Should you serve a plated dinner or buffet dinner at your wedding? A few things to consider when making this decision: What sort of atmosphere are you trying to create? What is your budget? And how many guests will be attending?
Generally, a buffet dinner is much more casual than a plated dinner as the evening is less structured than a plated dinner. A plated dinner can be structured in the sense than you can plan speeches and toasts and even dancing in between courses. If you want your wedding to be a formal affair, then serving a plated dinner is the best option. Plated dinners ensure that there is no chaos that could come with buffet dinners when everyone goes to get their food.
With a plated dinner, everyone eats at the same time and will be finishing up at the same time and you can move on to the next part of the evening.
In order to control the chaos that comes with buffets, you have to think of ways to control the traffic by setting up lines to get food or setting up two buffet tables with the same food to limit long lines or sometimes even scheduling times for each table to go and get their food. This results in each table eating at different times and can hinder your desired proceedings for after dinner.
Buffet caters for larger groups and a variety of tastes, meaning there is usually something for everyone, which is appreciated by your guests. But being served is also appreciated; and if you offer special meals for people with dietary requirements, everyone will be happy.
Budget-wise, it is tricky to determine which style of dinner service is more cost-effective as there are many factors that will influence the cost of the type of dinner service that is chosen.
Buffet style is generally considered more cost-effective as you do not have to hire as many waitstaff as you would have to if you do plated. However, you cannot determine exactly how much food will be needed and can therefore end up over-catering or have the possibility of running out of food.
Plated dinners are easier to plan as the caterer will know exactly how many portions of each dish are needed and there is no possibility of waste or running out of food. You can also save in this way as you control each persons’s portion size.
At the end of the day, it is your wedding and you will need to decide on the type of atmosphere you are trying to create. If you want a formal wedding, a plated dinner service is the better option as it is much more structured and guests are not expected to stand around and attempt to balance their plates while trying to get their food all the while being in their formal clothing.
If you want a more casual wedding then buffet is the better option because guests have the freedom to structure their own evening by eating when they want and how much they want, just ensure there is enough food.