In a change to the themed wedding series, I’ve decided to look at the pros and cons of wedding food. Choosing whether to have a buffet or A la Carte option is often something that troubles couples organising their wedding. To some the buffet option is the ultimate in ease and simplicity, and a lot of the time, the less expensive way forward.
To others however it conjures up images of luke warm food, over eating and greedy guests fighting their way to the front of the queue for second helpings. Of course you can’t please everyone and having a buffet usually caters for the majority, with even the fussiest of eaters able to find something to dine upon.
While some may think a menu led sit down meal is a classier way to feed wedding guests, it can cause more work than first anticipated. Firstly, you have to make a selection from the menus on offer from your venue, trying to incorporate a bit of everything: all the time keeping your budget in mind. Next you have to decide if you’re going to allow your guests to choose from the menu on the day or have them pre order their choice prior to the day. Having an A la Carte meal always runs the risk of being more wasteful, as absent guests will have been catered for regardless of their non attendance. Also, bear in mind that there is usually one person who may kick up a fuss on the day by demanding the lamb when they have pre ordered the fish! Dietary requirements also need to be thought of, whereas a well thought out buffet enables guests to pick and choose what they can and can’t eat.
There are weddings that lend themselves to the buffet style of dining. Outdoor shindigs such as beach and festival themed weddings are perfect for a barbeque dinner and often this gives a more relaxed feel for the guests and the bridal party. A sit down meal will be lovely in the winter with beautiful hot dishes being served to hungry and chilly guests. Both have their plus sides. A buffet can in the worst cases, run out and irritate guests; where as you can order exactly the right amount with A la Carte. Having a menu allows diners to sit and enjoy their meal, being served by experienced staff, rather than having to get up and fend for themselves. A good buffet however can be a cost effective and tasty way of feeding your guests.
Ultimately, as with all your wedding decisions; it comes down to personal taste, location and budget. There is nothing wrong with either option and like I said before, you can’t please everyone. There will no doubt be someone who will turn his or her nose up! The key is planning. Make sure menus have a good choice, including a vegetarian option and ask guests if they have any specific dietary needs well in advance. If you’re inviting children, a kid’s selection may be worth thinking about. When going for a buffet, I urge you to put as much thought and imagination into your food choices. No one wants soggy quiche and over cooked sausage rolls! Presentation is also a consideration when organising the buffet. Use your head and come up with something a little different that perhaps ties in to your wedding theme or colour scheme. Having the Master of Ceremonies or a designated person to announce a table order can stop a mad rush for your well thought out delights. Just make sure there is enough to go round!