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July 2010 Weddings

family style vs. buffet

I'm debating serving dinner family style or buffet style. I've been to weddings with family style and I have to admit, I enjoyed not having to get up and stand in line in heels. I think that clean up would probably take longer and the tables would be a little cluttered though. Between the two, how would you prefer dinner be served?Would you pay the $2 extra/pp for family style serving?

Re: family style vs. buffet

  • I went to a wedding in June that was family style. The tricky part was that the tables were cluttered... Lots of dishes and not enough space. Personally, I prefer buffets but maybe that's because I'm super picky and I really like getting to take exactly what I want. I guess I also like the fact that you can take as much as you'd like right when you want it... whereas in family style, if there's 8 dinner rolls for 8 people, you shouldn't go and take two, if you know what I mean. :)
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  • I debated this too and my caterer finally talked me into a buffet and I'm so relieved.  She pointed out that with a family style, the tables have to be bigger (mine are only 5' rounds) so that there is room for plates, glasses, AND centerpieces.So I agree that the tables look crowded and that might detract from the look you wanted.Secondly, caterer said that with family style, it is more expensive for the food because they have to make more of it, but also check if it means more wait staff.  To have enough wait staff to adequately serve all the tables meant an additional cost that I wasn't prepared for.  HTH!
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  • I LOVED the wedding I went to that was family style, I thought it was unique and I also enjoyed not having to get up and stand in line in heels.  However, I definitely would not pay the 2 dollars extra for it, buffet style always works out and I think is what most people expect when they go to weddings.
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  • we're doing buffet as well. however if you really think that a lot of people would prefer the family style and can afford the extra $2/pp then go ahead! IMO I think people like the choices of buffet.GL
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  • We are doing family style but were told that it doesn't cost more/less than a buffet. I like that people can take what they want without having to stand in line, and if they want more it will be right at the table instead of having to go back to the buffet. Just make sure your centerpieces aren't huge and I think the tables will be fine, but I wouldn't pay an extra $2 pp.
  • FSIL had family style and I enjoyed it.  I liked having the option of choosing how much of everything I wanted. Plus, if a plate or bowl became empty, the servers would ask if we wanted any more and then take the empty bowl away.  At our vendor, it is actually cheaper to do plated dinners.  It's less food for the cooks to prepare. 
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