Receptions: Beyond the Sit-down Dinner

If nighttime isn't the right time for your reception, think creatively! Here, some top wedding planners provide inspiration and tips.

Festive Lunch

(mid- to late afternoon)


receptionsThe planner: Karen Erwin, owner of St. Augustine Weddings and Special Events in St. Augustine, Florida

Buffet Lunch Menu

  • Cold strawberry soup served in large shot glasses
  • Hearts of palm salad with fresh avocados and plum tomatoes in a light balsamic vinaigrette
  • Made-to-order sushi
  • Lobster- and crabmeat-filled crêpes
  • Skewers of curried chicken with grapes
  • Fresh ahi tuna with pickled ginger
  • Black truffle and wild mushroom risotto
  • Strawberry bar
  • Viennese sweets station


Elegant Eats

receptionsLight and delicious is great lunch style, says Erwin. “Think dinner foods in smaller portions,” she says. “I like to include eight to ten stations. Each station should offer something intriguing, from a sushi table where a chef is preparing made-to-order dishes, to a station where you can get crabmeat- or lobster-filled crêpes. At another station, serve black truffle and wild mushroom risotto in martini glasses. Other popular choices are skewered items like beef and chicken that are easy to hold and eat while enjoying good conversation!”