When choosing food vendors for your wedding reception, there’s much more than meets the eye. The first thing you need to decide is whether to have table service or a buffet.

Both will do the job gracefully, but you need to keep the setting in mind. We’ll focus on the latter for our purposes, so here are the pros and cons of having a buffet at your wedding.

Buffets Give Your Guests More Freedom but Can Create Long Lines

After a long ceremony, some of your guests might be starving, which is where buffets have an advantage over a plated dinner. Buffets cut down on food waste because guests can take as much or as little food as they want.

However, this also introduces one of the negative aspects of having a buffet: long lines. If the venue for your reception is small, long lines at the buffet might take up space on the dance floor, so consider this before deciding.

They Work Extremely Well for Various Types of Ceremonies

For a formal wedding ceremony, you’ll want to make sure each table has a dedicated server for the meal. Thankfully, buffets require less supervision and they afford your guests much more freedom.

You can have as many or as few offerings as you would like at your buffet, and if you want it to feel fancier, servers can monitor and give out the food. A multi-course meal might be a bit much if you anticipate dancing well into the evening, so planning and setting up an amazing buffet gives your guests the chance to enjoy some food during a dance break or during the wedding toast.

A Buffet Will Require More Caution Regarding Food Safety

One disadvantage that buffets have is that they leave everything out for a long time, spoiling the food. Another consideration is the weather because if it rains, your food should be under a tent with your guests. Pests can get into open containers if the buffet is out for too long, so you’ll need covers or someone to watch the containers.

Anyone allergic to some of the food might not be able to enjoy the catering with the limited variety of a buffet. Even if you keep the food in separate containers, there’s still a chance of cross-contamination from clueless guests, and when someone’s health is at stake, they can’t take that risk. If you invited someone with an allergy but still want to go with a buffet, reach out to them beforehand to accommodate their meal preferences.

Overall, buffets give you more choices and opportunities than a traditional dinner would provide, but you need to make sure it’s the right fit. Now that you know the pros and cons of having a buffet at your wedding, you can make the right decision for your special day!

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