Wedding Food Service Styles: Pros And Cons

Top 4 Ways To Serve Food At Your Wedding

By Carly Totten for

Struggling to decide how best to serve your wedding meal? Terms like plated, buffet, home style, or passed mini bites stressing you out? We've broken down four of the most popular food service styles below with a quick pro-con list to help you out.


Plated Pros:
  • The most formal style, a plated dinner is perfect for an elegant black tie fete.
  • Your guests will inform you of their meal choice prior to your wedding, which is great for organization and planning ahead.
  • Sometimes guests feel more relaxed when their meal is served to them rather than having to navigate a buffet.

Plated Cons:

  • Because guests are served each course separately, plated meals take more time. Make sure to plan ahead!
  • Depending on your location and venue, remember that waitstaff must be hired which may up your cost.
  • A plated menu is much more limiting for you and your guests, so it's very important to serve foods that the majority will enjoy.


Buffet Pros:
  • Buffets create a very relaxed atmosphere, which is great for a rustic style fete or one held in a backyard.
  • Because a waitstaff is not needed, your overall menu costs will be less.
  • This style allows you to include a number of foods, which your pickier guests will appreciate. Portions are also left up to your friends and family.

Buffet Cons:

  • Sometimes guests do not like being "called up" to peruse the buffet.
  • The informal style may not match your overall wedding aesthetic.

Home Style:

Photo by: Suzy Clement on Suzy via

Home Style Pros:
  • The latest budding star, home style meals are quite similar to buffets with their relaxed feel.
  • Because your menu options are served to an entire table, your guests can still control what and how much they eat.
  • The plates need to be passed, which will encourage your guests to interact and enjoy each other's company.

Home Style Cons:

  • The seating arrangements will become very important when planning to serve your wedding meal in this style. Make sure you feel as though those seated together will like each other!
  • Again, if you are going for a more formal vibe, a home style meal may not be the way to go.

Mini Bites:

Mini Bites Pros:
  • Originally created by Peter Callahan, mini food is the trendiest style of the bunch.
  • If you and your fiance really want to focus in on all of your favorite foods, passed mini bites allow for a lot of sampling.
  • Because guests do not need to be seated to enjoy this appetizer style, they will feel encourage to mingle with each other throughout the night.

Mini Bites Cons:

  • Because this style is created with "bite sized" in mind, your caterer may up your fees because of the time it may take her to create all of the food needed.
  • Similar to a plated meal, this style will involve a waitstaff. Be mindful of your budget!
  • Guests are not necessarily sitting down with a portioned platter, so some may complain after of being hungry.

Tell us: how are you planning to serve your wedding menu? Which style do you feel works best?

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