(Closed) Buffet vs. plated dinner — how did you decide?

posted 4 years ago in Food
Post # 2
Member
1249 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

COST! A lot cheaperto do a buffet usually because itsignficantly cuts the labor charge of going around and serving everyone. Plus then you might be able to use outside catering if your venue allows. I’ve heard people have some sort of numbering or announcement system  to avoid stampedes at lines.

Post # 3
Member
1249 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

You could also do various “stations”, which is a newer trend.

Post # 4
Member
1033 posts
Bumble bee

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misslucy :  plated is always nice. I’ve been to weddings before that have run out of food before everyone has had a chance to visit the buffet line. That is the worst and I had to duck out of that wedding early. There’s only so much drinking and socializing I can do on an empty stomach. 

Post # 5
Member
8601 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

I did family style- another option to consider. I dont like buffets because everyones not eating together at the same time, youre standing in line in shifts. It also just feels nicer to be served. However, plated food always comes out barely luke warm when its for a huge group. And if you like one dish more than the rest of what was plated, too bad, youre stuck with what you got.

Family style, every table was served at the same time. People could take seconds or thirds of what they liked with out having to get up. It also makes for a social atmosphere because you have to communicate with your table to pass this or that. We did have a plated salad as the first course though. People really liked it! It wouldnt be appropriate for black tie but its a good option IMO. Most all the benefits of buffets with none of the cons. 

Post # 6
Member
196 posts
Blushing bee

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akshali2000 :  interesting! My venue’s prices were higher for a buffet compared to plated because of all the attendants that would need to be hired. And their buffet option was pretty extravagant and had a lot of little options. 

Post # 7
Member
808 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

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MrsBuesleBee :  Were there any logistical considerations you had to keep in mind (i.e. table size or types of table decor) for family style to work?  I REALLY want to go that route but am nervous about dishes fitting on one table. I’m also curious how your catering staff had everyone served at the same time.  I only went to one family style wedding and it was definitely staggered with some tables receiving dishes before others.

Post # 8
Member
547 posts
Busy bee

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misslucy :  We decided on plated meals because IMO it allows for a better flow to the evening. But that is a personal preference for me…meaning that cocktail hour is distinct, everyone sits and eats while speeches etc. are happening, then the cake gets cut and the dancing begins. I think it is harder to efficiently get people fed through a buffet versus plated, and it isn’t as easy to do speeches while people are waiting in line to get food, rather than as they are getting served.

There are definite advantages to each and every way of serving a meal, so it’s ultimately a personal preference.

Post # 9
Member
2260 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I like buffets because as a person with tons of food allergies, it give me more flexablility.  At a recent wedding I went to, I got the pasta which was great, but all of the sides they had on the plate I was allergic to.  It was a big bummer because I was still hungry, and I also felt bad that so much food was thrown out.

Post # 10
Member
793 posts
Busy bee

We did buffet because we know alot of picky eaters. If there are two lines (one down each side) 100 people should be able to get through it in under 30 min. Buffet was the more expensive option for us, since the caterer added 10% extra food to make sure there was enough of everything.

Post # 11
Member
8601 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

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kelbrimale :  yes there were logistics involved. The caterer recommended we use wider tables then the standard banquet, and we were advised not to put too many people at each table, and keep decor simple (1 floral centerpiece) so there was room for everything. They used vintage serving platters its was so pretty 🙂

They didnt literally come out at the exact moment, but everything was served with in minutes. Its just easier for the wait staff to bring a few things per table vs individual meals. 

Post # 12
Member
808 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

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MrsBuesleBee :  Minutes doesn’t sound bad at all.  The wedding we went it it was much more substantial, especially when it got to the main course so it scared me off a bit from the idea of family style BUT the wedding was also at a restaurant so I don’t know that they went the traditional catering approach of advanced prep.

Good to know about the tables!

Post # 13
Member
8601 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

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kelbrimale :  we had it so when they got to the table the salad and bread basket was already there. Then the wine service came around. Then 2 mains and 3 sides all at once. It was a feast! 

Just ask your caterer if theyve ever served a wedding that way. Ours highly recommended it. 

Post # 14
Member
808 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

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MrsBuesleBee :  I love it!  Our planner has been steering us towards a buffet but I’m still hopeful we can make this happen.  My Fiance and I love to entertain and cook for others and family style has always felt the closest to the dinner parties we have at home and I like the idea of thinking of this as a big dinner party.

I also like the idea of having some things already set on the table.  That makes total sense. 🙂

Post # 15
Member
1249 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

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lolac :  Hmmm interesting. Maybe for us buffet was way cheaper because we got outside catering averaging to about $25-$30/plate instead of going with the venue’s $55/plate.

Personally I love family style the best, especially if you can have some munchers like bread and olive oil already at the table.

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