Post # 1
My FI and I are currently debating whether or not to do a plated dinner or interactive stations for our Spring 2015 wedding. We will be having a Saturday evening event for approx. 70 people.
The plated menu would be a salad course and then guests would have a choice of filet mignon, salmon or scallops, and a vegetarian option with one or two sides and bread.
The interactive stations would begin with a plated salad. We would then open the stations for guests: a pasta station with ravioli and penne with various sauces, some kind of red meat (hopefully filet) with a mashed potato bar with various kinds of potatoes and toppings, and a sushi station with a sushi chef who would custom make sushi rolls for our guests.
Both options would have wedding cake and then a buffet of mini desserts for our guests as well.
My FI is more traditional and likes the more formal plated option. He thinks stations are a “glorified buffet” and feels it’s too casual for our wedding. I was opposed to stations at first, but after talking to our wedding planner, I like that there’s something for everyone and it’s more interactive (people get up to mingle). We also have a big event space (a giant lawn in front of an estate), so I think stations will help fill up the space a little bit.
So, what would you prefer as a guest – stations or plated?
Post # 2
- Wedding: Davis Island Garden Club
I like that the stations offers more options, but I think I would still prefer a plated meal. I hate standing in line for food, and I feel like it brings down the formality level of the wedding.
Plus that means everyone gets to the tables at different times to eat. in those situations I feel like I’m the last one at the table and I eat slow so I’m the only one eating. It makes me a little uncomfortable, but that’s a personal quirk.
Post # 3
My husband went t a wedding, with about 150 guests, and the different stations ended up being like a long buffet line. It was 15 minutes between the time he stood up, to get in line, and sat down with his plate of food.
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2014 - Villa Celeste
We’re having a plated dinner for 30 people. I liked this idea because then everyone gets to eat at the same time, which makes more sense at a wedding so small. But if I had more people, I really think I’d consider stations. I like the variety of the stations you listed. I am a sucker for sushi and who doesn’t love mashed potatoes? Frankly, compared to the other options you listed, I like that the stations have more variety. Just because a wedding has a plated meal, doesn’t mean it’s not fancy/traditional. I say as long as the food is good and I get it in a timely manner, it doesn’t really matter to me. But based off of food choices alone, I think I’d go with the stations on this one.
Post # 5
I love the stations because of variety, but the lines and waits are an issue. If you’re having a web site could you have a section where you ask guests for a 1st and 2nd preference of the stations, then you could have the caterer set up an extra line for those?
Post # 6
Plated. I have no issue with family style service at the table but I wouldn’t like getting up in my formal gear to line up for food. The plated menu seems more cohesive as well – having pasta, a mash potato bar etc. sounds like a lot of carbs.
Post # 7
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I didn’t really think too much about lines, and I really wouldn’t want our guests to wait for their food. I like that there is something for everyone with stations but maybe the more formal plated option is best. Plated is also a little cheaper, so… 🙂
Post # 8
I’d say, the happy medium would be family style. Guests can eat proportionate to their appetites and have multiple selections at once without having to get up. It also tends to be cheaper than plated and stations.
Post # 10
SpringBridge216: We are doing food stations to encourage mingling, and since our family and guests’ taste in food are all across the board from extremely picky to adventurous eater, 1 diabetic, and 1 with a seafood allergy, we are thankful for the food variety. Our stations are very similar to yours actually – a sushi station, pasta station, and a carving station with beef tenderloin, potatoes and veggies, and I’m really excited about it.
I think both of your menus sound fantastic and as a guest, I don’t really have a preference as long as I’m being fed. All the weddings I’ve ever been to have been either plated or a Chinese/Vietnamese banquet with 10 courses served family style, so I don’t know what it’s like to have a buffet or food stations. There are pros and cons to every style, so it’s just a matter of what you prefer.
Post # 11
i think it really depends on the type of wedding you are going for and your guests (if there are lots of families invited for example).
I perfonally prefer to have a plated meal at a wedding with restaurant standard food but food stations are more interactive and offer more choice if your going for a more relaxed reception.
We are having a cocktail hour with hors d’ouvres then are having a plated dinner followed by a dessert ‘buffet’ (no cake) which i feel gives us the best of both worlds 🙂
Post # 12
Go plated. Stations sound fun in theory, but in reality there is tons of waiting in lines, some stations might run out of food and it may take awhile to re-stock, people wandering around confused, etc.
Keep things simple and easy for your guests is my advice. There will be plenty of time for mingling during the cocktail hour and the dancing part of the reception.
Post # 13
a few things to consider.
stations are usually more expensive than plated dinner. why? because with plated dinner, they know exactly how much food each guest is getting. with stations, they need to have more than enough if someone only goes to one station but not the other and then taking seconds in to count.
also your guests. do you have any older guests that wouldn’t be able to stand and/or carry their plates.
i thought of stations for my wedding, but with the 2 factors above we opted for plated dinner and it was fantastic.
Post # 14
We opted to provide mismatched china for our wedding, so we are doing stations. I went to a few wedding with buffets/stations and it *really* isn’t that big of a deal. Sure, waiting in line does suck, but usually people are grabbing food and then sitting down again. We’re having a smaller wedding (90 or under), so we won’t be having extravagant lines. Also, the caterer is providing staff to serve everyone once they get to the stations, so it should cut down on someone lingering too long trying to do something themselves. I will admit I was really torn when I first (stupidly) realized that if we did mismatched china we couldn’t have a plated meal, but now I’m really excited to see everything and have the different stations. And our wedding isn’t super “formal” so I’m just not concerned with our guests feeling put out having to grab their food. Hopefully it’s so good they get over it 😛
Post # 15
- Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas
I would always prefer plated, as the lines can get long with buffet.