(Closed) Plated vs buffet. *Rant*

posted 6 years ago in Food
Post # 3
3229 posts
Sugar bee

Good luck! I think your idea of getting his dad to pay for the catering is great.

Wow, we are having a buffet and it’s $100/head. His parents are paying for it so I’m not worried about it. Almost makes me feel bad and then I realize that they are the reason we are having a wedding at all – I wanted to elope – so oh well.

Post # 4
1966 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I totally agree with why you should have a plated dinner. It does look a lot nicer. And no one wants to stand in line for food in heels and a nice dress. There’s nothing fancy about that. However if its not in the budget then it is what it is. Break the nunbers down into dollars. Discuss with him and all contributing parties. If its too much then keep it moving. Just because his dad offered to help doesn’t mean its a free for all! Spend what you can afford,  if at the end of the day this is that important to him (it would be to me) then cut  back on other things. 

Post # 5
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

As a picky eater and someone who’s only ever been to one (awful) plated event dinner, I say stand your ground (unless his dad is paying for the caterer and wants to pay that much). 

Post # 6
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

But his only argument for doing plated is that we have to make a nice presentation for our guests and that he doesn’t want people to have to get up to get food.

Sorry, but that sounds like THE reason we did not have a buffet so that sounds reasonable to me. Plus it does sound like you can afford it with both parents contributing financially. Sorry, I’m with him on this one.

Post # 7
8444 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think you’re going to get mixed reviews on this.  How many people do you plan on having at your wedding?  A buffet is good for a small guest list (<50) and you will have to set up duplicate stations if you have more guests and don’t want to have huge lines.  I personally hate plated dinners because I feel restricted to my seat, not all the plates are served simultaneously, and I usually don’t want to eat 50% of whatever is on my plate.  However, I would choose a plated meal over a buffet if there was a large number of people in attendance.  No one wants to wait in a 200 person line to get their dinner.

Post # 8
744 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I feel your pain. I originally wanted Buffet as well, and argued for 2 months with my Fiance and Future Mother-In-Law about it. I eventually got tired and just gave in so now we are doing Plated. The plated option cost us a significant amount more than buffet and far less food options. It was an extra $5/pp and I went WAY over on food due to the fact that if people are going to be limited in their food options, I at least wanted the options to be off the charts amazing.

If it’s truly important to you, stand your ground or else it could end up costing a lot more than you think in the long run.

Post # 9
8695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@MsSparklyBee:  this. I think I have only been to one wedding with a buffet and the general consensus was that guests didnt like it.

Post # 10
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Before you go digging in your heels, find out more about the equipment costs of a buffet. In many cases, the cost to rent the tables, linens and service wares will eat up a good chunk of your per-head food cost savings. 

We had originally wanted to go with a buffet because we had some really lovely menu choices picked out and wanted guests to be able to try a little bit of each bit. The fact that it was cheaper made this extra attractive… till we got to the linens and tables costs!  On our 70-people dinner, the extra table and linens rentals took back about 50% of the cost savings— and we didn’t even do overlays, just one layer of linens.

Also get an idea of the final guest count. Buffets don’t work with more than 70 people or so, unless you run multiple setups. If you’ve got a 200-person wedding then you’d need around 3 setups— more servers, and a lot more equipment– otherwise the last guests to be called to the buffet will be waiting a long, long time to be served.

I’d also work with the caterer to see where you may be able to trim cost without sacrificing the overall quality of the meal, as you may be able to tweak your menu choices to get a plated meal without breaking the bank.

Post # 11
1846 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We are having a buffet dinner, mostly because we are getting married in a dinner theatre, and it’s already all set up for buffets (since thats what they usually do every day). Personally I prefer a plated meal, but I’m fine with buffets, as long as the lineups are fast. 

As for your situation, I feel that you should respect your parents budget, and the only way you should have the plated meal is if the grooms father decides to pay for the catering. Either that, or maybe you and your Fiance and pay the difference between the buffet meal and the plated meal if your Fiance is insistent about doing the plated.

Post # 12
2497 posts
Buzzing bee

Also his father has offered to help pay and wants to give half the amount my parents are giving. To me this means my parents will just be spending half the amount they intended. To my fiance this means our budget has been increased by half. I don’t think that is right. His dad’s original offer was to help my parents pay, not to help us have a more expensive wedding by adding to our budget.

I’m sorry, but I agree with your Fiance. It sounds like cost is a big factor in your preference for a buffet meal. Your FI’s father prefers a plated meal, so he’s most likely offering the money for the upgrade. If he were doing it so that your parents could reduce their contribution, then he may as well have given the money directly to your parents instead.

Post # 13
1835 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

@vorpalette:  +1.

I’ve been to so many elegant weddings with buffet dinners, and it was really no big deal. There’s a lot of compliants here on the Hive about buffets – like waiting in line, or the risk of spilling food on your dress, but honestly I think the good outweighs the bad. You can avoid the line by having your coordinator subtly let tables know one by one when it’s their turn, so your whole guest list isn’t waiting in one long line. You can choose food that isn’t too messy, so if something were spilled it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. (And honestly, I’ve never seen anyone trip at a buffet line. Just sayin’.) My experience with plated dinners is you get zero choice (whereas often with buffets you have some kind of choice/variety), the food gets cold by the time everyone gets their plate, and you end up sitting in your seat for a long time (vs. chatting with people over by the buffet). Honestly, I really don’t think your guests will put much thought into whether your meal is served plated or buffet-style – so if you’re saving a significant amount of money, stand your ground and go for the buffet. Also, for what it’s worth: we served BBQ at our wedding buffet-style, and no one complained. A lot of people said it was the best wedding they’d ever been to. I don’t think buffets ruin weddings.

Post # 14
83 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@MistySoda:  If your FI’s father wants to pay for it, let him.  Also ask if he would be willing to pay for anything else to contribute to your day since overall look and outcome is very important to him.  My thing is, it is great that they want to help but they really need to look at the big picture.  I have never recalled how long it took me standing in line at a buffett to eat, but I do recall going to a wedding and being served cold “plated” meals.  This has happened more than once and at very nice locations. 

You should spend more on your photographer, at the end of the day your photos will be what you have to remind yourself of that day. The day that is going to fly by far too fast and you won’t even remember being fed whether it was plated or not. 

We are doing buffett because it is too darn expensive to feed 300 people plated meals.  Certain things were more important to us “DJ”, photographer and location. 

Best of luck and you are very lucky to have parents willing to help pay for your wedding, don’t let your Fiance take them and that gesture for granted.

Post # 15
1710 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World

We wanted to do plated (we are paying for the entire wedding ourselves) but decided to go the buffet route, since there are so many more options for guests and the gaggle of kids at the wedding will be cheaper.

I agree with OP, you need to nail down what both sets of parents are willing to pay (to me it sounds like your Future Father-In-Law is offering to pay for half of what your parents are paying, essentially making them pay an equal amount).  This needs to be clarified so your Fiance has a good handle of what your budget will be.  If Future Father-In-Law is also pushing for plated, I think he should pony up for it.  Try to stick to the budget no matter what route you take!

Post # 16
960 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I agree for plated especially if you have any elderly with mobility issues. both of my grandparents need walkers and if we had to make them get up or have other guests serving them… To me thats just not nice.

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