP: When a client is looking into doing family-style there is an added cost due to extra rentals being needed, platters, bowls, tongs, spoons, etc. These are sometimes things that clients don’t think about.

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