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Wedding Wednesday: seated dinner or buffet?

One question that I have always wondered about when attending weddings is the food setup…which is better, a seated dinner with a set menu, or a buffet dinner with broader options? I am yet to be able to make a decision! (thankfully I’m not in a rush to make any decisions just yet…).

A seated dinner feels more chic to me – there’s something luxurious about not needing to get up for your food but rather, having it brought right to you. But the problem is that a set menu will inevitably not appeal to all guests at the event. It’s really hard to get a set menu right when you’re feeding at least 100 people (or many, many more at Arab weddings!), and to be honest the options for a seated dinner seem fairly boring: appetizer, main course, dessert. There’s some wiggle room to be creative of course, but overall I find it a little bit predictable. On the other hand, buffets are a great way to provide more options and allow your guests to make some food decisions for themselves, but they also seem a bit less elegant to me (though maybe that’s just the management consultant in me silently screaming that I’ve had one too many hotel lunch buffets during my busy travel/work days). Also, I think buffets allow for a little bit more risk-taking in your menu options. Think about it..  you can put in some creative/interesting/unusual dishes that may appeal to some of your guests but not others, without worrying that those who don’t like it will be stuck with nothing to eat. Hmmm.. decisions decisions.

Buuut, who ever said this decision was binary? I was recently at a friend’s wedding in San Francisco, and she may have found the perfect compromise: a family-style seated dinner. You still get the luxury of having the food brought to your table, but maintain some of the variety of a buffet. Genius! Leave it to a fellow foodie to find the perfect solution to this conundrum (and I’ll be sure to tell you more about her own food blog sometime soon). I’m not sure if this concept is unheard of in the world of weddings in general, but where I come from it is definitely revolutionary. If you’re looking to inject a bit of whimsical casual-ness into your wedding, this may be the perfect way. You just have to make sure that guests seated at each table are sufficiently chummy before you make them share food!

In good health,




One thought on “Wedding Wednesday: seated dinner or buffet?

  1. Why don’t you mix the two possibilities ?
    Here in Italy it’s very common to have appetizers in buffet style, then seated main courses.
    The wedding cake is served usually together with a fruit or sweets buffet

    Posted by Weddings Italian Lakes | November 16, 2011, 7:03 PM

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November 2011
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