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Fabulous Food Stations That Tick All the Boxes

Somewhere between a sit-down full-service dinner and a free-for-all buffet lives this fabulous idea: food stations. They work like a buffet, but are much easier to arrange, infinitely enjoyable for all guests, and most importantly – come in endless combinations. This is good news for a guest list with many dietary requirements. We even ticked all the boxes for you already!

Before we dive into the menu, here are a few golden rules of food stations:

• Keep it simple and have no more than four. Three savoury and one sweet option are plenty.
• Ask the venue or the caterer how to keep hot food at the right temperature.
• Remember: vegetarian/vegan food can be eaten by everyone.
• Stock up on napkins and hand wipes.

And that’s all! Let’s talk menus (we are getting hungry just thinking about it).

Tacos, nachos, burritos, fajitas

wedding-food-station

Above & main image by apartmenttherapy.com

So fuuuun! You’ll need stacks of soft fajita/burrito shells, hard taco shells, and a big dish (or several bags?) of nacho chips. All the traditional toppings will go in bowls: tomatoes, salsa, shredded cheese, onions, sour cream, lettuce. Feel free to add anything else you like, maybe peppers or bacon flakes? Then, you need three or four heated pots to keep the main ingredients warm: perhaps beef chilli, beans, chicken, and melted cheese? You can also opt for a vegetarian option here. YUM!

✔ savoury
✔ variety
✔ simple
✔ must be kept hot (fillings)
✔ good for kids and adults
✔ easy to make vegetarian/vegan

Pizza or mini pizza

food stations wedding

Above image from stylemepretty.com

It used to be that pineapple was a controversial pizza topping. Nowadays, it has been supplanted by many other weird choices (mac & cheese, anyone?), and seems so innocent in comparison! So, your only decision will be: do I go for the tried-and-trusted stuff, the staples of the pizza menu? Or do I jazz it up a little? We suggest keeping the ratio 3:1. For every three regular pizzas, have one unusual option. With pizza food stations, the only challenge is keeping it all warm, especially if you are outdoors. Ask your venue or caterer if they have a solution (like those heating lamps).

✔ savoury
✔ variety
✔ simple
✔ must be kept hot
✔ good for kids and adults
✔ easy to make vegetarian/vegan

Cheese, crackers, veggies, dips

Above image from coopercarras.com

We are not talking just a little table (of course, you can have that if you wish!), but a true extravaganza! Cheese, crackers, veggies, and dips are a hugely popular party staple. They are great for the guests with different dietary requirements. And, feel free to explore some unusual options too. For example, did you know that the Dutch dip cheese in mustard? It’s not weird, it’s actually delicious!

✔ savoury
✔ variety
✔ simple
✔ good for kids and adults
✔ easy to make vegetarian/vegan

Chinese boxes

Above image from paradisegourmet.com

You know that fabulous convenience of food in a box… no plates, no mess, just a perfect portion to enjoy. Have that at your wedding as one of the food stations! Again, make your life really easy (and budget happy) by keeping things very simple. Serve fried or steamed rice, simple noodles, and a crowd-pleaser topping or two. The guests will rock up to the table, pick up their fave box, plus a fork or chopsticks, and dig in. It’s perfect chatting food too, there’s no plate to balance.

✔ variety
✔ simple
✔ must be kept hot
✔ easy to make vegetarian/vegan

Fondue

Above image from marthastewartweddings.com

The wonderful thing about fondue is that it can feed plenty of people, is super simple to set up as one of your food stations, and works as both a savoury and sweet option. Make it really uncomplicated by having no more than two dipping options: fresh loaves of rustic bread, plus dried figs or apricots for the cheese (for an Irish twist, try a Guinness and cheese recipe). For a sweet fondue, go for a simple but unexpected pairing: marshmallows and salted pretzels.

✔ savoury/sweet
✔ variety
✔ simple
✔ must be kept hot
✔ good for kids and adults

Fried anything

Above image from springfieldhouse.com.au

Fried food… it has many fans. We live in a world that serves up deep-fried bananas, ice cream, and Mars bars. It’s safe to say a food station of fried treats is pretty much guaranteed to be a hit. You can never go wrong with fries, although they might be a challenge to keep warm (depending on the set-up). Think a little creatively and ask for chicken fries (they look just like fries, but are made from – you guessed it – chicken). We also love the idea of DIY BLT sandwiches, with plenty of crispy bacon.

✔ savoury/sweet
✔ variety
✔ simple
✔ must be kept hot
✔ good for kids and adults
✔ easy to make vegetarian/vegan

Pancakes

Above image from greenweddingshoes.com

Save the best for last! Pancakes are perfect because they still taste good even when cold, so you won’t have to arrange any heating options (if you run out, the kitchen will simply mix and flip some more). Keep toppings seasonal (for example, berries plus powder sugar), and you won’t even need any other desserts, apart from the wedding cake. The kids will love them, of course.

✔ savoury/sweet
✔ variety
✔ simple
✔ must be kept hot
✔ good for kids and adults
✔ easy to make vegetarian/vegan

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Rachel Green

Rachel Green

If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.

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