A Buffet Dinner Or Plated Meal?

This is always a hot topic when it comes to the planning of a wedding. Many couples are quick to decide on a buffet dinner, assuming it’s more practical and less expensive, without necessarily considering all of the logistics of their wedding and which option makes the most sense. Either option is fine, but consider these tips when you’re in the midst of planning your wedding to determine the best option for you.

Image Courtesy of: I Love My Wedding Planner

  • Whether you choose a buffet dinner or plated meal, there will still be a fee for servers. Because the food isn't brought to the table, there will still need to be buffet attendants to assist with portion control. The buffet attendants aren't as visible as the server that brings each course with a gloved hand, often leading one to believer that the cost of a plated meal is more expensive.
  • Regardless of the option, both meals are priced on a per-person basis. This small fact isn't always considered when making the decision. In fact, a buffet dinner can sometimes cost more because more food has to be purchased for those who want a larger portion or goes back a second time.
  • How many guests are you inviting? The more guests you have, the likeliness of a buffet dinner being the better choice goes down. If you're calling by table number or have two double-sided buffet tables, the line can only move so fast. The longer the line takes to move, the less you have to enjoy the other aspects of your wedding, like dancing. When I ask my brides what one words describes their wedding day, more often than not, that one word is fun. You won't have much fun if your reception time is eaten away by the buffet line.

Image Courtesy of: Bridal Guide

  • How big is the venue? Some venues can only accommodate 100 people, 12 round tables, or a similar set up for every event. Straying too far away from the venue's "normal" floor plan can result in overcrowding and your guests' uncomfort.
  • What's on the menu? When you have a plated dinner, making sure everything that's on the menu gets to your seat isn't on your mind. During a buffet dinner, the food options are presented beautifully and you now have to focus a little bit more time on getting your food to the table without dropping anything along the way.
  • Trough the invitation, what tone did you set for your wedding? The more formal the event, the more a plated meal is the better option.

I really don't have a preference. I wanted to make sure you had enough information to make an educated decision for your wedding.

About the Author

Lissahn DeVance

Lissahn is a Certified Wedding & Event planner, has planned weddings for nearly 10 years, and is currently completing courses to become a Certified Designer. She loves everything about weddings and the creative process. She feels no two people are alike so no two weddings...

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