Want to prevent chaos at the buffet? Try this catering reception trick

Wild suits, retro dresses, and a green man at this St. Patrick's Day wedding
Photos by Andrea Lynne Skane

Althea and David's Irish St. Patrick's Day wedding was a wild and woolly romp, but their reception had a surprisingly easy organizational method for calling in the troops to eat. They found a great way to keep the catering line organized. Want to hear it? Here's how Althea described it…

In our experience of attending weddings, we had gathered that the most chaotic time was feeding everyone, so we made a game of it. Each table was designated a song and when your song played, it was your turn to make way for the buffet.

Food-themed songs to play:

To get your guests in the mood to nosh, I've compiled some musical playlist inspiration. Okay, not all of these are actually about food (in fact, most aren't), but they'll do the trick. (Fair warning: some are explicit.)

Add your own foodie-themed songs in the comments!

Want to prevent chaos at the buffet? Try this catering reception trick
Chalkboard Printable Buffet Line Arrow Sign from Sasafras Printables

Another catering reception trick?

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      • KNOWING the song is kinda important. That's what I meant by 'tastes'. My musical tastes run to hip hop and R&B, doesn't mean I like every song, but I'm probably not going to recognize a country tune.

  1. I've been a DJ 20 years and have done more than 600 weddings. The times I've done this; it was an utter failure. This article was posted on the Facebook of a DJ group…and not one DJ had anything positive to say about it. It's a cute idea…but doesn't work. No one really listens to the background music…even if food is involved. It's easier just to have the DJ walk up to the table and tell them to go.

    1 agrees
    • Hey Michael! I used to be a wedding photographer and saw this done well a few times in my day. I saw it go so well that I actually did this at our wedding after we published this post, and it worked like a charm!

      The key seems to be to have a dj who's super-engaged and a turns it into a game — teasing each song before it's played, dropping clever hints, etc. (My wedding planner WAS on standby in case there was one extraordinarily dense table.) Plus, instead of it being "background music," tables actually got really into their tunes (the Dueling College Fight Song War will always be one of my favorite wedding moments) and they waited with baited breath for each one.

      So I'm here to say that, maybe it's rare, but this concept CAN be pulled off flawlessly. (Okay, one flaw: the dang kid's table were little sneaks and got their food before it was their turn. #madrespectkids)

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