Wedding Planning ~ Deciding Between Plated Dinner or Buffet Style

We can all agree that your special day is going to be profoundly perfect, but between every wedding there is always a difference of how formal the actual event will be.

When deciding between a plated dinner and a buffet to feed your eager guests, make sure you are considering these few tips before choosing…

What’s on the Menu?

Deciding what items to include on the menu for your guests is a lengthier process than you may think!  A variety of options are put before you that will have a hard time choosing! 

A potential deciding factor for buffet vs. plated could be the number of entrees you want to have.  If you are looking to have several entrée options if you are not sure about dietary preferences… then buffet style may be the better option for you.  If you are planning a “standing reception” or cocktail-style event, then the menu will most likely consist of a greater selection of appetizers or “stations”.  This style also lends to the buffet category.        

 

If you are wanting to stay more on the formal side.. then the sit-down plated dinner is the perfect choice.   This allows for more table conversation between guests, eliminates the wait time at the buffet line and a more consistent experience for all of your wedding guests.  The one downside of this option is that the numbers have to be pretty spot on with regards to guests since the meals would be portioned and plated for them.  You may have to do a lot of followup for those guests that did not rsvp.  Things get a little complicated when you have guests that did not reply and attend anyway or those that respond saying they will attend and don't.  You run into the possibility of all the guests not having the same experience.

 

Deciding on a Magic Number

Make sure you have a set guest list in order to determine how many people you are going to be serving!  This is crucial when you are juggling between the two styles to ensure that everyone gets fed what he or she wants and on time.  

The average time waiting in line for a buffet is about 30-40 minutes for just around 100 guests. 

 

If your guest list is a more intimate one and does not exceed that number, then the buffet style is something to definitely consider!  However, if your attendees surpass that then it may be more efficient for your hungry guests to have a plated meal.  Remember to not forget the tone of your event.  What feeling are you trying to convey?... this plays a part in this decision too!

Special Considerations

When choosing your preferred style of catering, make sure you take into account how many ‘special orders’ you may have.  


In a lot of cases, buffets can be beneficial to avoid any allergies or dislikes with the food choices. Each guest is able to choose what they would like to eat and are taking their restrictions into their own hands.

If you are feeling ambitious... go one step further and try this little DIY project!

Food Allergy Placecards!  How cute are these:)


 

With an idea of how large or intimate your special day is going to be, you can now focus on the smaller details!

Now remember soon-to-be-brides; all of these decisions do come with a price as any magical day does.  Make sure that above all, your choices are reflecting your budget as well!   If you and your wallet are happy than there is nothing holding you back from having your fairy-tale come true!

 

Until next time!

 

Article written by Charlotte Rodgers ~ Intern at Style & Elegance Wedding and Event Coordination