A Step By Step Wedding Guide For Setting Up Food Stations In Your Backyard The Right Way
Planning a backyard wedding? We know it can be stressful, but if you remember one thing, it should be the food. You have to make sure that your guests are fed and happy! A great way to serve food at your backyard wedding is with food stations! First, you’ll need some great recipes for your favorite dishes. Here’s a list of the most popular ones for you to get started on: barbecue, potato bar, macaroni and cheese station, grilled corn on the cob, hot dogs with condiments, salsa station, French onion soup station, bruschetta grill station.
Next is setting up your food stations. The best option is a large open area where guests can walk around easily. Next comes choosing decoration ideas: set up tables with candles or outdoor lanterns and flowers; decorate your backyard with garden lights; use containers filled with sand or glass balls as centerpieces; if you’re feeling extra fancy, put out champagne bottles as centerpiece ideas! Finally, you’ll need some awesome food storage options like iceboxes. Following along as we dive deeper into our step-by-step guide for doing food stations the right way at your backyard wedding.
Why are food stations so popular?
It’s all about the food! Your wedding wouldn’t be complete without a delicious spread. Not only will you take care of their hunger, but you’ll also ensure they enjoy themselves throughout the event. Food stations are an excellent way to create a setting that people love and make it easy for everyone to enjoy themselves. Plus, the casual affair of food stations truly complements the backyard feel.
Food stations can also be dressed up! You don’t need to feel like you have to serve budget-friendly options. Food stations are also used to serve upscale sides, main entrees, and desserts. The most important part is that they serve food you and your guests love.
Food stations are wonderful for allowing your guests to choose when they eat and what they eat. This can lead to less waste of food and more enjoyment from your guests. Meal options like this are becoming more and more popular with backyard weddings.
What You’ll Need to Set Up Your Food Station
Setting up your food stations can be a bit tricky, but with these items, it will be a lot easier! Browse below our list of everything you need to set up food stations in your backyard. When browsing, be sure to choose color and style options that compliment your wedding day feel and theme.
Food station requirements:
- long folding tables
- table cloths
- food trays
- Food station pan holders
- Warming candles
- Serving utensils
- Cutting boards
- Napkins, plates, and flatware
- Ice boxes
It’s important to note that if you are hiring a caterer or food staff providing food stations, these items will be supplied. The only thing that may not be long tables to put the food stations on. Be sure to consult with any catering service whether or not you need tables for their equipment.
Decorating Ideas for Your Food Stations
You’re going to be serving a lot of food at your wedding, so you’ll want to choose some decorating ideas that will not only look great but also keep your food fresh! You can do this by placing flowers in vases on the food station tables. Another option is to set up candles and lanterns around the food stations. Be cautious of where you are setting up the decor. Some food stations will have open flames.
Another great idea for decorating is to use sand or glass balls as centerpieces. These will add a nice touch and make people feel like they’re at an outdoor event! If you’re feeling extra fancy, put out champagne bottles as centerpieces. These are also a great alternative if you want something less sticky.
You can also use your wedding day menu as decor for your food stations. Maybe create a giant chalkboard menu at the front of your food station line that lists everything that will be served with vegetarian options. This will give your guests time to decide what they want and serve as decor. Check out this chalkboard on Amazon that you can use to customize your food station menu.
Choosing a Location for Your Food Station
If you’re choosing to have your food stations outside, then you’ll need to make sure that your outdoor space is large enough. You’ll want a space big enough for guests to walk around comfortably and not feel cramped. Try to create an outdoor atmosphere by adding some plants, flowers, candles, or lanterns and lights.
If you’re planning on having your food stations inside, it’s a lot easier since there’s no worry about the weather! Simply choose a location near the entrance of the wedding site where guests will easily be able to find the stations and access them easily. Another option for inside locations would be near windows where natural sunlight can shine onto the tables. This will help keep your food fresh in case of rain or snow!
Planning Your Menu
First, decide what dishes you want to offer to your guests. You’ll need to decide whether you want a theme-based menu or a more traditional one. If you’re going for a theme-based menu, keep in mind that the dishes should complement each other. Next, think of some appetizers and drinks to serve with your dish. For example, if you’re serving grilled corn on the cob, try serving it with salsa or french onion soup for dipping.
Be sure that you are choosing food that you have tried before and love. The last thing you want to do is serve food at your wedding that you don’t love. One of the best things about having a backyard wedding is the fact that you are inviting the people you love the most over for dinner. Given this, be sure to choose your food with intention and consideration for your guests.
It’s also good to provide both vegetarian and gluten-free options. Even if you and your spouse have zero dietary restrictions, be sure that you have eating options for guests that may require it. This is good to do whether guests disclose this preference or not.
Hiring a Caterer and Creating a Budget
The next step to making your backyard wedding food stations great is hiring a caterer. This is not a requirement for serving food stations at your wedding. Food stations can be self-served, or you can hire a “friend” or put a few members of the wedding party in charge of serving.
However, if you are hiring a catering service, there are a few things to note. When creating a budget for your wedding, you’ll want to consider how much money you will spend on the food. When meeting with catering companies, ask for estimates for the total number of guests you plan to have and the amount of food desired.
There are a couple of other charges you will want to ask your caterers about. For example, after-hour charges, to-go bags, leftovers, equipment fees, insurance, planning, and more. Start by asking what a typical event looks like on their end from start to finish. This will give you a good idea of what to expect and help you determine a sound budget.
How to start planning your food stations
Planning a backyard wedding doesn’t have to be stressful, especially when it comes to food. Throw your wedding party with these helpful tips and tricks to set up your food stations. The food is such an intimate and fun detail for your backyard wedding. Have fun serving unique dishes that you love and are excited to enjoy. And make sure you do just that; enjoy them! So many couples rush through their wedding day, ensuring they speak to everyone that they miss dinner! Be sure to carve out a special 20 minutes where you sit down and enjoy your delicious dinner!
Ready to start planning your food stations? Start by brainstorming different menu ideas. Can you combine them within a theme? Or is there a favorite food of yours or your spouse’s that you have to have? For example, if you are an ice cream addict, maybe explore having an entire ice cream station! Or maybe craft your stations around important places that you have your spouse have traveled to. The world is your oyster – pun intended!
Get started brainstorming your food station ideas by downloading our free Notion board template! This template is completely free to download and free to use and will help you organize all the details of your backyard wedding day! Create lists, schedules, categories, and color code it all! Give your backyard the wedding it deserves with our free template to start you off!