More and more couples are choosing to do a buffet at their wedding. Everyone gets to choose exactly what they want, and it’s generally cheaper than a seated dinner. It’s a win-win! However, there are a few obstacles you face when doing a buffet dinner. Here are a few tips to make sure your buffet runs smoothly, and that everyone leaves the party happy and full!
Consider Inviting Guests to the Buffet By Table
For larger weddings, the best course of action may be inviting guests up to the buffet area by table. That way, you won’t have to deal with all of your guests getting up at once and standing in line. It’ll be more comfortable, and will allow guests to go through the buffet more efficiently. A catering staff member can be in charge of monitoring the buffet and personally inviting each table up.
Make Sure the Caterer is On Top of Refreshing Food
If the food isn’t being replenished regularly, guests will either be stuck waiting in line while the next batch of food is being prepared, or will have to go without some of your meal options. Your wedding caterer will know best how to do this, but talk with them to make sure they’ll be regularly refreshing all of the dishes.
Space Out the Buffet Stations
To the best of your ability, try not to cram all of the stations into one small space. This will create uncomfortable crowding in one area of the venue. Try to keep some breathing room in between each station so that there is more space for guests to move between. Both your caterer and your venue coordinator will likely have some ideas on how to best utilize the space, so brainstorm with them. It will make the experience of getting the food much more comfortable for the guests!
Have Catering Staff Members at Each Buffet Table
It’s a good idea to have staff members available at each buffet table. They may actually serve the meals (which will help ensure guests get the accurate serving size for each dish), or they may be available to ask questions, guide guests through the buffet, and make sure everything is replenished.
Consider a Two-Sided Buffet Table
A buffet table where guests can form a line on each side will move far more quickly than if you have a single-sided buffet table. For smaller weddings, it may not be necessary, but it can be useful for larger celebrations. Of course, if the staff is serving the food, this won’t be an option. Talk to your caterer about what makes the most sense for your venue, guest count, and needs.
Add Menu Cards for Each Dish
Menu cards will help the lines move much faster, as they’ll inform the guests as to what exactly each dish is, eliminating the need to ask the catering staff. Be sure to also include any pertinent information for those with dietary restrictions.
Don’t Forget the Design
The decorations shouldn’t be reserved for the reception tables! Elevate the look of the buffet area to tie it into the rest of the reception space. Add chargers, tablecloths, florals, and other decorative elements to bring it to life.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors from Georgia and the Southeast who can help bring your vision to life!