Post # 1
We didn’t set out to do this, but in the last few weeks the caterer made the suggestion (due to timing and when they needed to put dressing on the salads), and it worked SO WELL.
We had light appetizers (fruit and cheese plates) sitting on the tables as people came into the reception.
Once everyone was seated, the caterer served salads to people at their tables.
Once we were introduced and my dad did his toast, they started releasing tables to the buffet.
It was GREAT GREAT GREAT!! I really feel like it was the best of both worlds in some ways. EVERYONE had food in front of them immediately, no one was wondering how long until they got to go to the buffet (although it was very fast, everyone was through the buffet within 25 minutes). And people weren’t sitting there hungry wondering when we were going to get introduced and how long my dad’s speech would be.
Got lots of compliments on doing this way – a little bit of a hybrid. If your caterer is open to it, I would DEFINITELY suggest this. You never want to be the person between your guests and food!
Post # 3
@NAvery: We’re having passed hors d’ouvres upon entry, penne alla vodka as first course, salad as second course, then carving station/buffet and dessert afterwards. Open bar throughout. The guests will be free to sit and listen to speeches or walk to the bar at their leisure. With the way both our families eat I would never let there be 1 minute without food on their plates.
Oh I forgot to add along with the hors d,oeuvres there will also be a cold display with fruits, cheeses, bread bowl with spinach dip, fresh vegetables, shrimp cocktail, and bruschetta upon entry.
Post # 4
@NAvery: It sounds like this was a great idea. Glad your guests liked it. We’re having a cocktail hour in the same room as our reception (2 areas of the same room), so our guests will have appetizers as soon as the ceremony is over (ceremony and reception are at the same location). Plus we only have about 50 guests, which is why we chose the buffet, otherwise lines start getting too long. It seems like the served salad is a way around that though.
Post # 5
@NAvery: This is a really great idea! I’m leaning towards a buffet for my reception and I’ll definitely keep it in mind.
Post # 6
How many guests did you have in total?
Sounds like a great idea. We are currently trying to decide between plated and buffet and I had wondered if maybe the salads could be plated and on the tables when the people arrived.
Post # 7
@NAvery: thanks for the post! we hope to do something like this so i’m glad you posted it! we’re italian, so we were very set on having food (salad, bread, olive oil, greens, etc) on the table family style right away. The rest of the meal we weren’t set on, but we knew we didn’t want plated dinner (the drama of the single choice!). we either wanted entrees family style on table or transition to a buffet. this sounds awesome.
Post # 9
@Jennlee: We had 130 meals served (122 guests + 8 vendors). We talked about having the salads on the tables, and it would work in some venues, but for our caterer there were two challenges with that. 1) The dressing needed to go on the salad no more than 20 minutes before it was eaten, so they couldn’t put the salads out too early and didn’t want to be doing it as people were finding their seats and 2) The room was actually the same room our ceremony was in (just divided by draping), so we didn’t want them making noise during the ceremony. But I think it could work as long as you maybe just put dressing on the table for people to put on themselves!