Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wedding Food set up – Buffet or sit down??

The question of having a buffet or sit down meal is a debatable one, as each as its own drawbacks and advantages. Most Indian wedding celebrations tend to have buffet setups for meals. Here are some comparisons between the two set ups:

Ambience: A sit-down dinner gives an elegant and regal feel and is more appropriate for a formal celebration. Buffet meals provide a more casual and laid back atmosphere where people can mingle around and to enjoy each other’s company, while they fill their plates with their choice of dishes. 

That being said, a sit down dinner provides more time for socializing and dancing as compared to buffets where guests tend eat early to avoid the queues.

Convenience: In a buffet set up, the food is laid out in serving or chafing dishes along a long table and the guests have to queue up at the food tables. The food options are varied and the guests can choose what they like. This very often causes hold ups in the buffet line, resulting in a group of hungry and impatient guests. 

At sit down dinners, all your guests, especially, the elderly and children do not have to wait in lines to be served and can have their food at the table without spilling or making a mess as they reach their table.

Here are some things to consider while deciding between a sit down and a buffet set up:-
The look and feel of your celebration: If your dream wedding is along the lines of vintage, ballroom or royal theme, a sit down dinner is the most preferable option for you. A buffet set up is ideal in parties that are casual and fun, with a lot of dance and music.

Guest Profile: While making your guest list keep a count of the number of elderly, teenagers and children. The elders and more conservative thinkers among your guests may prefer a seated dinner, while younger guests may find this very boring and restrictive. A sit down meal for a large number of guests is quite risky as your venue and the service staff may not be big enough to cater to a large crowd. On the other hand, in case you have invited a large number of guests, make sure to have many food stations in different areas to prevent build up of hungry guests.

Venue restrictions: The criteria for having a sit down dinner are having a small guest list or a venue big enough to seat all your guests at one time. Both these criteria’s are not easy to fulfill, especially in Indian weddings, where space is an issue and guest numbers are always high. It is for this reason that Indian weddings usually have buffet meals instead of sit-downs. However today, many couples are opting for small intimate wedding celebrations, with elegant or classic themes and sit down dinners. Guests list are cut down drastically and RSVP’s are dutifully tracked to keep numbers in check.

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