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Popping the Question: Buffet vs. Plated Dinner at the Wedding?

We know, we know.  When you read “popping the question” in the title of this article, the issue of serving your guests dinner at your reception didn’t exactly spring to mind.  In fact, you probably got swept away in thoughts about your sweetheart’s romantic proposal, where he bent down on one knee and presented you with the sparkling diamond that you’ve got on right now.

But when it comes to wedding planning, one of the most crucial questions you can ask yourself will pertain to what type of dinner you’ll be serving your guests at the reception.  The two options – buffet and plated dinner – each have their own proponents and naysayers, which might make this a complicated issue for you to dive into.

If you’re on the fence about either dinner option, don’t fret: here are some great ways to decide between serving your guests a buffet or a plated dinner:

  • First, consider the type of wedding that you’ll be holding.  The dinner plays a crucial role in maintaining the atmosphere of your reception, be it an elegant black-tie affair or a casual backyard wedding.  Think about it this way: the more elegant the wedding, the more likely it is that you’ll need to serve a plated dinner.  While every couple is free to set their own rules, keep the comfort and expectations of your guest in mind: if they spend several hundred dollars on outfits and gifts for a black-tie affair, they’re probably expecting a similar gesture in the form of a lovely plated dinner.
  • If your wedding isn’t a black-tie event, take a careful look at your budget to see what you can afford.  You may be surprised at which option is the most affordable for you and your sweetheart.  For example, many venues often include the price of plated dinners within the overall fee, while some caterers will charge a great deal of money in addition to the venue fee to serve a buffet.  Keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid to explore both options.
  • If you love the casual atmosphere of a buffet but want to keep things elegant, consider food “bars.”  Each bar will have a specific theme, like a steak bar, a sushi bar, or a mashed potato bar.  This adds a fun and unique twist without sacrificing the fun of a buffet setting.

No matter which option you pick, make sure it’s the right one for you and your sweetheart.  After all, no one wants to start their married lives in debt due to the food served at the wedding.

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