Server Etiquette 101 - Wedding Compass

Service, Service, Service!

So you’re wedding day is approaching and you’re a little unsure of what the reception details entail. Will the servers greet my guests? Will the place settings be right? Not to worry! There are some tips to remember when meeting with your caterer so everything runs smoothly.

Entrust your coordinator with communicating your guest service expectations to the catering staff.

First off, presentation is everything. Presentation is key in setting up your wedding reception. You want to make sure that all place settings are in their proper place, eating utensils and glasses are spotless, and the centerpieces are aligned accordingly. Discuss with your planner and caterer to make sure your vision is displayed that evening.  In regards to “service” your venue was selected for a reason, right?  But it doesn’t hurt to make sure your coordinator/wedding planner makes sure that services provided to guests are at the level that YOU are expecting.

We live in a world where things tend to be rushed along. Service is no exception and must be noted when you are planning the event.  Fast service with the utmost respect towards each of your guests. Never hurts to make sure your coordinator knows how you feel, you should feel comfortable discussing it. So, it doesn’t hurt to make sure that the catering director at your venue is aware that you have a high level of expectation for guest service by the hired service staff.

Be specific about your expectations throughout the evening.

If you’re serving hors d’oeuvres, servers should know the name and pronunciation of what’s being served. It’s also helpful if they are aware of any nuts, wheat or other ingredients in the dish for those with food allergies. Dishes are traditionally served from the left and removed from the right during dinner.

Server Etiquette - Place Setting -


Servers are usually assigned a few tables for the evening so as to make sure everyone has their fill of drinks and anything else needed throughout the evening. While it is customary to serve your wedding cake as dessert, not every location offers coffee and tea, so be sure to ask what the policy is on these extras.

However many courses you decide to have on your wedding day, it’s important to collaborate with your caterer to ensure your evening overflows with seamless effort and class.

Happy Planning!


Images Courtesy: Bob Ortiz Photography


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