Meal Service 101 from A-One Weddings & Events of Cheyenne

Meal Service 101

by Carol Thomas, PWP — A-One Weddings & Events, Cheyenne

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You may know the difference in the cocktail hour (small appetizers and beverages) and the reception dinner (full meal), but did you know there are other options? Let’s take a look at the most common and a few trending styles too!

 Cocktail Reception:

Typically this is a formal alternative to a dinner reception – think a step above business casual so a suit jacket with slacks or a stylish dress. This style of food service encourages guests to mix and mingle so there is limited seating. Food is served in bite-sized portions and can be passed by waitstaff or on buffet style service tables.


In this style guests to leave their seat and serve themselves. This can allow for a wide range and variety of foods to be served. You can still assign seats to your guests if you would like and we recommend that you have the DJ or another appointed person excuse tables so that you do not have a rush of people standing at the buffet.

Plated Service:

This style is where waitstaff serves pre-selected entrees to each guest. This style offers a more formal feeling as your guests will be waited on throughout the dinner service. There are a few ways that you can have plated service: single entree, duet entree , or plated entree choice. With single entree you select one entree choice that is served to every guest, so every one receives the chicken and veggies. A duet is two entree choices served to every guest, perhaps you selected New York Strip and chicken with veggies to give your guest a variety. Plated choice is when you allow your guests to select their entree on the RSVP card (you know where you check beef or chicken). When choosing plated meal service make sure you allow guests that are vegetarian or have food allergies to let you know so that the caterer can prepare a meal that fits their restrictions.


In this style guests to leave their seat and serve themselves. This can allow for a wide range and variety of foods to be served. You can still assign seats to your guests if you would like and we recommend that you have the DJ or another appointed person excuse tables so that you do not have a rush of people standing at the buffet.

This is a unique food service option where platters of entrees and side dishes are set on each guest table and the guests serve themselves. This style allows for guests to select from the variety offered, but can be a bit tricky as there may not be room on the table for all the platters.

Food Truck:

A unique and delicious way to serve food to your guests. Food trucks are a bit like buffets in that your guests will leave their table to select their food, and is typically a little more made to order for each guest than a plated meal would be – think of a main option like pizza and then guests choose their toppings! If that idea grabs your attention you may want to check out Bella Fuoco Pizza here in Cheyenne!

Late Night Bites:

From simple snacks like chips and dips to more elaborate mini hamburgers  or wrapped burritos served to-go, Snacks or even a second mini meal after an evening of dancing and perhaps drinking can be an amazing addition to the end of night festivities!

Dessert Only:

This is a fun twist if you are having a ceremony that doesn’t align with lunch or dinner service consider serving your favorite desserts and enjoy all the best endings to celebrate your sweet beginning! Make sure that you let guests know that they are going to be enjoying a variety of sweets so they know what to expect.

Consider your personality, the style of the wedding, and the venue when deciding on which style of food service you would like to provide for your guests. There are an infinite combination of ways to make your day unique, and food is just one of your options so have fun and enjoy all the details!

Next month’s FOOD! blog will circle out of the kitchen to discuss what the differences are in a catering manager and wedding planner.

Thoughts, suggestions, or questions? I would love to hear from you email me or comment in the box at the bottom of the page. When commenting please put the blog title so that we all know which topic you are interested in. Thanks!



Thank you to Weddings & Events by Ashley Marie of Sheridan for sharing this gorgeous wedding with us! I love these beautiful images, shared by Nicky and taken by  their friend Sarah Fogerty of San Diego. They were married July 21, 2012, at the Big Horn Equestrian Center. They also had some images shot at the Kendrick Mansion in Sheridan — another gorgeous location! I love the work Ashley did with this event!


INSPIRATION: The Bride’s Assistant


OUR SISTER PUBLICATIONS:  Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine Wyovore WYO XY The Wyoming Woman

I have so many brides ask me this question: “Is there one thing I should make sure that I have on our wedding day?” While I can’t easily narrow it down to ONE thing, I can definitely name one thing that I would not have a wedding day without — a bride’s assistant. This is someone that is NOT in the wedding party. I know your knee-jerk reaction is to name your maid/matron of honor to this position, and she does have a position like this to a degree…but I still argue that a separate, independent bride’s assistant that is party-tie free is essential. This is the person who needs to be aware of all the ins and outs of your day — when the flowers, cake, catering, etc. will arrive – when the DJ will set up — where the musicians are supposed to be located in the ceremony space (for when they show up and are unsure)… and so on.

Why should this person NOT be your maid/matron of honor, or one of your parents or your groom’s parents/family members? Because. OK, just kidding — there is a reason, and it’s a doozy. Because they’re going to be busy enjoying your day. Your parents have waited your entire life (+9 mos) for this moment, so please don’t bog them down with worrying about details. They’re going to do that anyway. Let them know that you have someone responsible who is in charge of this, so that they can watch you as you get ready and walk down the aisle and let the tears of happiness flow unabashed. (OK, that was poetic. But you know what I mean.) Same with your groom’s family, and your wedding party — they’ll all want to join in your day without the stress of minute details.

In addition, remember that the rehearsal and wedding days are full of hair appointments, keeping track of tux pieces, saying hello to friends and family and being there to give you a hug in the moment. Having someone who doesn’t have to be sitting in a salon chair while frantically calling the caterer or someone to check on the cake is a HUGE benefit to the stress and flow of your day.

So we’ve defined this person, we’ve argued the reasons why they’re essential — now what should this person do? And how should you go about informing them of all that happens? I was blessed to serve in this role for a dear friend of mine — she’s one of the most organized people I know. We kept in contact every now and then over a series of months beforehand, then the week beforehand she really gave me the whole skinny on the day. Here’s what she gave me:

Ceremony outline

Reception outline

Reception table and decoration schematic

Where items of decorations would be located, who would be bringing them, and who would be setting them up on the wedding day

When the cake, catering, flowers, band, DJ, etc. would arrive, and where they would set up

Whether everyone had been paid, and if not, who would be expecting payment and where to find it (make sure you have those checks prepared and made out for the appropriate amount! Then it’s easy-peasy for your assistant.)

Names of people in wedding party (an added way super organized you’re a rock star bride bonus might be pictures of each member of the wedding party and their name!)

Who has the wedding rings — let your assistant know if this is someone they should regularly check in with, make sure they still have them (you never know who might enjoy the pre-wedding celebrations a little too much…)

The time that you want everyone lined up for the ceremony

When everyone should arrive for the reception; when bar & hors d’oeuvres should begin (keep in mind that everything is approximate, and remind your assistant of that too)

Now — when I filled in this role for my friend, I showed up at the decorating time, expecting I’d be orchestrating everyone. The friends of the mom were expecting they’d be orchestrating everyone — and to keep from causing a ruckus, I backed off a little bit and let them have that show. I figured that was important to them because they were close to her mother. I did make sure that nothing was left undone, but quietly and in an unobtrusive way. Be sure your assistant understands how to work with personalities and not cause tension — sometimes these things just happen. Everyone wants the best for your wedding day and those that they love — so no one does this to be unkind — they just simply all have their own ideas on how these things happen. Just remember that, remind your assistant and tell her/him to be flexible. All will be well in the end!

Can’t I just hire someone? YES! You absolutely can, and that is one of the great things about our awesome wedding planners who serve Wyoming! Many offer a day-of-the-wedding package. OR, you can hire them to help you coordinate AND serve in this role, and you get twice the benefits. Check our vendor page for planners for Wyoming!

Questions? I know we’ve left points unanswered here — so please email ( or post on our Facebook page and we’ll be happy to expand upon this topic!

‘Til Next Time…stay inspired and keep going! It’ll be a beautiful day just for you!

Kati Hime, Editor


OUR SISTER PUBLICATIONS:  Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine Wyovore WYO XY The Wyoming Woman

VENDOR SPOTLIGHT: Tula Event Productions


Our Sister Publications:  Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine — Wyovore — WYO XY —

images courtesy Tula Event Productions

From day of wedding planning services to full wedding planning, Tula is a great choice for planning your special day. Owner Mel and her staff are very thorough, assuring you the best service available. Check out their packages for “day of services” offered for your wedding day — each package includes one consultation:

Something New package: Base fee for 10 hours of service — hourly rates apply for 10+ hours. “Our premium package! Bridal consulting to help you with every detail of your day from start to finish! You can select all our offered services (see list below) or select just those needed.”

Something Old package:  “Let us be your own personal wedding search engine! Your choice of any seven services listed below.”

Something Blue package:  “Leave the details to us on your big day! Your choice of any five services listed below.”

Something Borrowed package: “Enjoy your day and allow Tula to set up for you! Your choice of any three services listed below.”

List of “Day of” Services:


Check ceremony site setup/decorations

Provide water & small refreshments to dressing room sites, if permitted by venue

Assist with last minute dressing challenges

Distribute and pin on flowers

Assist photographer with pre-ceremony photos, if needed

Set up guest book table, unity candle, sand ceremony or other ceremony items

Confirm instructions to ushers on seating plan and VIP guests

Confirm instructions to best man and maid/matron of honor on ring(s)

Keep marriage license and/or kebutah safe

Keep ring pillow and miscellaneous items until needed

Provide wedding day emergency kit

Run errands for bride/bridal party (lipstick, emergency items, forgotten items, etc.)

Coordinate with musicians

Organize processional line-up

Space bridal party in aisle

Ensure no late guests disrupt processional

Direct guests to reception location, have copies of maps/directions

Organize wedding party and family for post-ceremony pictures

Wrap up unity candle/tapers/sand vases and other ceremony items

Organize departure of wedding party to reception site

Attend Bride’s final dress fitting


Check room setup, layout and bathrooms before reception

Place favors, table numbers/names, menu cards and place cards on tables

Arrange gifts on gift table (if there is a gift table)

Check band/DJ setup

Review schedule with Master of Ceremonies, musicians and banquet captain; make sure they stay on schedule

Ensure cake, flowers, caterer have delivered on time and to proper location

Bring and place cake topper/server on cake tables

Pay all services that work on the event

Line up Bride/Groom and bridal party for announcements

Cue Bride/Groom, Best Man/Maid of Honor, parents for welcome, first dance, other dances,toast & cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss

Pack up miscellaneous items and arrange to be taken from reception

Arrange transportation for personal and wedding items, and gifts (before & after reception)

Visit Events to Tula online at or call Mel at 970-980-9580.


Our Sister Publications:  Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine — Wyovore — WYO XY —