Sit-down or Standing Buffet for a Garden Wedding?


Are you having a garden wedding? Trying to work out food arrangements for your guests? You may be considering one of two options; a sit-down affair or a standing buffet feast. While both options are definitely possible for your garden setting, there are definite pros and cons to both options. Depending on your wedding configuration, one option may be better than the other. Before booking a certain caterer, consider some of your options and the benefits to either a sit-down meal or a buffet style setting.

Cost Efficiency

You may think a cocktail-style food service is going to be the cheapest option for your garden wedding. However, this is not necessarily the truth. The thing to consider is the size of your venue and your guest list. It’s important to take a look at the options and get quotes for both configurations. That way, you can get a clearer idea of what is going to be a better option for you. The venue size will be a deciding factor as you may be charged a higher rate if there is more area for the staff to be able to service your guests. Of course, the amount of guests will also determine price differences.

Time of Day

If you’re struggling to make the decision, have a think about the time of day you’ll be serving food to your guests. If you’re having a day wedding, with food being served around brunch or lunch time, a cocktail service will be the best option. A light meal in the form of canapes and small nibbles will be highly accepted during the day. In the evenings, however, guests are often more comfortable with a sit-down meal as this is generally the same time guests will be eating their normal evening meal.

Consider your guests

Do you have several female guests or elderly family members who will be in attendance? You may want to consider a sit-down meal instead. By giving this meal option, your guests who need a place to sit for a while, will be able to do so comfortably. Even if you don’t have elderly guests in tow, ladies with heels will certainly appreciate the opportunity to rest their feet while enjoying a delicious meal before dancing the night away.

Think about your atmosphere

What kind of theme will you be having for your wedding? Most garden weddings are casual in nature and are often carried out at home. Because of how casual these kinds of weddings are, you may find that a cocktail method of serving food may fit your wedding theme a little better. However, you still will need to consider this in conjunction with the other factors listed.

Staffed-buffet or self-service

With buffet style servings, there will be serviced buffets or self-service buffets. A staffed-buffet means you will have staff from a catering company serving food on plates for your guests, who can then sit down with their plated meal. Whereas, a self-service buffet means your guests will simply help themselves to the prepared food. Self-service buffet is often the least formal of the two options, but the best thing to do is to consider what will suit your theme and your guests more appropriately.

Hot or cold

There will be various hot or cold options for both types of buffet service. You may want to choose cold food options for a daytime or summer wedding to ensure guests don’t overheat. But for evening weddings, or weddings taking place during the cooler months, hot food service may be more appropriate. If you can’t choose between the two, you may even select an array of both hot and cold foods, allowing your guests some choice. This option will depend on your budget as having both kinds of foods may be a little more expensive.

Networking between guests

Do your guests all know each other and are happy to mingle? Or do you have several different circles of friends and family where people don’t know each other very well. Certain types of food options may be better than others in these circumstances. While a sit-down service will appeal to those who are friendly in small groups, a cocktail service is great for those who wish to mingle with new people and won’t make guests feel like they’re stuck only talking to the people at their table.

Think about venue sizing

If you’re having a garden wedding at home, you may be restricted by space. Depending on your venue, you may have limited room for seating for all guests. This is where a cocktail service for food will be a better option. If you have room for seating and tables, then a sit-down option may be possible.

The choice is yours

Food is often one of the biggest costs in any wedding. Depending on your budget, wedding style, venue, and the types of guests you have attending, different food options will suit your wedding better than others. While a cocktail service and sit-down services both offer their own benefits, it’s important to determine what your needs are. By taking these factors into consideration, you’ll be able to choose the right food option for your wedding.