Buffet vs. Plated

posted 8 months ago in Reception
Post # 31
Member
1092 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Buffets are easier and people typically get more of a choice of what they put on their plate, I haven’t ever been dissatisfied with a buffet at a wedding!

Post # 32
Member
96 posts
Worker bee

I personally prefer plated but if you are having a buffet, I would expect there to be enough seating for everyone to sit and eat. Ideally there would be a seating plan too (so that you don’t have big groups sitting down, leaving one spare seat). As long as there is food and I can enjoy it sitting down, I would be happy!

Post # 33
Member
793 posts
Busy bee

I definitely prefer plated. It is nice to sit down and have everything brought to you and to not have to stand in a line to get and carry your own food. Also helps with timeline because everyone is a captive audience in the room. We were able to knock out our parent dances, speeches, and visit most tables to say hello and thank our guests for coming while everyone ate a four course meal, which left a lot of time for the party and gave guests who don’t like speeches (which is a lot, I’ve learned over the years) something else to do (eat) while speeches were going on.

Post # 34
Member
411 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2020 - Windermere, Cumbria

I hate buffets because I have a lot of food allergies (talking full on anaphylaxis here) and there’s always cross-contamination, so keep in mind guests with allergies or dietary restrictions might need a plated meal.

Post # 34
Member
411 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2020 - Windermere, Cumbria

Double post, sorry!

Post # 36
Member
40 posts
Newbee

So . . . I don’t love buffets, I’m like you, OP, I like the special-ness of a plated meal. That being said they can be really good (I’ve been to amazing ones) and extra helpful if you have a variety of tastes and diets to meet.

My big thing is that for some reason every wedding I have been to with a buffet I have been at the higher numbered tables. Which means I have always been the last to get called up. And . . . it’s not fun. You’re hungry, you are watching everyone else eating and you haven’t even stood up yet, and even if it’s not personal it kinda feels uncomfortable being the last people who get food. 

So my advice is make sure the buffet line is efficient and people aren’t sitting for too long watching others eat. And also make sure there’s something on the table for your guests to snack on until their turn (even a bread basket would do). 

Post # 37
Member
1404 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

I’m going buffet. It’s so much simpler and the guests can decide what they want to eat and how much to eat on the day of.

$3000 is a LOT of money, and if it’ll save you, I would switch to buffet. I don’t think the experience for your guests will change that much and the difference on our piece of mind and stress levels are worth it!

Post # 38
Member
2165 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

“I’ve only had shitty food that was plated at weddings so far… and the buffet weddings have had amazing food.”

 

That’s interesting because I’ve had the opposite experience: unless it was extremely high end, I’ve only had shitty wedding buffet food and excellent plated food. For a more formal event, I would definitely prefer plated. More elegant, usually better food, and easier on guests.

Post # 39
Member
2154 posts
Buzzing bee

I love a buffet. I love having a variety to choose from and being able to go up for seconds! If you’re gong with a high-quality caterer, I’d imagine their buffet food will be good, with a classy set up. We had a “stations” style dinner at our wedding and people seemed to love it. 

Relatedly, I don’t really understand the issue pp raised with not wanting to go to a buffet in high heels. People typically are happy to dance at a wedding in high heels, but walking 20 feet down a buffet line is asking too much? 

Post # 40
Member
268 posts
Helper bee

I understand for saving reasons buffet and it’s your wedding so you do what’s best for you! Personally I can’t stand buffets in general and even more in weddings. It was one of the thing my fiancée and I agreed on during the process! Hahah definitely no buffet!!! I don’t enjoy the food and always find standing on long lines annoying! Lol! Not to say plated food is always better. My experience is plated has been better and gives the wedding a whole different feel versus buffet. If you’re a buffet restaurant kind of person then it’s something you enjoy and are used to even more go for it! 3,000 is a lot if budget is an issue for you. Hopefully you buffet food will be good and smooth sailing for guest standing and waiting! 

Post # 41
Member
793 posts
Busy bee

emilyofnewmoon :  It’s not so much walking to the buffet but coming back to the table balancing a dinner plate and often a salad or bread plate as well, while in a nice dress and heels. And often a drink from the bar because a buffet wedding isn’t likely to serve wine with dinner.

Post # 42
Member
9524 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

do plated.  i think plated is nicer.

but every caterer told me plated is less money when i was pricing things out. you have to buy more food to accomodate what people will take.  with a plated dinner, this is your plate and this is what you get.  at the buffet what if uncle steve takes 2 pieces of salmon and 3 pieces of steak when everyone was only allotted 1 of each.  so they need to make more food to compensate.

Post # 43
Member
3000 posts
Sugar bee

Would family-style be an option? 

I’m not a fan of buffets. More food is wasted (ie, people taking multiple servings of an expensive food item because they can), and I always worry about cross contamination and allergies.  Only takes one person to use the spoon or tongs from the crab cakes or shrimp on the vegetarian dish or the chicken . . . 

Post # 44
Member
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2020

I much prefer plated.  It’s just a nicer experience.  I don’t like carrying my food around and waiting in line.  My least favorite is strolling stations, though.  Multiple lines to wait in and the last wedding I went to that had them had ice cold food.

Post # 45
Member
310 posts
Helper bee

I actually prefer a buffet. I can choose the things I want instead of having things on my plate I don’t want and go to waste, I can have more of the things I do like instead, and my fiance loves it because he always goes for seconds! We’re doing buffet at our wedding by choice, BBQ.

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