The time before THE crucial question and the moment until the emotional “Yes, I do” is certainly a very beautiful, intense, and exciting period for many couples. But there are also many decisions to be made.

  • DJ or band?
  • Round tables or long tables?
  • Free ceremony or rather religious?

Not quite easy to make the right decision for oneself. This post aims to serve as a small decision-making aid by addressing this question:

“Buffet or plated dinner? Pros and cons!”

The Wedding Buffet

At a wedding buffet, there’s a wide selection of various cold and warm dishes. In the most common buffet setup, a variety of dishes are arranged on a long table. There’s also the option to place ready-made platters (e.g., antipasti platters) directly on the tables, which creates a very familiar atmosphere. A “simple” buffet can be enhanced, for example, by adding a live cooking station.

Advantages of the wedding buffet

The buffet represents flexibility. Each guest decides for themselves how much, when, and which dishes they would like to eat. Whether vegetarian, meat-eater, guests with a big or small appetite – everyone gets what they want. In addition, the wedding buffet immediately creates a relaxed atmosphere, as it also fosters the first conversations with other guests who are not sitting at one’s own table.

Disadvantages of the wedding buffet

The flexibility, which was just highlighted as a positive aspect, can also become a disadvantage. Long lines at the buffet, as everyone rushes to it simultaneously, and a higher noise level due to chairs being moved around, are often unavoidable. Enjoying the meal together at the table in peace can be challenging. If there are speeches or similar program items, it’s challenging to incorporate them well during the meal. Also, the appearance of the food deteriorates quickly once the first 10 guests, for example, have served themselves with the truffle pasta. Moreover, as a wedding couple, it’s more challenging to address specific allergies or food intolerances of individual guests.

The Wedding Menu

For a wedding menu, coordinated dishes are served in a cozy and relaxed dinner atmosphere.

Advantages of the wedding menu

You have a bit more order compared to the buffet. There are fixed times to enjoy the dishes together – but there are also smaller breaks where you can perfectly place the father of the bride’s speech or other program points. A menu is generally considered “a bit more upscale”. With a wedding menu, you can – if you have clarified possible allergies or food intolerances with your guests in advance – discuss with the kitchen crew exactly where the lactose-free plate, for example, will be served.

Disadvantages of the wedding menu

It’s nearly impossible to cater to 100% of your wedding guests’ tastes with your individually selected menu. There will always be someone who doesn’t like shaved truffles on pasta or isn’t a big “shrimp fan”. A significant disadvantage is the price, as a menu is generally significantly more expensive than a buffet. The price is determined by the logistical effort involved in both the service and kitchen crew, as well as the selection and quality of the menu.

Can’t decide? Then why not mix it up! Place colorful assorted appetizer plates on the tables. Follow with soup, main courses, and desserts served afterward. Or start with the wedding menu and to lighten the mood towards the end, have a dessert buffet.

Whichever option you choose, keep in mind that not every venue offers both. Check with your dream location at the beginning to see if your desired dining option is feasible.

Fotos: Katarina Lima

We are a team of wedding and party planners dedicated to organizing the most beautiful weddings and private celebrations wherever our clients feel most comfortable. We plan in Hamburg and celebrate all around the world!

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