How does a formal sit-down dinner wedding operate?

This is the first sit-down dinner wedding I will be attending. The wedding ceremony starts shortly after noon directed followed by the cocktail hour and reception.

The weddings I have attended have been buffet style, and not too formal ( Able to move around and mingle with guests freely, no fixed seating plan, etc.)


Most Helpful Guy

  • Basically you sit at a round table with about 10 people. Food is usually brought out "family style"

    A plate of chicken, beef & sausage (or whatever) along with the vegetables & potatoes.

    You just pass the plates around. A server will ask if your table needs more "X" if one person said yes they'll bring another plate. If you want some more to eat you ask someone to pass the "X"

    It's actually pretty informal.

    The rest is probably the same. You tap on your glass for the bride & groom to kiss etc.

    After dinner you dance & whatever. When your tired you usually go back & sit at your table.

    OH, I should add that when you go in there's probably prearranged seating. You look for your name & table number.

    • Thank you! I feel more comfortable entering a new situation with an idea of what I can expect.

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What Guys Said 1

  • it's really nothing big.

    you'll walk into where the reception is being held and near the entrance there should be a table with little place cards with your name and assigned table number. People typically mill around and talk/socialize to people until a little before the dinner starts.

    typically prior to the wedding you will be given a choice of main course (steak, chicken, fish, veggie, etc) and the servers will just come around and double check what you want. otherwise the waiters may just give you the options and then bring them out to you.

    It's really not much more fomal than a buffet the biggest difference is you just don't serve yourself and you'll probably have a table assignment... there is still just as much socializing and mingling.

    • thank you for your help, it makes me a lot more comfortable to go into a stations with a good idea of what to expect :)

    • cool. glad to's really not much bigger of a difference. A lot of people presume that a sit-down dinner is much fancier than a buffett. they can be but not always. the biggest difference is the choosing of a meal before hand and then the wait staff walking around handing out dishes... Have fun! I always love a good reception. Free drinks, dinner + dancing and friends

What Girls Said 1

  • With a formal sit-down there will be assigned seating. Usually there are about 8-10 people to a table and the bride and groom will usually try to make it so that you're sitting with people you know. When you walk in the venue there should be a table with cards or something with your name on it that will tell you which table you're at. You can sit anywhere you want at your designated table. Then there will usually be some music, time to get drinks, and some appetizers going around. Then they'll announce when it's time to go back to your seats and wait for dinner to be served. If you had to select a meal option like fish vs chicken then you should be getting your own plate of whatever you ordered, if not then it will be served dinner style like THE_Godfather mentioned. Then when dinners over it's time for dancing and any games and then that's pretty much it.

    • Thanks UberTrol! I was nervous about going to a sit-down wedding reception for the first time, now I feel more at easy. I have anxiety issues, so things like this where I don't know what to expect overwhelm me and I obsessively think about it and how I may look stupid not knowing what to do or making a mistake.

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