Post # 1
Having a buffet vs. a sit down dinner will save me just around $3,000. My issue is that we will have 200 guests and I know once the first person in line was done eating the last person wouldn’t even get food. I think it has the potential to mess up my timeline and I don’t want anyone to feel any “dead time” while they are waiting for toast or something.
What are your thoughts? Has anyone experienced this problem with a buffet?
Post # 3
They would never make it so the last person wouldnt get food. In a buffet they make the number of servings per dish the same as # of guests. not that number total.
With a large wedding like that they might do 2 lines and or 2 tables
I personally like buffets more then sit downs because the food is fresher and you get more options
Post # 4
I foresee this being a disaster. I’m not a fan of buffet dinners anyway (I just think they are far less elegant than a sit down). But for a wedding this big I just don’t think it’s possible. You would basically have to have at least two full set ups with a line going through on either side. Three or four set ups if there are servers at the buffet. Otherwise, it would take all night just for everyone to get food.
Post # 5
I can’t say from experience….but I had that worry too with respect to a buffet! However, at our venue, the cost of the plated dinner versus the buffet dinner was pretty much the same (within a few dollars). We went with the plated dinner for convenience.
I wanted to mention though that a few of the venues I checked out would only serve a plated dinner if the guest list was greater than 100-120 guests (because of space constraints – for the buffet table and the line), so make sure you ask the question just in case!
Edit: I was also told that as a venue they only have a certain timeframe to complete dinner – due to health and safety regulations with respect to serving food – so that was another reason that the buffet was restricted to smaller events.
Post # 6
I’ve been to many buffet weddings, some with large guest lists, and it’s never been a big problem. The venue staff usually keeps things moving pretty well. And I promise, the venue will have extra food, so you won’t run out.
I also have to counter the “buffets aren’t elegant” concept. Sure, it’s nicer to have someone serve food. But a buffet in an elegant venue can still be elegant. And I’d much rather save thousands of dollars than worry about guests’ perception of buffet vs. sitdown.
Post # 7
It depends on how you do the buffet. If the set-up is like a cafeteria in that everyone is served from one line, I can see a potential for problems. However, if you have multiple stations set up, it’s possible that everyone will make it through one of the stations quickly and be seated without messing up your timeline.
Post # 8
I suggest having two buffet stations set up with the same items. The lines will move faster that way. Also, make a menu for your guests, so they can see what is being served. They will know what they want before they get to the buffet, so that will make the lines go faster too.
Post # 9
I’ve been to large wedding where this happened. We were first to get our food and we were done before people got their’s. Its no big deal. We went to the bar, chatted, hung out, went to the bathroom, watched the flower girls dance. I don’t think too many people will be upset!
Post # 10
@noritake22: I love the idea of the menu to speed up the process.
Thank you bees! So it sounds like I need to talk to my venue again and see how they plan on serving my 200 guests. Personally I prefer sit down bc I don’t like the idea of standing in line for food, walking around the room with full plates. I just keep thinking of all the other things I could do with $3,000.
Post # 11
I’ve been to far more weddings with buffets than with plated dinners (it’s a midwest thing I think) — like Rgeddy said above, it’s never been a big deal to finish early, or wait a while to get in the line… that’s what the bar, and good friends are there for! 🙂 We are expecting around 350 and will having a buffet dinner. To help speed things up we will have a servers at the buffet so as a guest walks through the line the food they choose is placed on their plate by a server that way they don’t have to juggle plates/serving utensils and we have more control over the portions.
Hope this is helpful!
Post # 12
We are doing a sit down dinner and we have 211 people coming. Mainly just because the way the venue is set up and it would be hard to have everyone moving around that much.. and our dancing area/bar is in another area of the venue.
I think buffets are fine because like @Rgeddy said people will be talking and getting drinks etc. I would make sure there are at least two lines for the bar and food. and give people plenty of time to finish eating so they don’t feel rushed. One way you can do this as the B&G is to get your food brought to you 1st, finish eating, then go and greet the guests table by table. Oh and if you are showing up after the people are already there.. let them start to get your food before you two arrive.
Post # 13
We are having a buffet with about 400 people coming. There will be multiple lines, so many servers per guest, and people will get up by table. So it will be done in an organized way (which is key to buffet lines). We will also have menus available.
Post # 14
I have been to wedding with both and to be honest a sit down served meal is far more elegant and stays withing your time restarints. with the buffet people were walking around back and forth wit plates in their hand to be honest it was kaotic. I think buffets are good for under 100 guests anything more and it becomes a huge mess.
Post # 15
@trugem: Wow you just gave me new hope! Is your DJ announcing who gets to get up and eat?
Post # 16
My cousin had about 350 people and it was a buffet. There were two lines, plenty of food and it wasn’t bad at all. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a buffet at a wedding.