When it comes down to the nitty-gritty details of event planning, we often find ourselves toying with the question of aesthetic versus function. We want something that looks nice AND makes the most functional sense. There is one particular decision that I have a very strong opinion regarding. One that may seem rather small, but trust me it makes a big difference. Do you…
serve your cake and coffee or have it stationed?
The short answer:
Having it stationed allows your guests to choose when they want it and saves you money in the long run.
Most caterers prefer to clear the dinner plates and serve cake/coffee right away so their job for the evening is mostly done. However, your guests have just sat through multiple courses, speeches, and toasts, so believe me when I say: they’re ready to dance! If you choose to serve cake/coffee and start the dancing, guests then decide to either sit and consume while missing out of the first dances of the night or leave and come back in which case their coffee may be cold or their cake may have been cleared under the assumption they didn’t want it. If that’s not bad enough, don’t even get me started on the aesthetic insult that is the Sweet’N Low packets placed on the table when there is cake and coffee served…
The beauty of the stationed option is that your guests can have their cake and coffee when they are ready rather than when it is scheduled or convenient for the service staff. Some of your guests may make a beeline for the table after just one song while others may dance two full sets before they get hungry and ready for sweets. With an ongoing station, you are catering to all of their needs. Additionally, we always recommend including a sign with cake (or other desserts) flavor descriptions, especially for allergy awareness.
At your coffee station, you can have regular, decaf, and tea readily available instead of having guests order then wait for their choice to arrive. Practically speaking, not all of your guests will drink coffee or tea. When it is served, you are charged based on your full guest count. When it is stationed, you can ask for coffee at 75% of your guest count. If you’re in the midst of planning your wedding now, then you know that every dollar saved counts.
Perhaps now you’re thinking of possible downsides to having it stationed, but don’t worry, we’ve already thought of them for you. You may be worried about your older guests having to juggle their cake and coffee from a station, but as a wedding planner, I have brought older guests their cake/coffee or the service staff should be more than happy to assist. You may also be worried about having another table to worry about decorating, but wedding planners and florists are experts in functional decor. When we plan your floral for your ceremony, we’re already thinking about how we can reuse those pieces for the place card tables and dessert tables later on. You can also get creative with a DIY setup like this cupcake stand to the right.
You’ve heard our opinion, now it’s time to form yours. With all wedding planning decisions, it comes down to one final question. What will work best for you and your event?
Thanks for reading part two of our #WFHWeddingPlanning series to help you plan your wedding while working from home. For more updates from your favorite Chicago wedding planner, Effortless Events, follow us on Instagram @effortless_events and like us on Facebook! Looking for more info on our services? Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.