Usually one of the first things on your wedding to-do list is finding a caterer. While you’re shopping for what to feed your guests, one of the first considerations is whether or not you want a plated meal or a buffet. As I say in most of my posts, there isn’t a right way to do anything, but that doesn’t mean that everyone shares the same opinion. And there are a lot of people who think plated meals are more upscale. If upscale means more expensive, then they’re right. But aside from the price, what makes a plated meal better? I may not sway all opinions, but there are plenty of reasons as to why having a buffet can be a great choice!
As I said in my aforementioned point, buffets are, in almost all cases, less expensive. (Disclaimer: Not always, so make sure you still ask your caterer. I know a lot, but I can’t claim to know every caterer’s price sheet.) While the reasons for why this is vary, the two main reasons are as follows. You’ll save some money with wait staff as buffets utilize less helping hands than buffet style dining. Secondly, buffets are quicker and easier to prepare for the caterer. Added perk as far as money goes: it leaves you in charge of how much of everything is offered. With a buffet you can still offer light and dark meat options, but you aren’t allowing your guests to custom order filets. You remain in control of what’s being ordered.
Having a buffet also makes providing a vegetarian option quite easy. Buffets leave your guests in control of what they put on their plates. The worry of catering to diet preferences and food allergies is now off of your shoulders (and your invitations) and officially back in the hands of your guests.
Speaking of simplifying, no need for you to turn in your RSVPs to your caterer, other than headcount at least. You only need to have a final number, and not a fancy excel sheet with everyone’s order and table number. In the last weeks leading up to your wedding, simplification is a goldmine.
Another point that is contrary to popular belief is that having a buffet actually allows for more options than a plated meal. If you’re planning on serving individual plates, you really have to cap it off at three options (four tops). With a buffet, you can have several options, just less of each! Just be sure to talk to your caterer, they’ll be able to make sure you have plenty to go around, without leaving anyone feeling like they missed out on a certain dish.
Lastly, having a buffet means your guests will be up and moving and serving themselves. It might not be black-tie style, but it doesn’t cheapen your reception; it just instills a more relaxed (and fun) environment. It makes the atmosphere more of a party and less of a stiff gala. Depending on your wedding style, it could be a great way to set the mood for your guests.
Weddings shouldn’t be a place where people come to judge. Hopefully your guests aren’t there to critique every little thing (and if they are, you should reconsider your guest list). Your family and friends are in one place to celebrate your marriage! If you pick the right caterer, you don’t need to stress over plated or buffet; they’ll be able to deliver no matter you decide to serve. All you need to worry about is providing a warm, delicious meal, and a good caterer will be able to accomplish this with a buffet. So if a buffet is in your price point, and you think it fits with your wedding style, then here is your green light. Go for it!
Do you have buffet success stories? Or caterer recommendations? Leave them in the comments! Further questions? Send them here!