One of the first decisions you make when planning a wedding is the location. Immediately following that decision, you have to settle on a caterer. Even if your venue provides catering, one of the initial questions is whether the reception meal will be served buffet style, sit down or a combination of both.
In terms of styling, a buffet is more casual while a sit down is considered more elegant. A combination can include a first course being served by waiter with the main course being served family or buffet style and a dessert buffet that includes cake.
Your reception should reflect who you and your fiancé are as a couple. If you are laid-back, setting a beautiful buffet with the first course set on the table. As the first course plates are cleared those guests can be welcomed to visit the buffet. This creates a natural staggering of times of guests heading to the buffet.
When serving multiple entrees at a buffet, consider placing each entree with accompanying side dishes on different tables. This allows guests partake in the menu combinations as designed. Also, keep in mind that the smaller the buffet, the faster guests will pass through the line.
If you and your fiancé enjoy fine dining and prefer table service, a seated dinner is more appropriate. Your entrance into the reception can coincide with the serving of the first course. Remember to include tableside wine service as well, so your guests don’t have to leave the table when they would like more wine. Also, by having the tableside wine service, your toasts can take place during that first course.
Between the first and main course, the father-daughter and mother son dance can take place. Then the cake cutting, bouquet toss and garter toss can take place after the main course to usher in the transition into the dancing portion of the evening.
In terms of pricing, buffet style versus sit-down depends solely on the caterer. So make sure to inquire about the difference.
Hope this helps you with your decision and gets you closer to your perfect reception. If you need help creating your dream wedding, please feel free to contact us! We’d love to be a part of it!