Serving With Style

When planning your wedding reception, one question that needs to be addressed is which serving style you prefer. There are many options available, from food trucks and self-serve buffets, to formally appointed sit-down dinners. Which serving style you select will depend on many other things, including the venue, number of guests, cuisine, and your budget.

At Food For Thought, we make it a priority to go over all these important details with our clients before discussing their menu and service options. Below are a few of the benefits and differences between buffet style and sit-down dinners.

Sit-Down Dinner

Wedding dinners are often lavish, formal affairs. A sit-down dinner is the traditional choice for such an occasion, and typically consists of a three course meal, starting with soup/salad or other light fare, followed by the entrée, and dessert. However, depending on your budget and personal preferences, you may add more courses if you wish.

One of the benefits of a sit-down meal is that everyone gets their food at the same time; therefore everyone finishes at around the same time, as well. This makes it easier to coordinate other aspects of your celebration during and after dinner, such as speeches, toasts, dancing, or the bouquet toss.

With a sit-down dinner, it is easier for your caterer to judge how much food will be needed, since you already know exactly how many guests will be attending. This cuts down on food cost, and eliminates the majority of food waste. However, more wait staff is required for a sit-down dinner than a buffet, which offsets the savings on food.

Finally, a sit down dinner is very elegant. Furthermore, guests are served at their tables, and don’t need to get up, allowing them to simply enjoy their meals and engage in conversation with their neighbors.

Buffet Style

Buffet style receptions are usually more casual affairs, chockfull of cuisine options and ever consistent mingling between guests. Buffets, as well as food stations, provide guests with various food combinations. They can pick and choose what they like, therefore it is nearly guaranteed every guest will thoroughly enjoy their meal. This also makes it easier to consider guests who suffer from allergies or have other dietary restrictions.

Buffet style meals also require fewer staff members to manage the event, and you might be able to forego food servers altogether if you plan carefully. However, food costs are normally higher since you do not know exactly how much your guests will consume. Not everyone will finish their meals at the same time, and lines can form at serving stations.


At Food For Thought, we pride ourselves on offering many serving options to help you personalize your wedding reception, and make it the memorable affair you want it to be.