Post # 1
So despite advice from the general manager of our reception site I don’t believe that it will fit all of the guests we intend to invite! Our list is now at nearly 300 names (the GM says the space can hold 300) – since it is an out of town wedding for both sides of the family, we imagine that many won’t be able to attend.
So — I’m leaning towards a reception with various stations and fewer tables. This was my initial hope, but family/friends were suggesting we go for a seated dinner!
Does anyone have experiences with either planning or attending a reception with stations? Any advice and comments would be GREATLY appreciated! HELP!
Post # 3
With that number, I would highly recommend that you do a plated, sit down dinner rather than a buffet even if you were going to have more than 1 line with the same station. It gets really hectic with so many people running around trying to get food, waiting in line, and trying to return to the tables. I’ve been to quite a few buffet weddings, and the larger ones were a bit disappointing. By the time the first group of people were done eating, some of the later groups haven’t even gotten a chance to get up and get food or retrieve food yet (still in line, even with multiple lines with the same stations).
My wedding planner also advised against doing buffets once you get to the 150 mark or so, especially with children. Spills, breakage, falls, you name it. It’s a concern and a possibility.
Often times, people think that having a sit-down dinner is more expensive than a buffet. This is not always the case. Buffets can sometimes be more expensive because the catering company must constantly refill and refill to keep the platters full.
Post # 4
I had a station dinner with 140 people and it went great. The capacity at our venue was 150, but it worked out fine, since the food was served for a full 2 hours. Plus, the food was unbelievable!!!
I don’t understand what you are saying about having fewer tables. Everyone still needs a seat whether you serve stations or sit down. If anything, stations will take up more room because you need a place for all of the food tables.
But like I said, I was also worried and it worked out fine. I think it depends on how many stations you have. We had 4. With that many people you may need almost 8, or two lines at each station. I would listen to the advice of the venue. They have done this before at thier location, and they will want you to have a good experience with them, so hear what they have to say before you make your decision.
Post # 5
I am doing a station dinner for 150 and I am opting to do so because I want the emphasis to be on mingling and socialization and allowing people to eat and nibble as they like. Overall – I love the idea of station dinners! With that said, the manager at my venue actually warned that if we got too close to the room capacity of 175 we would have to either (a) set up a traditional buffet line or (b) do a seated dinner as stations require a lot more room. If you’re worried about your 300 people fitting, you will probably have to nix the stations idea and go for something that takes up less space. Good luck!
Post # 6
Ask the manager if you can actually see the room set up. Maybe they will be having other functions in the next few weeks where the room would be set up similar to what you want in either a plated dinner or a station. Sometimes the actual visual makes it easier to make a decision.
Post # 7
We had food stations for our wedding two weeks ago, with almost 300 guests, and it went GREAT — no compaints at all. It lends itself to mingling and more of a cocktail party atmosphere.
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2009 - Bernardo Winery
I second what JCM said, that is too many ppl for stations.