Choosing Your Wedding Food: Buffet vs Plated

platter of egg rolls being served at wedding receptionDeciding between a buffet-style or a plated meal for your wedding can be a daunting task. While there are compelling reasons to choose one over the other, ultimately, if your caterer is excellent, you’ve already won, as most caterers offer both options!

At Drumore Estate, we offer various flexible catering options to suit your wedding reception needs. To help you make an informed decision, we have outlined the advantages and disadvantages of each option so that you can choose the perfect catering style for your special day.

Plated (Served) Meals


When you opt for plated meals, your salad and dinner are served directly to your table. This style of dining is often considered to be more formal and relaxing. You will be presented with a beautifully arranged plate of food, allowing you to continue your dinner conversation without interruption.


As the bride and groom, if you choose to serve a meal at your wedding, you will have to do more preparation work. You will need to send an additional card with your invitations, including meal options, and then follow up with each guest to confirm their order. You will be responsible for communicating these choices to your caterer or wedding planner and displaying each choice on the guest tables. This preparation work is crucial to help ensure that your guests have a relaxing and enjoyable experience during the meal service.


buffet style food at wedding reception Buffet Style Meal


Buffet meals are great because they offer a variety of options for everyone to choose from. You can take as much or as little as you want and even go back for seconds. The best part is that there’s no need for any preparation work, except deciding on the meal.


If you have a large number of guests, it may take some time to get everyone through the buffet line unless your venue has more than one location for buffet tables. Additionally, self-service means that the guests will not experience the visually appealing food display that comes with served plates.

Bonus: Stations

Some caterers offer stations as a third option for displaying different types of food. Stations add visual interest to your reception space and give your guests the choice of what and how much they want, much like a buffet. However, stations are more efficient as they are more spread out than a buffet. On the downside, your guests will have to keep getting up from their tables to sample the whole menu.

There is no right or wrong way to serve food at your wedding. It is purely a matter of preference and how much work you want to put in ahead of time.

wedding reception with buffet style food setting

At Drumore Estate, we offer a flexible array of menu and catering options, including buffets, stations, sit-down dinners, & cocktail receptions. Dinners can be served buffet style or plated (less than 300 guests). Our event facilitator works with you to design the perfect menu for your gathering suited to your theme, budget, and palate! We are sensitive to lifestyle, diet, and food allergies and offer special meal options for dietary restrictions upon request.

Browse our catering FAQ online for more details, or fill out our contact form to request more information on our catering services today!