(Closed) More About Serving Food at Weddings

posted 4 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
6229 posts
Bee Keeper

1.  They can eat all three but hopefully they have smaller servings of each, at least!

2. Yes make the food different than cocktail hour – less boring and no one’s thinking you just microwaved the leftovers.  Yes to pizza, happy drunk people/people who have burned a ton of calories dancing aren’t going to complain about that!

3. Beats me about who directs, maybe the emcee?  I’d suggest having two tables with the same food – guests on one side, servers on the other to keep things flowing.  If no servers, then two tables, 4 lines.

4. Sounds good to me, though I wouldn’t complain if there were a pasta or rice dish, too.  I like sides.

5. You can serve dessert whenever you want.  I’d suggest at least an hour after dinner so people have time to digest, but not so late that Great Aunt Sue has already gone to bed.  People who want to stop dancing for cake will, others maybe not.  If you stop the music, they’ll all get the hint, so it depends on how much your daughter cares if everyone is staring at her.  I don’t think I’ve been to any wedding that did it before dancing started.

6. You’re welcome, haha

Post # 3
1747 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

1. People will want to at least try multiple entrees of they’re at a buffet. 

2. Pizza sounds good!

3. I think either the MC can do it from the front or the caterer can by telling tables individually that it’s their turn now. Check with their caterer how they want to do it.

4. Sounds good to me.

5. I think cake and desserts can happen after dancing has started. You don’t need to stop the dancing, unless you want to for cake cutting. But for desserts they can just be put out and pass the word that they are there.

Post # 4
6302 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m a wedding vendor (Photographer)..so here’s my insight.

1. Most people will put some of everything onto their plate. You should prepare with your caterer for that.

2. I think pizza sounds fine. That being said, really know your crowd. I can’t tell you how many “late night snacks” I see wasted or go uneaten because people have either left already or are too busy dancing to stop and go eat it.

3. Generally no. The caterer will not be releasing tables to the buffet. They are busy managing their staff, making sure dinner is going well, that stuff is getting refilled, etc. This is why you have a planner or day of coordinator. A lot of people think they are unnecessary, but all of my most unorganized weddings are those without planners/coordinators. I’ve actually gotten to the point where I turn those weddings down because they’re so hectic.

4. The best thing you can do is just meet with caterers and see their menu options. Catering has come a long way over the last 10+ years and people are branching out a lot. As long as you got good solid dinner choices, and plenty of it, people will be fine.

5. I would just have all the desserts set out, so after the cake cutting the staff will then slice the rest of the cake and guests are able to help themselves to whatever they want. In that case I would opt for a smaller cake because not everyone will eat cake AND a dessert – you run the risk of having a lot of it leftover.

Post # 5
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

View original reply
morgansmom :  

1) Some people may stick with one entree but most will take a little bit of everything. 

2) Pizza would be awesome but make sure that you actually need a late night snack. The last wedding that I attended had a late night snack that went completely to waste because they just had too much food between their dinner meal and desserts. Late night snacks are kind of on the rise but by no means necessary. 

3) We are having our MC announce two tables at a time but we only have 12 tables. Our venue just doesn’t have the space for like four different buffet lines so we have to work with what we have.

4) Midwest bee here! That sounds completely on part for basically every wedding in my area. 

5) I don’t think there is a specific time but we will be cutting ours right after dinner and before dancing has officially started. We are also having a dessert bar so our “cake” will actually be a smaller cheesecake and then we will have cookies, brownies, homemade fudge, pies, and chocolates (Andes, Ferrero Rocher, etc). 

Post # 6
793 posts
Busy bee

1) We went with a buffet since some of our guests are picky eaters.  We had Ham, turkey, meatballs, salmon, oven fried rice, assorted salads, and rolls.  Most tried a bit of everything

2) For cocktail hour we served pretzels, chips, olives, cheese cubes, veggies and dip.  We were going to serve peanuts but one of our guests had a peanut allergy. For the late night snack we served what was left from the cocktail hour and dinner buffet as well as some appetizers a friend made for us the day before. Pizza is a great late night snack, we considered it but knew that we would have tons of food leftover.

3) Talk to your caterer about how to set the buffet up before the event.  We had the DJ explain the service order, basically these two tables to start then clockwise around the room.  The tables released themselves when people started coming back with food. Wish we had had the DJ explain about two lines for the buffet.  If you have 160 people four lines would be faster if you have the room.

4) Sounds like a nice variety.

5) our caterer supplied assorted desserts, as well our families and friends provided baked goods.  We had two tables set up with the cake and all the sweets.  We left them set up all night. Our caterers were very accommodating in general but especially in regards to the desserts table. We cut our cake right after supper but people had been helping themselves to the desserts all night.


Post # 7
2363 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

1. Your caterer should know how to handle a buffet if they have done it before regarding amount of food. We are having 3 options with sides and our caterer just needs a final count and they figure out the rest. I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Every buffet wedding i’ve been to, people have taken a bit of everything for the most part.

2. Yes, the late night food should be different. I would evaluate if you really need it. If you’re doing appetizers, then a buffet meal, you might not need a late night snack unless you have a fairly long reception. We are doing pizza, I think, so i’m biased but I think it’s a great option!

3. Do you have a DOC? I believe our DOC will be releasing tables 2 at a time. Otherwise, if your catering team has a catering manager they could do this as well. Or, all else fails you can have your DJ. Just make sure you have a plan so tables aren’t left out/forgotten or relased. 

4. I am from the midwest as well. What are the 3 options? Overall, I think that sounds fine and pretty standard for a buffet style reception.

5. I think typically they are all done at the same time. I’ve seen a few dessert tables get set up right after the dinner and stay out for a few hours. 

6. You’re welcome!

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