The Best Catering Options for Your Maryland Wedding
Maryland weddings are a sight to be seen, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Especially when it comes to catering. Every couple and gathered family has their own style and appetite for celebration dining. In addition to your seating chart and goodie bags, couples often agonize over how to cater the wedding to make everyone happy. Do you need a plated traditional dinner or would a barbecue be more fun and meaningful to your nearest and dearest? In addition to the black-eyed peas for luck and prosperity, what should be on the menu and how should you serve your guests? Today, Milton Ridge is here to share our expert insights on how to choose the best catering options for your Maryland wedding.
Every Maryland Wedding is Unique
The first step is to remind yourself that your wedding doesn’t have to look like any other wedding in the magazines or family albums. Each couple is unique, and each gathering of two families is unique, so your catering can be special as well. You can choose whatever options would be best for your special wedding experience, even if that diverges from what you might think of as tradition.
Seating and Serving
When it comes to catering, your serving style is the building block on which everything else is planned. How does your family like to gather and eat? What kind of experience would you like to share on your very special day? There are four primary styles of reception serving that are easy to choose from.
Buffet style is the most cost-effective and an enjoyably communal experience. You can serve just about anything in a buffet, with traditional Maryland barbecue and crab bakes by far the most popular. Invite the whole family to grab a plate and dig in with this casual reception catering choice. As a plus, the children and hungriest family members can eat their fill when everyone else is stuffed.
Family-style will remind you of every Thanksgiving and Christmas you’ve ever shared around the extended dining table. Large communal dishes of entrees and sides are placed on each table and family members fill their own (and each others) plates from the trays and bowls. This is a wonderful way to promote family sharing, passing platters around while elderly relatives enjoy keeping their seats.
Plated meals are the most formal and the most costly. With plated catering, each plate is individually arranged by the catering staff and served individually to your guests. For a quiet fine dining experience, plated meals are your choice. But seconds are not as readily available as buffet or family style.
Cocktail Style Hors d’Oeuvres
Looking to avoid the seating arrangements or long dinner sequence? Instead, choose an array of delicious sides and finger-food entrees as hors d’oeuvres and have them served cocktail style instead. Caterers will make the rounds with platters of delicious tidbits that can be eaten by hand. Guests can fill a plate and sit down if they want to, or they can mingle and keep the party rolling without rumbling tummies.
Once you’ve chosen how your guests will be served, consider what will fill the plates. There are so many cuisine options and every family’s tastes are different. The key is to choose foods you know everyone will love, with a variety that even picky eaters can enjoy.
There’s nothing quite like a Maryland barbecue to bring two local families together in a festive mood. Everyone loves barbecue, from marinated chicken to sauce-covered ribs. Heaping piles of potato salad and mac’n’cheese go perfectly with bowls of traditional black-eyed peas. Just don’t forget the oversized napkins to protect formalwear attire. This option especially works with outdoor weddings!
Of course, if you want to truly celebrate your Maryland tradition, you go for a clam-bake crab-tacular feast. Serve dishes of peeled shrimp with punchbowls of cocktail sauce. Stack platters high with crab cakes. Invite the whole family to enjoy their shared love of shellfish.
Carving stations turn your entrees into something special, and save you plate-by-plate costs. For the carnivore family, you cannot go wrong with hot meat being carved before their eyes. Carving stations feature huge haunches of meat — roast, brisket, pork, and whole chickens, then invite your family to pick big thick slices of the meat they like most. Add a few sides buffet or family-style and gravy boats to sauce and you’ve got a catering experience to remember.
Of course, you can always choose to go with traditional wedding gourmet fare. Marinated meatballs, braised chicken, seasoned sauteed vegetables. These are classics. Everyone will know what to expect and appreciate your fine choices.
Ethnic Cuisine Style
Last but certainly not least, you can choose delightfully ethnic fare. Whether you are honoring a family tradition or just indulging in a personal favorite of the bride and groom, ethnic food adds a special flair to any wedding. Chinese food, Indian cuisine, Spanish delectables, and more are at your fingertips (and tastebuds) for a couple who knows what they want.
Milton Ridge Wedding Catering
Here at Milton Ridge, our venue includes a commercial kitchen and on-staff catering team to make your wedding perfect no matter what catering choices you make. No two weddings are the same and we would be delighted to customize the menu and serving style to suit your idea of a dream wedding.
If you need additional information or have any queries, give us a call at Milton Ridge — or better yet, book a tour! Ronnie and Meaghan would love to give you more tips!