Keep It In The Family

I attended my friends’ wedding in Austin, Texas in April and it was absolutely lovely. If you haven’t gone to visit Austin I highly suggest it. It’s a hybrid of Brooklyn and LA plunked in its own little pocket in the lone star state. Other than the gorgeous weather, lack of humidity, and overall scenery, Austin offers a bike and pedestrian friendly city. I digress, per usual...

Guests arrived at  The Allen House located in downtown Austin and were instantly taken away by the scene. Umbrellas and chandeliers hung in the tree branches and provided a blanket of romantic light above our heads (thank to Christina Lewis of Wedding Warriors) . As soon as cocktail hour was over, we picked our table cards and took our seats. On each place setting.... the menu!  Myself and two other friends scrolled the list of items that we thought we had to choose from. We waited for the staff to come around and take our orders and then it happened…. The wait staff didn’t bother taking orders, they just put perfectly portioned family-style dishes around the table. Absolutely delightful and Photography by the Chad + Tressie at Two Pair Photography

Romaine Chiffonade with red wine vinaigrette served with caramelized with shallot & gorgonzola croustade with fig moustard

Bronzed Tilapia on reggianno arugula with tomato fennel broth
Truffled Mushroom Beef Medallions with pomme puree

Assortment of ice cream sandwiches 

Catering provided by Austin Catering and Coolhaus

Hand served by the Mr. & Mrs. - How cool are my friends?

Each table had 10 guests and two serving platters of each dish were placed on the table (in order of course otherwise there wouldn’t have been any room). 5 and 5.  Why do I think this is an awesome idea and one I’ll probably nab for my reception:

  1. Pick & Choose... And More!  If you’re a foodie like me, you always want to try as much as you can.  Having to pick just one option leaves you picking off of your friends plate or asking for a bite.  Family lets you sample as much or as little as you like. You also don’t have to worry about remembering what you checked off on your reply card for your meal. I have trouble remembering what I ate only 24 hours ago…. 6 months prior? Forget it.
  2. Save time. I attended a wedding once where the wait staff did a swirl around the table, stop, and arm swoop as they took orders, presented plates, and cleared them away. It was impressive and looked like it had been choreographed to mimic Be Our Guest from Disneys Beauty & The Beast but it took up a lot of time because there were only 2 sets of staff for a party of over 20 tables.  You’re going to be waiting a looooong time before your swirl, stop and swoop happen. With family style, food comes out at the same time for everyone- fabulous! 
  3. Save Some Dough.  Literally and figuratively. Family style reduces the amount of wait staff you need per table which can save you dollars. Instead of having 10 servers per table, you only need 2 or 3. You also can save on food cost because you are making food quantities based on the whole group, not individual people. It sounds backwards, but completely true. Portions are more manageable but there is actually more food to go around!
  4. Be Social!  I know that when it comes to eating out with my family we all sample what eachother has. Passing around plates and forkfuls is what we love best. Weddings bring people together and so does food. Family-style is a great way for you to talk with and get to know the new people at your table.  Thumbs up Anna & Ben, thumbs way way up!
  5. Totally Rocks.  I can’t tell you how excited all of us were at our table when we realized that we got to eat all of this food. I was at a restaurant in London and the dessert selection said “An Assortment of Sorbets and IceCream”. Well, that’s what I wanted and thought that description meant there was going to be a sampling of all of their flavors on one plate. Ummm, no. The waiter came around and asked me what I’d like to have and so I said “I’d like the assortment of sorbets and ice cream”- confusion all around.  That wasn't an option. Not even close. And then he made me choose, one type and one flavor, sigh. I felt a little devastated that I wasn’t going to get this beautiful plate of melon ball- sized sorbets and ice cream. Sad. So sad. So yes, thrill your guests by giving them everything- NOM FEST! 

Spread the love a little more with a family-style your reception. Great times, great people, and great food. Hooray!