Post # 1
Considering our options of a buffet dinner, entree duo or entree selection by guests. With approx. 230 guests i worry it will take too long for everyone to get through a buffet. Will a buffet take away from the formality and/or classiness of the event?
Post # 2
Planningamy: I think 230 guests is too many for a buffet, unless you’re setting up 6 identical lines (which probably isn’t feasible). I actually prefer buffets, but I think in your case family style might be the way to go if you’re still looking for the options that a buffet would offer without your guests having the hassle of waiting in lines.
Post # 3
I would avoid the duo, since there may be a good amount of people who don’t eat one or the other. We chose a plated meal, but the costs were the same. Had a buffet been cheaper, it would have been a good option for us. Honestly, between cocktail hour, appetizer, salad, and dessert, I figure a lot of our entrees will unfortunately just be picked at anyway.
Post # 4
Planningamy: One of my friends had a buffet at her wedding. I think there were about 120 people at the wedding and I thought it worked out well. I can’t remember if I waited in line though. I would talk to the caterer about your options and how they would organize a buffet with so many people. They’re the ones with the experience so I would direct your questions to them.
Post # 5
I think it does. I think a formal event with a buffet dinner would be considered an oxymoron. I think buffet dinners work better with a more casual/relaxed wedding.
Post # 6
Planningamy: If a buffet is done correctly, I have no problem with it we are doing a buffet with 125 people. I have been to a few larger weddings with buffets, one was a disaster pretty much the DJ anounced to 300 people that it was open que a 2 hour dinner and cold food. The other they had 2 of the exact same food in on oposite ends of the hall 300 people got food and ate some even had seconds in under an hour.
Post # 7
We had 300 people, the buffett took about 20 minutes for everyone to go through. There were 4 identical buffet lines.
Post # 8
Planningamy: I’m not entirely sure what you mean by classy. If you are having a black tie affair, you should not host a buffet dinner — you should instead host a multi course meal.
If you’re having a nice wedding that isn’t black tie, a buffet is fine.
In terms of the practicality of a buffet, this is entirely a “know your caterer” type of deal. See if you can find reviews. I’ve been to weddings with awesome buffets and terrible buffets, just like I’ve been to weddings with great plated meals and bad plated meals.
I would avoid a duo entirely. People that are more picky might not eat the one entree on the plate if it is anywhere near the other entree that they may not like.
For a formal wedding, I typically prefer a plated dinner to a buffet, but that is solely my preference. If your caterer is known for great buffets but isn’t so great with plated meals, I’d pick the buffet to be safe.
Post # 9
Agree that you can’t apply “classy or not classy” to a buffet. I’ve also been to some weddings which had sublime buffets and weddings that served truly abysmal plated meals. It all depends on the tone you are setting at your wedding too. Certainly, a buffet would come as a surprise to anyone attending a wedding billed as “formal” or “black tie”.
What I would say is that the larger the wedding, the more potential you have for problems with a buffet. I was at a wedding a couple of months ago where the 250 guests spent far too much of the reception standing in a queue for food. Also, the last 50 or so got much smaller meals! However, how successful the buffet – and I judge success by not standing in lines for leftovers – depends on your caterers. If they provide enough staff then things run more smoothly.
Post # 10
I went to a Hindu wedding with 425 guests. It was formal, and the buffet didn’t make it any less classy. Additionally, there was no issues with the buffet lines. It was surprisingly organized and moved at a good pace.
Post # 11
By classy do you mean black tie? If so, you should absolutely not do a buffet. I would actually stay away from the duo option as well, but that’s my personal opinion. I’ve had it before at a wedding and found it very off putting and wasteful. The plated meal sounds like the best option.
Post # 12
I dont think its a matter of classy or tasteful just formality. And yes a buffet makes things much less formal. I also dont enjoy that everyone is up or eating at different times- less conversational.
We’re doing family style- 3 entrees and 2 sides passed amongst an 8 person table. Choices of a buffet, but you get to park your butt and chat! Its also stays hot/fresh that way as there is not a lag at all for service or buffet lines. But again, this is less formal than a plated meal but for our botanical garden wedding it makes sense!
ETA: If its black tie then it should def be a plated meal. People go through so much trouble to dress up all fancy for you, you must treat them as well as they look!
Post # 13
Not black tie but a more formal vibe throughout. The wedding is in a beautiful old industrial factory and will be a blend of modern-traditional.
The caterer obviously loves the duo because it’s easiest to execute, but that’s my least favorite idea too.
with our number of guests and our space, a buffet would be limited to two lines.
My issue with providing an entree choice is that inevitably someone will be served the wrong thing.
If we just pick one thing for everyone, some people may not like what we choose.
Post # 14
Planningamy: my guests had a choice of 3 entrees. Chicken, beef, or vegetarian. My venue requested that I mark the place cards with different colors that represent the different options so that the servers know what meal that guest chose without asking. Everyone got what they ordered and it worked out fine. I used rhinestones in my wedding colors to mark the cards so they were still “pretty”.
Post # 15
Planningamy: 230 is a lot!
I like buffets more, it allows you to take as much or as little as you like of certain foods. There is a lot less waste and people won’t be hungry. But, I can see it taking a looooong time with that many people unless you have multiple lines.
If it’s easier, I say pick one thing. People can get over themselves and eat what you pick (unless it’s a dietary need or allergy). Would you go to someones house and complain about what they serve you? Or course not, that’s rude. Just pick beef or chicken dish, people will eat it and mostly be happy. It’s impossible to please everyone, just do what works best.