Post # 1
I’m having a really hard time making this choice and I’m hoping for some input…
We will have 250-300 people attending our wedding and it will be late evening in a historic ballroom on the lake. We’re going for a very formal vibe. The entree and side dish selection will be the same no matter how we choose to serve the food, but we cannot afford a plated dinner and appetizers.
As a guest, would you rather have hand-passed appetizers during the cocktail hour and a buffet dinner, or a few small snacks during the cocktaiil hour and a plated dinner?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Post # 3
I’d rather have heavier appetizers and a buffet. I’m always starving before the actual meal comes out; I need something heavy to tide me over!
Post # 4
@MissAnnie: There is no way I would try to feed that many people at a buffet. It will take forever.
Post # 5
I love appetizers (typically my favorite part of a wedding) but with that many people a buffet sounds really tedious and I think you’ll waste too much time getting everyone fed vs. enjoying the night.
Seated meal also fits in more with your formal vibe.
Post # 6
With 300 people, a buffet= long wait and angry guests. I know some people are avid buffeters, but I think that, logisitically, it’s just not feasible with a large guest list.
I would pick light apps and a plated dinner.
Post # 7
I agree with some of the PP’s. My cousin had a wedding a few years ago and did a buffet with 200 people and I thought it was a mess. It took FOREVER to get food and by the time the end of the line got through some of the food was cold. It just didn’t look organized and took away from the classy and formal feel. But with that being said I think a buffet could be done well if there was a good staff to help serve and you pay close attention to the details and logistics!
So I would vote for light appetizers and a plated meal!
Post # 8
Ooops, I voted before reading.
For that many people? Plated.
Post # 9
My only issue with passed appetizers is that I can never seem to find the guy passing them around!!! Therefore, I feel like I spend more time trying to track a waiter down then enjoying the reception. Can you do a few stations of apps as well as passed?
Post # 10
@MUI831-I agree .. We are doing a few stations of apps, no passing and then a buffet .. every wedding I’ve been to where the apps are passed, they never make it to my table and every wedding I’ve been to where there are stations of apps has worked so much better
Post # 11
@MissAnnie: I would personally prefer a buffet, but if you’re going for a formal feel I think a sit-down meal would be better suited.
Post # 12
I would prefer a plated dinner, but with stationary and passed hors d’oeuvres beforehand. I know this apparently is not an option in your case. However, I am surprised that your venue will charge you more for a plated dinner than a buffet — WITH the same food on each. Although I wanted a plated dinner because I had a formal wedding, I was stunned to find out that a buffet actually would have cost MORE than a plated dinner. The venue’s coordinator then explained that the amount of food needed to serve a plated dinner is much less than that needed for a buffet, since, when you are the last person in a buffet line, you are not taking the last of the food.
Post # 13
Thanks for the answers so far…the poll looks almost even!
I should add that we would have two buffet stations–one on each side of the ballroom.
I do think I’m leaning for the plated, though…it seems more formal, and I agree with those of you who said it’s hard to even find the person passing the apps!
Plated dinners are more expensive around here with every caterer I checked. It does seem weird, given that the amount of food is probably much less. Maybe it’s the extra service?
Thanks again! Still haven’t quite decided yet, so I’ll keep checking back for input!
Post # 14
so hard to pick! my only advice.. from attending weddings with my hungry boy Fiance, make sure there is some sort of food while everyone is waiting for dinner. we have been to a couple where there was nothing.. oh boy. having to listen to Fiance and Future Brother-In-Law talk about how hungry they were was SO annoying! haha
Post # 15
You CAN do a buffet for that many people, but you would need either A.) a double sided buffet, or B.) Servers dishing out the portions.
With option B, you MIGHT have to have a server fee ( we charge 50$ per server) and with option A, you WILL run out of something. For a 200 person event, we usallay prep enough for 250 -300 as a safety but we ALLWAYS have to make more potatos on the fly, and by the time the last table goes up all that is left is the broken options that are starting to get cold.
I chose the plated option, mostly because being in back of house, its more organised, and there is allways just enough and everyone gets hot food.
For Apps, you could do some cold stations, a Veggie and cheese table ( which should run you about 100- 150$) OR if you have your heart set on hot apps, look at the options that your place offers. you SOULD be able do do something like mozzeralla sticks and sweadish meatballs for 100 peices should run you about 85-115$
I hope i helped.
Post # 16
In your specific circumstances, a plated dinner.
1. That is way too many people for a buffet. Watch Four Weddings – big weddings with buffets seem really awkward and seem to take forever.
2. It goes with the formal vibe much better.
3. Appetizers aren’t always all that great. The last wedding I went to, they ran out and a lot of it was poorly executed.