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

~Trendy Mondays~ Food Trucks at your Wedding!

If you enjoyed our ‘Interactive Food Stations’ feature this will definitely be up your street!  Food trucks at weddings will be trending in 2013 as more couples opt for this budget savvy and unique catering idea to feed their guests.  Forget your stereotypical festival food on a chuck wagon, these food trucks are serving gourmet dishes to tantalize everybody’s taste buds!

Here are some things to consider when planning for this awesome idea!

Calculate number of guests per truck – Food trucks main purpose is ‘fast food’ but it will still take time for all your guests to get served.  Have at least one truck per 75 guests so no one goes hungry!  If you are considering this option for a late night treat, then you may only need one truck.  Not everyone is a "late night snack" kind of person.

Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning

Time of year – remember people will have to line up for their food so make sure it is in comfortable weather, not too hot or cold and definitely choose a food truck to compliment the climate.  For example you can’t go wrong with an ice cream truck in summer! 

Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning

Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning

Seating – If you are having the food truck as your main reception lunch or dinner then perhaps consider devising a seating area for people to sit down and eat.  However, if you are looking at a more casual affair like an after party or cocktail hour style, then set it up in a way to encourage your guests to mingle with access to cutlery and napkins (provided by the food trucks).

Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning

Match your theme – You want to make sure the truck fits in with the décor of your wedding.  So like everything else do your research and find one that suits you.  Small and quaint or large and extravagant or something in between, there are so many choices!

Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning

Menu – Have a varied selection of food and be as adventurous as you dare.  Food trucks will often take a fun approach on appetizers and create small bites.  You can get some high end dishes nowadays. 

Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning

Last but not least....

Parking – This is probably the main concern but is not a deterrent for food truck lovers but do make sure a parking space is available and that the trucks are insured! 

It’s fun, inexpensive, and suitable for formal or casual dining whilst supporting small local businesses! We’re sold on the idea, how about you?  Need convincing then check out these “Truckin’ treats” found in the GTA as featured in Food and Wine segment.


Article written by Keenda Sisouphanh ~ Intern at Style & Elegance Wedding and Event Coordination

Style & Elegance Wedding and Event Coordination