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Buffet or sit-down reception

If you're struggling to decide whether to have a buffet or a sit-down wedding breakfast, read on. We're here to help you choose the best option for your special day

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Receptions – Buffet Or Sit Down

Your wedding breakfast is one of the major aspects of your wedding day, so it’s important to decide how you would like to serve the menu. Guests can be seated at a formal sit-down dinner, enjoy a more relaxed buffet, or perhaps celebrate with canapés. Look at the benefits of both the formal dinner, and the less formal buffet to help decide which is best for you.

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Help yourselves… the benefits of having a buffet

  • A buffet can still include the formality of a sit-down, silver service wedding breakfast. Guests can help themselves to a main buffet and then sit down at tables.
  • A buffet gives you the option of serving a relatively broad menu meaning that guests can help themselves to exactly what they would like to eat.
  • A finger buffet (or cocktail and canapé party) dispenses with the need for tables and chairs meaning you can invite more guests. As well as taking up less room, this is generally a less expensive option than a seated dinner.
  • As guests are generally helping themselves or being served at a buffet area, you’re likely to require fewer waiting staff… and this means lower costs.
  • Buffets are perfect if you’re having a summer wedding and like the idea of having a barbecue or cold meats and salads. The food itself makes a wonderful visual impact and you could offer the option of tables and chairs and large floor cushions.
  • Buffets generally allow people to mingle so they’re a great idea if your guests know each other well.

Places please… when to choose a formal sit down occasion

  • The seated dinner is generally considered more formal so is perfect for a traditional wedding breakfast.
  • Organising a sit-down meal with seating arrangements is great for weddings where you have guests who don’t all know each other. This way you’re in charge of who sits with which group.
  • A formal sit-down dinner with silver service also allows you to control the menu and portion sizes.
  • Buffets can also means queues. With a sit-down wedding breakfast, guests are seated and relaxed from the start, with no need for anyone to rise from the table.
  • Elderly guests will often prefer to sit to eat, instead of standing and juggling a plate and glass. A sit-down dinner is often considered more comfortable.
  • A sit-down wedding breakfast gives you the opportunity to decorate tables beautifully with elegant linen and floral centrepieces, creating a wonderful reception room.
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Photo Michael Paul