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Buffet or Served Menu?

There are so many decisions to make when it comes to planning a wedding and a reception. Some decisions are very important and require a great deal of thought. One of the most important decisions you make is the style in which you will have food served at your wedding. It really is a big deal! Use the following list to determine the best option for your wedding.

We will discuss the pros and cons of each method to help you make an informed decision.



Tends to be less expensive than a served menu

Gives guest the flexibility to eat when they want

Guests can typically get seconds

Guests can move around the room with their plates to mingle with others Cons

The line to a buffet can be irritating

Buffets tend to be less formal and may not mesh well with a formal wedding

You will need a larger reception space to support the tables of food

Some guests may not take cues to stay seated during things like the toast, cutting of the cake and speeches

Served Menu


Creates a formal, elegant atmosphere

Everybody eats at the same time

The food is hot and presented in a more appealing fashion than buffets

Guests can converse without worrying about getting up to get a plate of food

Fewer spills because guests won’t have to navigate chairs, tables and other guests to return to their table with a plate of food


Served meals are more expensive

Limited food choices, guests are typically offered 2 entrées to choose from

Portions tend to be small and guests may not get enough to eat

Risk of guests being served wrong entrée

More work for bride to ensure caterer gets entrée requests

One of the biggest deciding factors is budget. The decision may be taken out of your hands if you are on a limited budget. Many caterers offer buffets with service that will help clear tables and ensure drinks are refilled. This is an excellent option and ensures your guests are getting some of the perks of a served menu, but the freedom to choose how much and exactly what they want to eat. If you have picky eaters or people with dietary restrictions, buffets are often your best option. Choose what works for your budget and what you think your guests would most appreciate.