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Food and Cakes

Food for a large wedding

We are inviting about 350 guests to our wedding reception. What is the best option for food? Sit-down, buffet, or food stations? I am worried that with a buffet it will take too long for guests to get their dinner and I prefer to not have sit down because I want it to be very casual, fun and want my guests to mingle. This is why I am leaning towards food stations, but I am still concerned that it will be too hard to feed 300 people this way. Any thoughts? 

Re: Food for a large wedding

  • is the caterer in-house at the venue?  if so then they definitely should know how to accommodate that many people regardless of whether it's buffet, plated, or stationed.

    in my opinion plated is always best, particularly for that many people.  stations are fine.  buffet is the worst.
  • I like stations for cocktail hour-during dinner I find them annoying, to keep having to get in different lines to get food. 

    I would vote for sit down for that many people.
    image
  • I wonder how much walking guests would have to do for stations?  A room that fits 350 might be pretty big and the walking might get to be too much.

    The one wedding I went to that had stations minimized station lines by having the first two courses (soup and salad) served.  As tables finished their second course they went to the stations instead of all at once.

    Sit down might be best.  If your guests are like me they will prioritize eating above mingling.  The more efficiently you get them fed the sooner they will be ready to start mingling.

    Your venue should have some good advice based on their previous experiences.

  • I think that is just too many people for stations.  I prefer buffets and if your venue sets up 2 different lines and there are people going down both sides of each ones that is 4 lines and should get them through quickly.
  • crackktheskyycrackktheskyy Stars Hollow member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    @steffany0724 : I would do a plated dinner. If you want it more casual, you could serve it family style (yum!) Just have your servers bring the food to each table and then your guests can help themselves. I don't think a plated dinner will hinder your guests from mingling. They will all want to sit down to eat anyway. I usually mingle during cocktail hour!


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    jenna8984
  • I went to a wedding that was 420 people and they had stations.  It worked fine and I never had to stand in line. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    It depends on the venue space and the caterer. I've seen huge events with 400+ people run smoothly with all the options. I've also seen small events run poorly with the same options.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • i vote for plated i am not a fan of buffets at a wedding
  • ElcaBElcaB member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I would suggest plated, if your budget allows. If not, I'd do a double-sided buffet. The problem with food stations and such a large guest count is people's food gets cold while they work their way around the room. 
    image
  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers

    For that many it would be difficult to do a plated meal and have everyone get hot food.

    I would do a buffett, but have the venue set up two buffet lines in two different parts of the room to help with traffic flow and timing.

    photo composite_14153800476219.jpg
    grumbledore
  • AprilH81 said:

    For that many it would be difficult to do a plated meal and have everyone get hot food.

    I would do a buffett, but have the venue set up two buffet lines in two different parts of the room to help with traffic flow and timing.

    Agreed - every big wedding I've been to with a plated meal came out cold.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    AprilH81 said:

    For that many it would be difficult to do a plated meal and have everyone get hot food.

    I would do a buffett, but have the venue set up two buffet lines in two different parts of the room to help with traffic flow and timing.

    Agreed - every big wedding I've been to with a plated meal came out cold.
    Me too.

    I prefer buffet or stations because then I can pick and choose what I want and take whatever amount of each thing that I want.  And like lyndausvi said, it really depends on the caterer in regards to the ease of service for each option.

  • Thanks for the input ladies! My caterer is in-house. I am leaning more toward a buffet with two different lines after speaking to my venue's manager. I am definitely concerned that having several stations would be spaced too far apart and I don't want my guests to be running all over to get all of the items they want. I am hesitant to do a plated meal, because as others have suggested the food can get cold. Every reception I have been to that had a plated meal was not impressive. And I also don't want to figure out a seating chart for 300 people ;)
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