5 Essential Tips for Planning Catering for Your Wedding Reception

Featured image for post: 5 Essential Tips for Planning Catering for Your Wedding Reception

Weddings are cherished and unforgettable events that couples look forward to. With the perfect blend of celebration and joy, your big day should be nothing short of perfect, including the catering. At Sterling Catering, we understand the significance of this day and strive to deliver top-notch and affordable services throughout the Twin Cities. We are dedicated to providing you with exceptional services that do not compromise on quality.

To assist you in your planning journey, we’ve compiled five tips to consider when it comes to planning the catering for your wedding reception. These are based on our years of experience catering for countless events and will ensure that the food at your reception is just as memorable as the rest of the day.

  1. Determine the Budget for Your Wedding Reception

Before diving into the planning process, it’s important to determine a realistic budget for your wedding reception. On average, reception costs make up a significant portion of the overall wedding budget, often between 40-50%. To get a better idea of what you can afford, you can reach out to local venues and catering service providers to get quotes and compare costs.

You can easily cross off venues and service providers above your budget. At Sterling Catering, we work with you to create a menu that fits your financial goals. By clearly understanding your budget early on, you can make informed decisions about the venue and catering services you choose for your wedding reception.

2. Choose Your Catering Style

The food you serve, how you serve it, and the catering style are crucial to creating a memorable experience for you and your guests. Selecting the perfect catering style for your wedding reception depends on several factors, including:

  • The number of guests
  • Your venue
  • Your wedding theme and style
  • Your budget

Sterling Catering offers a range of catering styles, including:

Food Stations

Food stations are a popular choice for weddings, as they allow guests to sample a wide variety of dishes. Our stations can be set up throughout the event space, with each one offering a different type of cuisine or style of food. Guests can customize their meals and choose exactly what they want to eat, making for an interactive dining experience that’s both fun and satisfying.


  • Provides a wide variety of different food options for guests
  • Guests can customize their meals and choose exactly what they want to eat
  • Amp up the fun factor with an interactive dining experience
  • Great for large events with a diverse guest list


A buffet is a classic catering option where food is served on a long table, and guests help themselves. Buffets can offer a range of different dishes, from appetizers to desserts, and can be set up to accommodate various dietary restrictions. Buffets are a great way to offer guests a range of options without the formality of a plated meal.


  • Allows guests to choose the dishes they want to eat
  • Versatile menu to fit any palate or diet.
  • Great for casual events or events with a large guest list
  • Feeds a crowd with speed and ease

Family Style Catering

Family-style catering is similar to a sit-down meal but with a more casual and communal feel. Dishes are served in large platters and passed around the table for guests to serve themselves. This catering style encourages guests to interact and engage with each other over food.


  • Encourages a communal dining experience
  • Guests can interact with each other and share food
  • Great for events with a more casual atmosphere
  • Provides guests with a range of dishes to choose from

3. Consider the Seating Arrangement

The seating arrangement at a wedding reception is much more than just choosing where each guest will sit. It is a critical aspect of event planning as it directly impacts the overall catering experience. Careful consideration of the seating arrangement allows you to cater to guests with specific dietary needs, separate children from adults, and ensure a smooth flow throughout the event. A well-planned seating arrangement also allows for efficient communication with the catering team. This is essential in ensuring that everyone has the best possible experience at your reception.

4. Indulge and Surprise Your Guests

Ensuring that your guests have a delightful culinary experience at your wedding reception is key to creating a memorable celebration. To elevate your dining experience, consider offering a variety of unique and delectable dishes that will leave a lasting impression. With the option of pre-event tastings at Sterling Catering, you can confidently select a menu that will tantalize your guests’ taste buds and create an unforgettable celebration.

5. Personalize Your Bar

The bar is often the center of attention during a wedding reception. A well-stocked bar not only adds to the ambiance of your celebration but also allows guests to try exciting new drinks. At Sterling Catering, we understand the importance of personalizing your bar to create an unforgettable experience for you and your guests. That’s why we offer an extensive selection of beverages, as well as the expertise to elevate your bar experience with signature drinks and creative ideas.

Sterling Catering: Making Memories with Mouth-Watering Catering

As you approach the final stages of your wedding reception planning journey, allow Sterling Catering to bring its expertise to the table. With an extensive menu customizable to suit your unique tastes and budget, Sterling Catering is the premier catering choice for couples in the Twin Cities area. Reach out to us to learn more about our exceptional catering packages.