How Should I Serve the Food at my Wedding?
Let’s face it, when it comes to your reception food is important. It is one of the things your guests are truly going to remember. As much as I love a good chair, that is not going to be one of the stand outs to your average guest. There are many ways to serve food to your family and friends, one popular way is a buffet style meal.
How Can I Save Money on Food For My Wedding?
There is that M word again. Even if the budget is large, there is typically still a budget. It is important to think about this when choosing your food. A buffet can be the most cost effective option when it comes to serving food to your guests. It tends to take less labor than other types of serving and preparing options. Think about what type of food you are serving on the buffet. If you go with something more cost effective like Barbecue it can save but a Filet Mignon may still run that bill up a bit.
Some catering companies offer a drop off meal option v. one where they provide all the staff. While this will save you money, it is not always the best option. Without staff to man the food there is no one to replenish buffet items if they run out or to clear your guest’s trash from their tables when they finish eating. (Yes, they are adults, but no, they will not all clean up their own trash.) This can leave the responsibility on your or your friends and family to clean up after everyone and then take all the trash left to the dumpster. (Yeah, that giant blue dumpster forty feet away from your venue.)
When there is staff provided they will take care of refilling the buffet as needed and getting rid of plates and cups. Many times they will stay until the end (which we recommend) to make sure the catering kitchen in your venue is clean, trash is taken out and you have a to-go box full of food since you were too excited to eat dinner. (I hear you saying you will definitely eat but just in case that to-go box is a really nice backup!)
What Kind of Food Works Well on a Buffet?
A buffet lends itself well to southern style dishes, comfort food and food with sauces. Foods can tend to dry out when sitting on top of heat for a long time so you don’t want just any old thing thrown in a chaffing dish. If a buffet is the route you want to take talk to your specific caterer about what they think works well.
A buffet can be very versatile when it comes to set up. It allows you to have your tables fully set with china, flatware, glassware and plates or you can have all of these things on a buffet station. You can do “real” china, flatware and glassware or choose to do disposables. Think about your venue when doing this and what would work there and also what your budget will allow.
How Can I Keep the Lines Down?
I am sure you have all been to a wedding or event where there was a a buffet. You line up, grab your plate and walk on down the line. Sometimes this line can span through the entire room. This doesn’t have to be the case.
We recommend doing a double-sided buffet so you can get more guests through the line at once. If your guest count is high you may also want to consider doing two separate buffet lines. Make sure you check with you caterer to see what they prefer. Many times instead of having all the guests jump up at once we will release them by table so the line is staggered and not snaking through the entire room.
A buffet can be self serve or you can have catering staff behind the buffet manning it an serving the guests. This can truly come down to caterer preference. It is more labor to have staff at the buffet but can cut down on waste as many guests will pile their plates full with more than they can eat.
A Buffet Doesn’t Have to be Boring
I know we typically think about a line of chafing dishes on a long table but a buffet doesn’t have to be boring. You can spruce up your buffet tables with decor and unique display options. Talk to you caterer about what they offer, many have ideas and options to make the food presentation fun.
Regardless of what you choose, trust your caterer to help you make the right choice for your event. You can check out more on this at Planning + Prosecco here.