Expert Planner Panel

We all know that weddings come with a variety of options. With so many decisions to be made while keeping budget in mind, it's easy for brides to become overwhelmed. Well have no fear, our expert planner panel is here today sharing their thoughts on just one of those decisions: food at the reception.


Which is the best cost effective option Buffet or Seated Dinner?

It depends! If you're wanting a buffet with a zillion different options, it should come as no surprise that a seated dinner (with two entree choices) is more economical. Depending on the variety you choose to make available and the actual menu items you pick (lobster buffet versus chicken dinner), either one can work! I'd suggest that a bride asks her caterer what ALL her options are, and make the decision based off of which of those best fits her budget and desires!

Kelly Stack with A Delightful Day

Ditto! It really depends on the types of foods chosen in the buffet and in the seated dinner. It also depends on the venue. Some venues like to do buffets or do them regularly, and, therefore, have well-priced buffet packages. These places are often more casual, though. If they choose a more modern, contemporary or popular venue, the buffets will have nicer food, fancier displays and a higher price tag. While, in that same place, a seated dinner with the basics (chicken, two veggies, rolls, tea) could be less expensive.

Parthenia Fayne with Epiphany Events

While a buffet may reduce the labor costs for additional staff, it is the actual foods served that have the biggest impact on budget.

Elaine Roberts with Events by Elaine

The food choices definitely affect the price, but keep in mind labor. Labor expenses will be higher with sit down meals. If a bride is trying to save money, a buffet with cost friendly food options is the best bet.

Michelle Soll with Burlap and Brooches Events

Another fun option is to combine the two... we've done a buffet, but for the first course we had a few different salads on the table that were served family-style. It got guests talking to each other and was a hit!

Sara Fried with Fête Nashville

It all depends on the venue. I know at a lot of hotels buffets are more expensive, because they will need to prepare more food to cover extras. Where at another venue the buffet option maybe cheaper and a seat-down will be higher. It all depends on the venue that you choose. I always advise my brides to choose an option that best fits their needs and will work with the overall feel of the event.

Tiffani Helms with Creative Designs & Events