Sit Down Dinner or Buffet Reception? 5 Considerations


wedding meal
Clin Cowie

Planning a wedding is full of tough decisions. Deciding between a sit-down dinner and buffet could take weeks of stress and deliberation. However, assessing five important elements of the big day can make the decision as simple as saying, “I do.”

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The Budget

If sticking to a tight budget is of utmost importance, a buffet style dinner may be your best bet. Because caterers and venues typically use less staff members for a buffet, they usually quote a lower price. The more legwork and staff needed, the bigger the bill, especially when it comes to sit-down dinners. Bigger budgets may allow for more food options or even more cake and drinks.

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Socialization

One of the many perks of a buffet is the opportunity to socialize. Sit-down dinners may prove to be very anti-social. Rather than simply familiarizing themselves with only tablemates, guests can strike up a conversation with other wedding-goers while waiting in line and maneuvering through the venue. It also provides for a friendly and comfortable atmosphere once the dancing and partying starts since everyone had the chance to get acquainted with other guests.

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Guest List

Weddings with a large number of elderly guests may be best suited for a sit-down dinner. Navigating a crowded dinner hall with plates in hand can be extremely difficult for an elderly guest; especially if he or she has a disability. Having a loved one at the same table get a guest’s food may not always be an option in these scenarios. As a result, sit down dinners would be ideal for the comfort of all your guests.

Alternatively, a buffet is ideal for weddings with a lot of children. It’s no secret that children are picky eaters. The ability for them to pick and choose from a large variety helps eliminate the potential of starving children. The same applies to vegetarians, those on diets, and other picky eaters.

Theme

Formal weddings call for formal dining. As a result, brides and grooms should look no further than the sit-down dinner. It helps to eliminate the confusion of chaotic lines and table number organization. Buffet dinners call for a more casual atmosphere and theme. However, with the proper guidance from venue staff there is no reason why a buffet can’t hold up to your formal expectations without issues.

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Venue Space

A wedding with a long guest list in a small reception hall may not mix well with a buffet style dinner. There is nothing worse than the commotion of guests bumping into tables and chairs in route to the buffet in cramped quarters. The order of a sit-down dinner is almost necessary in these scenarios; especially if you invite people known to trip and bump into things easily. Pushing tables back in place and cleaning up spilled plates shouldn’t be on your wedding day agenda.

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Regardless of what you choose, mealtime at a wedding is your moment to sit for a while and take it all in. Make it a stress free moment and dig in!