Wedding Day Checklist: Is a Buffet or Plated Menu Better for My Wedding?

Many future brides struggle with the choice of plated dinners and buffet options, since, understandably so, each choice is desirable for very different reasons. When a couple considers the menu options for their big day, a few things must be taken into consideration. First, the theme and style of the wedding must be complemented by the dinner; second, will the guests be satisfied; and finally, will the menu become an added burden or extra stressor? Here are some of the pros and cons of both plated meals and buffet style.

Plated Meals – Plated is a good option if a couple is looking to plan a formal, eloquent wedding. Plated meals tend to cost more than buffets, and people know it, so if a couple is concerned about impressing their third cousins, plated is a great option. Plated meals will make guests feel like royalty, and they won't have to worry about struggling back to their seats with platefuls of food. Plated meals are ideal for the elderly and small children. Some of the cons of having plated meals are, first of all, the cost. Also, brides have noted that it can be incredibly stressful waiting for guests to respond with their dinner selections.

Buffet – Many couples opt for a buffet, not only because it can be significantly cheaper than the plated option, but also because a buffet allows for greater variety and quantity. Many couples who are concerned about their guest's dinner preferences will tend to choose the buffet option because chaffers can be filled with a wide variety of foods. Buffet's are also easier to plan; instead of waiting for guests to reply with their dinner selections, the bride and groom choose what goes onto the buffet line themselves. Another reason buffet's can be desirable is they are not as formal and because they encourage mingling. Guests have to get out of their seats at least once to get their food, and this helps them socialize with other guests while standing in line. Here are the notable problems with buffets: first, they require guests to strategically carry food back to their tables. This presents an opportunity for dropped food and soiled outfits. Depending on how many guests attend, long lines at the buffet table could easily become problematic. Another concern is that guests will feel like they are in line to get food at a cafeteria.

The pros and cons of both plated and buffet options make it difficult to decide which style is best. Only after careful consideration of both can a couple make a decision that is best for their special day.