Plated Dinner

If your reception is at a hotel, country club or another Knoxville venue which provides in-house catering, a plated dinner may be your most affordable option. It also provides a more formal atmosphere before the dancing and partying start.

If all of your guests can be seated in one open area, it allows them to observe key events from the comfort of their tables, without trying to round them up throughout the evening.


If you’re having an off-premise caterer (e.g. you hire a Knoxville caterer to come into your venue,) a buffet will most likely be your most affordable option. Keep in mind that requiring your guests to work their way down a long buffet table, while balancing their silverware and drink, may not provide them with the best guest experience.

Dessert Receptions

A dessert reception can be a nice way to entertain at a mid-afternoon reception. Think twice if your reception is outside in the heat of summer. Sugar overload and extreme heat don’t mix well. Make sure you offer fruit and cheese options.

Guests can enjoy a dessert only reception if they know to eat a meal beforehand. It’s when they come expecting a meal and find out they’re only getting sweets, that they get cranky. Just be sure to specify “dessert reception” on the invitation, so guests can plan accordingly.

Food Stations

Food stations turn your entire reception into one big cocktail party. Rather than working their way down one long table, guests can divide up and sample different foods when they’re ready. Food stations are becoming more fun all the time, and the sky and imagination are the only limits to your options.

The bottom line: Entertain your guests as graciously as you can without blowing your budget, and feed them appropriately for the time of day. If you need guidance figuring it all out, email or call me at 865-622-2093 to schedule a complimentary appointment. We’ll make your Knoxville wedding planning a piece of cake!