(Closed) Buffet/Stations vs. Plated Dinner debate

posted 10 years ago in Food
  • poll: Do you prefer Buffet/Stationed Dinner OR Plated Dinner?

    Bufftet/ Stations

    Plated Dinner

    Don't Care, I'm happy I we were fed

  • Post # 32
    10360 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I think both styles can be equally elegant – it’s all in the presentation! We are doing a buffet, and our caterers do the most intricate displays with the food – it’s really beautiful! I like that buffets cater to guests’ tastes – you can try anything, get as much or as little as you like, etc. We also have multiple setups, so that cuts down on the standing in line. I think it’s all about working with the caterers to ensure that the taste level is there – both can be great :-)!

    Post # 33
    513 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I wanted a buffet with carving stations but it turned out to be much cheaper to do the plated meal option.

    Post # 34
    183 posts
    Blushing bee

    i didn’t care either way, but my fiance REALLY wanted a buffet. he loved the idea of the casualness and the variety of food we would have so, we chose buffet.

    Post # 35
    947 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    I prefer plated dinner over a buffet.  The buffet does offer more choices then plated, however, I think it’s awkward waiting while other tables are either already eating or in line to eat, and I hate standing in line.  

    I also think if you have a strict time line, platted works best.  You have servers assigned to each table and everyone should be served at or around the same time.  In a buffet style dinner, guests are not served at the same time so your time line and the first few tables served have to wait until the last table is served/done.  

    Also, for a plated dinner, if your caterer is a good one, they will not serve cold dishes that are meant to be warm.  


    Post # 36
    5 posts
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I work for a catering company in Washington, DC and also run a blog about wedding food. I think that a plated meal is much more elegant and cheaper than a buffet. I think that plated meals get a bad rap because of the misconception that there’s no flexibility with the menu. If you work with a great caterer they’ll come up with creative RSVP choice options for your guests. 


    Post # 37
    1966 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I def prefer plated dinner, buffet for a cocktail hour is fine. I just hate the idea of people lining up to get food like a lunch line. I guess if your weddings more casual it would be fine. But personally I prefer a more elegant style, everyones dinner served at the same time. Also FIs a cook so he really appreciates the presentation of a plated dinner.

    Post # 38
    256 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    I love buffets at weddings!!  We are having one at ours Smile  It allows the guest to have warm food and a large variety of things.  Plated meals really does limit you to just that dish.  And, from experience, it tends to be cold…..

    Post # 39
    19 posts
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I have to go with plated dinner as my favorite style of service for a wedding. I understand the desire to have more options, let people choose exactly what they want etc. but I think I have had too many bad buffett experiences (boarding school, college, mobbed weddings). Something about the large amounts of sitting food sitting out just does not do it for me (irrational, I know. It’s not like it doesn’t sit all together in the back). Plated just feels a little more special and there’s no confusion/frustration about when I supposed to go to eat.

    Post # 40
    129 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    Every plated meal I have had at a wedding has been dry, overcooked and cold. Every. Single. Time. I LOVE buffets because the food is always hot, there is variety of choice and i have never waited longer for my food than I would have if I was on the last table being served a plated meal. Nothing is worse than being stuck with a plated meal that turns out to be inedible and gross – you have no choices! I too used to think that plated dinners seemed more classy, but after all these experiences, I no longer have that illusion and definitely prefer a buffet.


    Post # 41
    1192 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    Buffet all the way… It doesnt have to be a whole croud going up to get their food you go table to table.. But there is way more variety and if they are still hungry they can go up for seconds.

    Post # 42
    28 posts

    I love buffets. My FH is such a picky eater, if we did a plated dinner he probably wouldn’t eat half of his meal. I have been to several of each style and I think a buffet is a better way of ensuring that everyone gets something to eat that they like. We are doing a buffet and the food will be awesome…our tasting was so much fun (filling, but fun).

    Post # 43
    2362 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2017

    I have to say I am surprised at the poll results. I assumed plated dinners would be favored over buffets/stations. Hmmm rethinking my reception now LOL.

    Post # 44
    3321 posts
    Sugar bee

    I hate buffets.  I hate how the first people through get all the good salad toppings leaving later table with just plain lettuce.  I hate other people touching my food before I get there. I hate looking at a massive tray of rice and another massive veggie tray.  Blech.  Oh and I despise calling up table numbers.  Its like looking at a hierarchy of friends and relatives.  Also it makes some people be done their meals and others are still waiting for their first trip through. I also always worry I will drop my plate full of food, while all the uncalled tables are looking at me.

    Stations however I love, with the interactive chefs cooking food fresh and to specification.  It also lets people choose what they like best.  This is what we are going with, along with passed appetizers.

    Plated meals are I think the most elegant, and guest friendly.  But I don’t know any really picky eaters either.


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