Buffet or Menu?

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After the ceremony, your wedding guests are inevitably looking forward to the food! As the bride and groom, it is your responsibility to make sure your guests are happy and in a celebratory spirit, and after sitting through your ceremony, they will be looking forward to the food. So, what is the best route to take? The two primary options are to have a buffet or menu.

Menu

If you opt for the menu, you're looking to have a set menu of one or two options for the entree and other courses. You have to have your choices in place when you send out your invitations so your guests can RSVP their choices ahead of time and your catering company can know how many of each dish to prepare. This is a more efficient way of ensuring costs and sticking to a budget because you are able to determine from RSVPs exactly how much food to prepare. The caterer will only bring what was ordered, so there's less chance of food waste. However, it will not save you from the worry of having unexpected guests with no food to eat. With a catered menu, your guests have the option of food choice, so there's less risk that someone will be unsatisfied with what they are served. Catered dishes also offer a visual element to the reception as well -- the food color, texture, and placement on the plate can be designed to fit your wedding theme or decor.

The biggest con of choosing this style of menu is the limits of food that is available. Since the caterer will be cooking only a certain amount, it is likely the serving size will be limited. One way around this is to offer more than one course with the meal, including salads, soups, and desserts.

Buffet

The alternative to a catered menu is the buffet style reception, and it comes with many advantages. For one thing, guests are not limited to only a couple different food options, but rather have a more varied spread of food to choose from. Of course, those choices depend on what you request, but in general, if enough variety is presented, it is highly likely that your guests will find something they like to eat. Also, there's less restriction on how much they can eat as well. Buffet style menus can still fit within a themed wedding according to the kinds of food that are offered, but will not generally ad any visual or design elements. Also, there has to be a consideration of the time it will take to service and seat everyone, and whether that should occur before or during any speeches or reception activities take place. Finally, there is the element of not knowing how much food to order. You want to make sure that you will have enough without going overboard and creating too much food waste.

Whichever option you choose for your reception, the most important considerations are your budget, the number of guests, and the overall eating experience you want everyone to have at your wedding.
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