All You Need To Know about Plating + Seating At Indian Weddings!
BY The WMG Bride | 26 Mar, 2016 | 833 views | 4 min read
A plated, sit-down dinner is considered the most traditional and formal option as each guest is individually served a plated meal. Typically, guests are served three courses: appetizer, entrée, and dessert (you can add tons of food between them, so don’t worry about the fact that your guests might think you are skimping on food). The great part is that your caterer will know exactly how much food to purchase since each meal is pre-selected, so your food costs will be lower than a buffet. Some of the other great parts about a sit-down reception that you should remember are:
- Guests with special dietary requirements can be served individual meals (as long as you include this request on your invitations!) so you don’t need to worry about them going hungry or being uncomfortable.
- The overall time that dinner takes up is less because all your guests are served at the same time, this leaves more time for chatting, mingling and dancing!
- Sit down dinners are more intimate so save them for cocktails, sangeet or mehendi. In India, we don't have rehearsal dinners and if you do, this style is perfect. People sit and listen to all the speeches and between breaks chat and talk.
- Wait staff serve the meal to your guests so no one has to stand up and move around the reception area while carrying plates full of food – this will reduce potential mess, dish breakage and just walk-ins.
- Generally your meals will be plated beautifully - you need to know what your colour theme is which stationery you will use at the wedding and the plates too matter (What’s a wedding if there are no Instagrams and Snapchats about it?).
- You can decorate your tables with stunning centrepieces for an extra wow factor. A cousin of mine, went for spirit animals - tiger, bear, lion, elephant and the table came with designs and little knick-knacks channelling the same.
- If you’re opting for a seated wedding, we’d probably recommend doing a seating plan. Yes, it’s painful job but it means that there’s no stress for guests that are trying to find table space together.
- People like being told where to go and it feels more personal (to us at least) when you arrive and there’s a nice little name place card waiting for you. Plus it’s handy for the ladies to be able to leave bags and jackets at their seat.
- Leave a little gift at the table so your guests can carry it back to the rooms. Maybe a mint box or altoids, even a packet of masala chai or spicebox. We spotted fruits, candy and little kites as accompaniments. Maybe even churan. Cute and nice!
- This kind of dinner can be limited so it pays to choose a menu that is simple but well-liked by all. Chicken is a universal thing, so are rice or rotis. Don't choose exotic stuff - no experimenting here. Go for good stuff that everyone likes.
- Decor: keep it punctuated and minimum. Don't overcrowd the table with too many things.
- You can save money on good plates by trying this simple trick. Instead of picking out custom-designed plates, pick white ones and put in stationery cards that are exactly shaped like a plate on them. Guests have to put it on the side and serve themselves. Or go crazy: opt for thali plates to stay Indian. Indian designs, go for inspiration from Good Earth. Gold or silver metallic plates always work. If not, go white and use pretty cutlery and tablecloths.
- Eight is the ideal number on one table—it feels full, but not crowded, everyone is going to be able to pull their chairs in all the way, and still have some elbow room
- Make sure that all the people on each table are comfortable with each other. We don’t want a favourite cousin complaining about how some random chaachi ate her brains off during the dinner!
- Escort cards are another method of telling guests what table they are sitting at. They can be designed to match your stationery (which is always classic and gorgeous) or you can attach the cards to favors, creating “escort objects”- there are so many great ideas.
- After everything is served, put out bowls of biryani or side dishes on the table so guests can pass them around. The dinner is all about courses but it also needs to be "Indian", an "all-you-can-eat" option.
- And because it's per plate - costs might go up. So invite only the ones who matter and this option is great, if you have less people at the wedding!
- By Apoorva Pagar