Ask the Expert: How Can I Avoid Having My Guests Wait in Buffet Lines?

Question: My fiancé and I want to do a buffet dinner because our reception is going to be pretty laid back and casual, but we don’t want our guests to stand in the typical buffet lines. How can we avoid having our guests wait for food?

Answer: When you choose to serve a buffet-style dinner at your wedding, you run the risk of everyone getting up to eat at oncethat’s where lines and long waits for food come in. A great way to avoid these all-too-common guests complaints (but still maintain the casual vibe) is to go with food stations instead, says Darcy Hill, catering sales manager at Garces Events.

To make sure your stations run smoothly, Hill offers a few tips: “We recommend serving a first course early on in the evening during toasts and other wedding traditions, and then opening up the entrée stations once the formalities have ended.” Also, Hill advises against calling table numbers or making a big announcement that the stations are open, which can cause crowds to form around the food.

Another option: Pass one or two heavier hors d’oeuvres during dinner service so that if guests are standing in line, at least they’ll have something to nibble on while they wait.

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RELATED: Ask the Expert: Do We Have to Serve a Gluten-Free Option at Our Wedding?

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