Post # 1
I am having a wedding that is in some ways unique, and in some ways very classic and upscale. One of the things I did that certainly wasn’t upscale was that I wanted a buffet because I am having a no meat wedding with many different choices. I wanted to give guests the opportunity to try several different types of food including Indian food, multiple pasta dishes, Mediterranean and more! I can’t do that with waiter service. I am wondering if anyone has encountered a problem with a buffet? Does it take time away from dancing, toasts and other activities and if so how much time? Please weigh in with your experience, please don’t judge- I would like to know from personal experience if a buffet has hindered other wedding activities when you have more than 170 guests. Thank you, ladies!
Did you have issues or was it a smooth process?
Post # 3
Hi 🙂 I am also having a wedding with buffet. OUr # of guests is 200. We decided to do this because we also want to give our guests the oportunity to choose between dishes. From what our coordinator has told us, it is not hard to have a buffet nor it is to have all the things you want as long as you stick to the plan.
For example, even though we are having a buffet we are still going to serve dinner only between a certain time. This is to make sure that we have time for everything else.
Hope this helps.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2013 - Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
We did a buffet with 180 guests and it worked out pretty well. The tables were pre-set with salad so that the guests had something to nibble on if they didn’t want to watch the first dance, father/daughter, and mother/son dances intently. We had a main buffet line and three different stations spread out so that there wasn’t ever a really long line to wait it.
I haven’t heard anyone complain that the wait was long, but I have heard them say how delicious the food was.
Post # 6
If you have a large number of guests, try to have two identical buffets set up and have them be accessible from both sides to prevent long wait times.
Post # 7
We did. Our guest list was right at 200 and we had a buffet. We wanted our guests to not have to choose one meal, but to be able to have a variety. Our cocktail hour actually had a TON of food with various different options so while we still had variety for dinner it was a little more simple. Our tables were pre-set with salad, and our wedding planner released tables. Everyone went very smoothly. I think the key is not making people wait long, and having plenty of lines. We had two buffets, so that everyone could move through without a huge hold up.
Post # 8
Just make sure your venue runs double lines. I was at a buffet wedding last Saturday with over 200 people and ONE line. It took beyond forever and while the first round of people were done, tables cleared, etc, more people were still being called up to go get food. It was kind of nuts. I don’t mind buffets at all (actually prefer them), but if you have a lot of guests, you need to run at least 2 lines
Post # 9
the only thing I’ve not liked about wedding buffets is a long wait. So as PP’s have said you NEED more than one line. If possible, have two buffets set up. Yes that might cost more but when your guests can breeze up and get their food with minimal wait time they will be very happy. It might be a more boring budget item than say flowers but IMO it will have a huge impact.
Post # 10
A friend of mine had a really fantastic wedding with a buffet. I think there were probably about 60 people, maybe 70. The food was delicious. She had the caterer direct which tables were allowed to come up to get food (so there wasn’t a huge line) and the catering staff served the guests based on what they wanted (so they were manning the food as the guests came by in line, letting them know what they wanted). I would reccommend that. It went smoothly, and there was time for all of the other things. Though, I imagine it would take longer with more guests. But the staff should be able to accomodate.
I do like the sentiment in not having meat (I eat mainly vegetarian and was a straight veggie for 12 years). And the idea of people being able to try a lot of things is thoughtful. With that said, it might move things along more quickly if you cut down the menu so that there was less choice involved, as people might be overwhelmed, and that can cause things to take much longer. I mean, think about what causes traffic jams!
Post # 11
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
We had ~165 people with one buffet station (running two lines). I think it took maybe 20 minutes to get everyone through, and nobody seemed grouchy about it. I think people were happy to just sit and have a drink and chat with their family / friends at their table in the meantime. I’d definitely rather wait for 20 minutes if it means trying all that yummy food you described!
Post # 12
As long as guests can be served from both sides of hte buffet line, and there are no interacting stations to hold up the line, I think it will be fine. I don’t think it’ll take more than 15-20 minutes for everyone to get served
Post # 13
We had a large wedding and had 2 lines for the buffet, we didn’t hear one single complaint, and the lines moved pretty fast!