Plated Or Buffet? What’s The Best Catering Option For Weddings?

Having delicious and plentiful food is essential to having an amazing wedding reception. After all, no one wants hangry guests! A big part of your weddings budget will be catering your event. According to The Knot, the average wedding catering cost was $9,520 (or, on average, $70 per head). The most popular methods of serving your guests are a plated meal or buffet style meal. Both have pros and cons and we want to help you make the right choice for your wedding by comparing the two. 

Serving Styles

Plated Serving: Otherwise known as a sit-down meal, your guests will be served their meal at their table by a member of the wait staff. There may be a single entrée option served or several entrée options, which your guests can either order in advance (usually on their RSVP card) or at the event. This is the most formal and traditional of wedding serving styles.

Buffet Serving: For a more casual serving style, guests serve themselves from a buffet station. Fifty percent of couples choose a buffet-style reception.


The average cost of catering a wedding can vary depending on your wedding’s location and many other factors, like guest count. If you’re smart about working with your caterer, you can save money without sacrificing quality. 

Plated Serving: For a plated meal, the average cost of wedding catering in the U.S. is $40 per person. If you decide to do a plated catering service, order in advance. Ask your guests to pre-select their dinner entrée on their RSVP card—it’s a great way to keep the cost of a plated dinner down. 

Buffet Serving: For a buffet, the average is $27 per person. Buffet service often means having a greater quantity of food on hand, which could drive up the cost. Find out if the catering hall can work with your budget to provide cost-conscious options, like familiar comfort foods instead of costly foods. While you’ll pay less in staffing and rentals for a buffet-style meal, keep in mind that you’ll need more food since guests are serving themselves.  

How To Decide

The best catering option is the one that works best for your wedding. If your budget is low, you might want to consider a buffet style. Or if you want a more formal wedding, a plated serving is the way to go. Whatever catering style you choose, you want to make sure your event is protected from the worst case scenario. If your caterer doesn’t deliver as promised, you can get insurance to make sure you don’t lose out on your deposit. For more information, get a quote to see how much wedding insurance can cost you by visiting https://www.eventsured.com/

Photo by Asiya Kiev on Unsplash

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *