Planning your wedding can be a full-time job. There are all the little details you have to worry about — the music, the flower arrangements, the guest list, even your wedding attire! The last thing you need to fret over is the food. After all, isn’t that the reason you hired a caterer?
While it’s true the caterer will take care of the food selection on your big day, you still need to answer one crucial question — will it be a sit-down dinner or buffet style?
Buffet vs. Plated: The Pros and Cons
So, buffet vs. plated wedding – what’s better for your wedding? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each style to see what’s right for your wedding!
A Sit-Down Affair
A sit-down wedding dinner consists of several plated courses served to your guests. The courses usually include a first course such as soup or salad, entrèe, and possibly intermezzo before the cutting of the cake.
A plated dinner adds a little more elegance to your wedding. The plates will be beautifully presented to your guests, earning praise with the oohs and the ahhs.
The beauty of a sit-down wedding dinner is the comfort level of your guests. For example, if any of your guests are elderly or mobility-challenged, then a plated dinner is the way to go.
Portion control is another massive benefit of plated dinners. When choosing a plated or buffet wedding, think about what you’ll be serving. For expensive items you need to fit better into your budget, it’s ideal to go with a plated dinner.
But with a plated dinner, your guests will be restricted in what they will be eating. If any of your guests have dietary restrictions such as vegetarian or gluten-free, there may be more choices for them through a buffet option rather than a sit-down dinner.
A Plan For the Seating Chart
Also, as far as buffet vs. plated weddings go, plated weddings are more organized, but if you’re going for a relaxed vibe, a plated wedding might feel too stuffy and formal for your guests. You’d want them to move around and mingle, instead of staying confined to their tables.
A Buffet for All
A buffet is usually a considerable array of food with either attendants helping guests plate their food or letting the guests handle the plating themselves. The guests can go from station to station, picking and choosing at random. Don’t like roast beef? No problem! You can easily skip that station.
The buffet-style dinner may not be as elegant as a sit-down dinner, but it does offer more food options. For example, you can create a baked potato bar or MTO grilled cheese station. The possibilities are endless!
However, there is always the worry of long lines at the buffet, causing very hungry guests! Even if you provide us and your venue with an accurate guest list, there may be fluctuations in the final count. As a result, the chef will need to allow extra portions so that you don’t run out of food. Overpreparing can lead to leftovers, which isn’t ideal for cost reasons.
Lastly, while buffet-style dinners can get your guests up and mingling, they can also slow down service. The last thing you want may be a dance floor crowded with guests going back and forth for food.
But all these problems can be easily solved if you talk things over with us as your caterer. Grico’s knows how to ensure your wedding dinner goes on without a hitch.
Buffet or Sit-Down Wedding: When to Choose What
Now that you have all the information, you can choose if you want a buffet or a sit-down wedding. Ideally, the catering style should complement the overall tone of your wedding. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to figure this out:
- Which service style is best suited to your budget?
- Who are your guests? What kind of experience do you want them to have? Are you leaning toward a more casual event or want an elegant, formal affair?
- Is your wedding a ‘posh’ or ‘casual’ event?
Once you have your answers, consult your venue coordinator as well. They’ll help you figure out whether you should opt for a buffet or sit-down wedding based on the venue you choose. Use all the information available to come to the perfect conclusion.
Cocktail Hour Buffet — The Best of Both Worlds?
Still unsure what’s best for you? Have you spent countless nights debating whether you should go for a plated or buffet wedding?
It can be stressful to decide between a buffet or sit-down wedding when your theme is somewhere in between. Well, here’s a thought — what about a cocktail buffet?
Many wedding receptions these days go with the best of both worlds option — choosing a cocktail hour buffet with a sit-down dinner afterward. A buffet during cocktail hour can give your guests the freedom to choose multiple food options while still having the elegance of a plated meal later that evening. It also creates a closer and more welcoming atmosphere, allowing guests to communicate with each other freely before they settle down at their respective tables.
Essentially, a cocktail hour buffet can spare you the stress of deciding between a buffet or a sit-down catering service. As they say, when you can’t decide between A and B, choose C!
Settle the Buffet vs. Plated Debate by Talking to Grico’s!
But if you’re still on the fence about what you should do next, it’s always best to sit down with your caterer to plan it out. And if you’re still in search of the right caterer, why don’t you give Grico’s a call? Whether you’re planning an elegant wedding or a small affair, we offer a variety of packages that will fulfill your dreams and accommodate your budget. Contact us today!