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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Arias

Buffet or Plated Meals: Which one is Best for you?

Now that you're wedding planning, all the choices you have can get very overwhelming. Usually, the first terrifying decision comes down to what your guests are going to eat and how it will be served. There are advantages and disadvantages to each meal style but at the end of the day it comes down to how you envision your big day!

Today we break down the pros and the cons of buffet style catering vs. plated meals:

Buffet style


  • Buffet style catering has a lot more variety. This style catering offers different options for your guests. Guests are able to pick and choose exactly what they would like, and how much.

  • Guests will most likely only take what they can eat. If you have guests who don't like veggies, they don't have to get them, as they would with plated service.

  • Buffets can be visually appealing when executed well, with vibrant food and a talented design team, it can look very beautiful.


  • Buffets tend to be more casual when it comes to catering. It all depends on your style and what you're going for. If you are doing a casual wedding, buffet style might be your thing, but, if you want a more formal approach you might want to reconsider this option.

  • Guests will need to wait in line. With plated service you have to wait a bit naturally, but usually not nearly as much as a buffet. Waiting can be a negative; however, guests can chat with those not sitting at their table while they wait, which can be a plus.

  • This service style can sometimes get hectic if too many people go up to get food at once which in turn requires more organization.



  • The plated meal style will immediately set the tone for a more formal gathering.

  • It is an efficient way to serve the reception meal and keeps things running according to schedule.

  • For foodie couples and those who love watching the food network LOL, serving your guests perfectly garnished culinary delights is a BIG deal.

  • All of your guests are served at around the same time.


  • With plated meal service, you have to please the masses. A set plate means fewer options for your guests.

  • The limited variety can be challenging for guests with dietary restrictions.

  • It typically requires more staff for serving and plating, so staffing fees tend to be higher.

Bottom line is that no matter what catering style you choose just make sure it makes your wedding day just as special as you imagined.


Are you planning your gorgeous wedding but getting overwhelmed? Let us help! Let's start planning together! Click HERE for a complimentary consultation.

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