Depending on your caterer, you might have the option to include action stations during your cocktail hour or dinner service. This could be anything from having a butcher slicing paper thin slices of prosciutto off the bone to having an interactive pasta station with a chef tossing fresh pastas and sauces to order for each individual guest. Depending on how extensive the setup is, these stations can get rather costly. Here, we take a look at whether or not the additional cost is worth it.
Action stations add an interactive element to cocktail hour.
Cocktail hour is typically made up a of a few food service elements. You might have a stationary food option, like a charcuterie display, in addition to waiters passing hors d'oeuvres for guests. Adding an action station to the mix allows for a more interactive experience during this window of the reception. This could be something as simple as an oyster shucking station or as over-the-top as a made-to-order guacamole bar. Is it necessary? No. But is it nice to have? As long as it works within your budget, absolutely!
It's worth adding to a buffet meal.
If you're considering a buffet style wedding, or relying on stations for your dinner service, you'll definitely want to encourage more interactive options for guests. Rather than guests only serving themselves from a table filled with chafing dishes, they'll have the option to visit two to four action stations where the food is presented with a fresher, customized approach. For example, you might have a taco station where tortillas are being rolled and cooked right on the spot. Guests can choose from a few options for fillings. Another nice option is to have a chef grilling at an outdoor wedding. Having these kinds of interactive stations mixed in with grab-and-go options breaks up the experience.
Make sure it works for your budget.
It's not necessary to have all of your food stations be action-packed. To keep costs to a minimum, you can get away with just one or two action stations during cocktail hour as long as you have other food being served in addition. For dinner service, you'll likely want to go with two or three action options to break up the set-up of your space, but this isn't a requirement for a great menu and shouldn't be something that kicks you into the red.