Wedding food is an extremely important aspect of wedding planning. It’s no secret that guests wonder what meals will be provided at the event, and it’s one of the first items on the official checklist. For a large wedding with a large guest list, a buffet is an excellent option. For many couples, the traditional aspect of providing three-course meals for a few hundred people is not feasible with their budget. Many couples also appreciate the casual approach of a buffet, allowing their guests to choose what they eat instead of choosing for them.

There are endless types of buffets that can be incorporated into a wedding reception, and it seems as though the wedding industry is leaning towards this pick-your-own style for both cocktail hours and dinner. These three buffet options have remained popular throughout the years within the wedding industry, and are always highly appreciated by guests and the happy couples’ wallets.

1. Charcuterie Buffet

This option is very popular during cocktail hours at weddings, but can still be incorporated into a reception even if the couple is providing a formal dinner later in the evening. Who doesn’t love meat and cheese options? A charcuterie buffet can be dressed up with fancy garnishes, a large assortment of cheeses, and every type of cracker that the grocery store carries. Even with all of these options, this is still a fairly inexpensive way to fill guests' bellies for a daytime wedding or to pair with a glass of wine during cocktail hour.

2. Classic Buffet

We’ll call the typical buffet seen at weddings a “classic buffet.” This option consists of fruit and veggie platters, steak, chicken, and fish options, mashed potatoes, and other sides, and bread… you get the picture. This buffet is a great substitute for a sit-down formal meal because the wedding hosts don’t need to hire waitstaff or event staff to execute the meal, and can decide on a set amount of food to purchase within their budget. When it runs out, it runs out, but at least everyone has plenty of options.

3. Dessert Buffet

A dessert buffet is an excellent option whether a couple wants to incorporate it into their reception with a classic buffet for dinner or after a formal dinner for their guests. A dessert buffet provides endless opportunities: an ice cream bar where guests can pick the toppings themselves, cakes, cookies, and pies laid out for guests to make their selections, etc. At a dessert buffet, a guest can choose a slice of key lime pie, macaroon, brownie, or whatever their heart desires without having to select one of three options on a set dessert menu. They will love and appreciate this feature, and most likely thank you after.

A buffet at a wedding reception can be casual or dressed to the nines, and a buffet table can be decorated according to the wedding aesthetic too. It typically becomes a beloved piece of the overall wedding scenery, with options that everyone can choose from. It’s important to incorporate a few dietary-specific options (veggie, vegan, Gluten-free, etc) into a wedding buffet, and to find ways to keep it COVID-friendly. Once the details are squared away, this will become an easy to plan and fun aspect of your wedding celebration.

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