(Closed) As a guest do you prefer a buffet or a plated dinner?

posted 12 years ago in Reception
  • poll: As a guest do you prefer a buffet or a plated dinner


    Plated dinner

  • Post # 32
    2408 posts
    Buzzing bee

    as long as there is food, i don’t care how it comes. lol. i’ve only been to one plated reception…all the others have been buffet [well one was semi-plated but only because they served the bridal party that i was in]. though i guess i can say i like buffet better because then i can load up on the thing i like the most. but really, either or is fine with me!

    Post # 33
    150 posts
    Blushing bee

    I agree with size of wedding.

    Good food is good food, but I don’t care to wait in a long line for it.


    Post # 34
    685 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    Plated because I’ve been to several buffet style weddings where the first table has already finished eating their meal while others are still lining up.

    But again, it really does depend on the size of the wedding.

    Post # 35
    2725 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    I like a good buffet. I like to pick as little or as much as I want. And I’m also very fidgety and I like to get up and move around!

    Post # 36
    54 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    We’re going with plated (fiance hates buffets), but our venue is an Italian restaurant and they print up a menu with 4 entree choices, and everyone gets the same family style apps, salad, and dessert (cheesecake).  This may take a little longer since orders have to be taken, but with only 60-80 guests I think it will work out fine.  I think their max for the venue is 100 and if you have fewer than 70 you get an extra entree, salad, and dessert choice.  I can’t wait!  I’m often a fan of the buffet b/c I don’t really care for a giant hunk of meat and a couple green beans on the side, but I think this will make everyone happy as well.

    Post # 37
    3331 posts
    Sugar bee

    As a rule, I prefer plated dinner instead of buffet.  With my nice clothes on, I can’t be trusted not to spill everything and make a mess.  Also, I hate the standing in line that can come from waiting at a buffet.  If dinner is served to each table, then it’s a little easier to manage, because you’re sitting down. 

    However, I did go to a work event recently that was buffet, but in "stations" style which was amazing.  They had 6 different stations set up around the room–pasta, beef carving, sushi–you name it!  It was awesome.

    Post # 38
    3979 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2012

    I prefer a buffet over plated. Almost every wedding that I’ve been to that had a plated dinner kind of sucked. The food was cold & tasted like it had been sitting around for hours beforehand. You could tell the meals weren’t cheap either…

    Buffet’s are sometimes just as expensive (or even more expensive) than plated dinners because you get so much more food to choose from. I like having options when I eat…. and we’re giving our guests that option as well. We want to make sure everyone goes home fat & happy 🙂 lol

    Post # 39
    2343 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    Like others have said, there are lots of variables, such as the size of your wedding or what kind of buffet you have. I think, again as others have said, the most important thing is that you have good food! Plenty of plated meals are boring and tasteless with tiny portions.

    Pros of plated meals in my mind:

    – Much more formal feel. There is something elegant about being brought your food, beautifully presented, and not having to "work" for it by picking it out, carrying around, etc.

    – No wait in line. This means its more efficient – you can get dinner going faster and you know when the last course is done, without people getting seconds. Also, guests really appreciate not having to stand in line.

    – More time spent at your table socializing with your tablemates.

    –  It’s less messy / germy.

    – They can be more affordable than buffets, though definitely not always, especially if you serve steak / lobster / etc.

    Cons of plated meals:

    – A lot of plated meals are small and boring. Even the best intended caterers and brides can end up serving unremarkable, rubbery chicken.

    – Picky eaters don’t get to choose.

    – Big eaters don’t get to have more if they’d like.

    –  This is a BIG one for me – while guests get more time to socialize with their tablemates, that’s assuming they LIKE their tablemates. It could be very awkward and boring for some guests to sit through a five course meal and try to make polite conversation. A buffet gives guests a reason to get up, move around and visit with other guests.

    Pros of buffets:

    – If you do "food stations" it can actually be really fun and interesting for guests. Think chef-manned stations where guests can customize pasta or panini sandwiches or omelettes. Also, stations like salad bars, etc. offer customization without a chef.

    –  It provides your guests with lots of more options. They can eat as much or as little of whatever they want.

    – It encourages mingling. Guests try out different stations, moving around your reception, instead of staying glued to their seats.

    Cons of buffets:

    – They can feel too informal or unremarkable. Shuffling through a buffet line can feel like being in a cafeteria – definitely not elegant. You also miss out on having attractive presentation on plates.

    – If you go with stations instead, it can be expensive.

    – LINES. Even the best intentioned caterers and brides can end up with long lines. 

    – Depending on what kind of food, it can be messy.


    Hope this list helps!


    Post # 40
    484 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    As a guest, I’m generally happy with whatever the couple or their parents has decided to provide. I am there to celebrate their  marriage and new life together…so expecting certain things from them financially/materialistically is a little rude in my opinion. If they want to have a buffet, cool. If they want to have plated, cool. If I have to wait in line or the food isn’t A-W-E-S-O-M-E, cool. I’m just happy to be there.

    Post # 41
    952 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    Either is fine by me. We’re doing a buffet. The only issue I have with buffets is at a really large event, I hate standing in line.

    Post # 42
    32 posts
    • Wedding: August 2009

    I prefer and am going with buffet.  Where I’m from buffets are the norm.  Plated dinners are lovely, but I’m not a fancy kind of girl!  I like the simple things in life.  I’ve been to one plated wedding and while the food was good, it was boring sitting there waiting to be served…and I was in the bridal party!  As for lines with buffets, I don’t remember ever waiting in a long line for food.  Which means either no long lines or it wasn’t a bother standing there and chatting with everyone while they too were waiting. 

    One pro for buffets that sold me…you can always bring the leftovers out at the dance for the hungry and/or drunk people to enjoy. 

    One side note – our buffet is sandwiches and different cold salads so it doesn’t matter if it takes a while to get your food, it’s meant to be cold! 

    Post # 43
    2640 posts
    Sugar bee

    I didn’t read the other posts, so I might be repeating. 

    I’m not really choosy.  There are pros and cons of each.  But ultimately I picked plated.

    I think buffets are great for allowing guests to load up on nothing but buttered red potatoes if they don’t like much on the menu.  It obviously gives you a variety of foods to choose from.  On the con side, I dred buffets because I’m afraid of tripping and spilling my food.  It’s also awkward trying to carry the main plate and the salad plate.  I also think of buffets as having kind of the standard buffet feast. 

    Plated dinners, from my expereince, tend to be more unique and elegant.  It also comes across like the food is not as mass produced as in a buffet, even though I’m sure that it is.  And you don’t have to worry about carrying anything.  the only down side for plated is that you might get a side dish that you don’t like.  Or if the main dish you chose stinks, there’s no option to get up and get something else.

    Post # 44
    2365 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    I really really really dislike buffets. So I am choosing plated, but I’m very picky. I don’t like a plated meal that would come and have some weird sauce poured over the whole thing and be all mushed together.

    Post # 45
    5988 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2010

    i prefer a plated dinner but if im invited to a wedding and its a buffet (like my nephew wedding last year) i wont be complaining either.  as a guest its my job to shut up, enjoy and say how lovely everything is


    Post # 46
    7052 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I love both.

    My coworker had a LOVELY wedding in the afternoon and a buffet with several stations.  It was great!  Perfect in fact.  It was an intimate wedding (I love these) and about 50-70 people at most there.  No waits.  Good food and variety.

    For an intimate wedding (like less than 30) I am a fan of a plated multi course meal.  That’s what I love.  It’s intimate..everybody knows everybody and there’s lively conversations.  You can make it more formal or less formal too.

    I am also a picky eater (I swear some days I could really be a vegeterian)and T is literally like a T-Rex (huge carnivore and lover of an awesome steak) and it is gonna be really fun to see what the heck we come up with for our guests next year!!!  Definitely we will revisit this thread then for a laugh or two!  

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