Normally wedding buffet is launched during lunch or dinner time, so it is important to include great choice of foods so that your guests able to enjoy their favorite foods, else they might leave the reception early to go eat at other place.
Study on the wedding buffet menu, choose what type of food you would like to serve your guests. There are many types of foods available for the wedding buffet e.g. seafood, Chinese cuisine, Western cuisine, Indian cuisine, Italian cuisine, home-style meal, BBQ style food and so on. It is good to prepare alternatives for those who might allergic to seafood and those who are vegetarian. If you like beef very much and choose beef as the main entrée, make sure you also offer some fish or chicken as additional choices as some people might not be able to consume beef due to religion or digestive problems.
Look for reliable caterers nearby your wedding buffet venue. You can refer to your friends or do research online on the caterers’ reputation. Get at least 3 price quotations from them for comparison. Choose the caterer that can match your budget and desired service.
Decide the food based on the time of the wedding buffet. Morning or lunch buffet will required less elaborate and less heavy meal comparing to dinner. Generally morning or lunch wedding buffet might have dips & breadsticks, cheese sticks, quiche lorraine, mini burger, vegetable spring rolls, crackers, pizza, pasta, fruit salads, mini sandwiches, sliced meats and assorted vegetables & fruits. You could have a baked potato bar where guests put whatever toppings they want on them.
Match the food quality with scale of your wedding. If you are having high class wedding, you might need to include expensive foods such as lobster, shark fin, abalone, scallop and so on, instead of popular food.
Plan and arrange the buffet table and seating area. Decide if you need one or two serving lines. If the number of guests is big, you may need two or more lines. The table should be put at a place that are convenient for the guests to access, normally is near a side wall of the room. The table should not block the crowd flow to their seating tables or dance floor. Make sure the table takes up the minimum amount of space. If the room or hall is big enough, you may put the table in the middle and the guests can approach the buffet table from two sides.
Simple decoration on table is enough. You may put small candles, balloons, but they should not give trouble to the guest in accessing the food. If you want to put flower on table, make sure it doesn’t have strong aromas, else the smells might disturb the food’s delicious smells. Also try to match wedding buffet table decoration color to your wedding theme. You can use table runner.
Discuss with the caterer how to manage the food visit so that the guests don’t need to stand in long queue. You can invite tables up one at a time, instruct the guests to different side of the buffet table, or certain groups of guests move to certain table stations if you have dessert table, drink table separately. Ask how the caterer arranges the staffs to walk around to clear the plates and food wastes from the tables.
Tailor the beverages with on the food. For general buffet, plain water, hot tea and hot coffee are the basics. For upscale buffet, wines, soft drink and juices are normally provided. Red wines are good for serving red meats, while white wine are good for serving poultry or pork. If the wedding buffet is in more casual way, you may want to offer beer.