Wedding Buffet Reception Checklist

You need a checklist for your wedding buffet so that you won’t miss out any important points or tasks if you don’t have a wedding planner to work for you. You may not need the entire ideas list down here, just delete whatever is unnecessary.


  • Guest Tables/Dining Tables –
    48″ round seat 6 People
    60″ round seat 8 People
    72″ round seat 10 People
    36″ square seat 4 People
    30 x 72 inch rectangles seat 6 People
    30 x 96 inch rectangles seat 8 People (Cap the ends to make 10)
  •  Head Table for bridal party.
  • Sweetheart Table (in place of head table) that is small table that seats the bride and groom while the rest of the wedding party sits at guest tables.
  • Buffet Tables/Food Tables – To display and serve the food. You may need to get few food stations for different purposes, such as bread cutting, meat carving etc.
  • Gift Table to keep the present received from the guests
  • Guest Book Table to put the guest book
  • Cake Table to display the wedding cake
  • Drinks Table
  • Bar Table
  • Dessert Table


  • Chairs for all the guests plus some extra for backup.
  • Some high chairs for children and baby chairs as well.

Other furniture:

  • Coat rack, or a closet specifically for the coat check


  • Candles for dining tables and/or buffet tables
  • Lights: Additional lights for outdoor venue where the brightness is not enough.
  • Flowers & Plants: Used as centerpieces on buffet table, guest table, cake table, guest book table and so on.
  • Banners/Streamers
  • Balloons
  • Petals
  • Mirror
  • Box under cloth for creating varied height visual effect
  • Sculptures of ice
  • Candy bouquets
  • Toys
  • Pebbles
  • Rhinestones / Plastic Gemstones
  • Photos of the bridge and groom

Eating and Drinking Tools:

  • Serving dishes, bread baskets, platters, salad bowls, chafing dishes and punch bowls
  • Serving spoons/tongs/forks
  • Knife to cut the wedding cake
  • Cutlery (knives, forks, spoons, dessert spoons) for guests
  • Plates (main meal)
  • Plates (cake)
  • Bowls
  • Napkins
  • Salt-and-pepper shakers
  • Butter-and-butter dishes
  • Water jugs
  • Glasses for drinks
  • Special glassware for the bridge and groom.
  • Champagne glasses for toasts
  • Plastic cups for kids
  • Coffee makers
  • Coffee & tea urns
  • Coffee cups
  • Stir sticks or coffee spoons
  • Cold storage


  • Soft Drinks
  • Liquor
  • Mixers
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Coffee 
  • Tea
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Creamer, sugar, milk, Sweet ‘n Low for coffee and tea 
  • Cocktails


  • Snacks #1
  • Snacks #2
  • Snacks #3
  • Snacks #4
  • Appetizers #1
  • Appetizers #2
  • Appetizers #3
  • Appetizers #4
  • Main meal #1
  • Main meal #2
  • Main meal #3
  • Main meal #4
  • Side Dish #1
  • Side Dish #2
  • Side Dish #3
  • Side Dish #4
  • Dessert #1
  • Dessert #2
  • Bread
  • Wedding cake

Linens and cloths:

  • Tablecloths and Chair coverings may be included with the rented tables and chairs, or you may need to source them elsewhere.
  • Extra wedding reception linens for decoration






  • Permit/License: You may need to apply for alcohol serving permit/license depending on the Local regulations.
  • Choose your glass: Martini glass, shot glass, wine glass, Champagne flute, Brandy snifter, highball and rocks glasses





  • Music (Stereo, DJ and/or band)
  • Equipment for performance, such as singers, dancers, magician and so on.
  • Dance Floor: The size of your dance floor will depend on how many guests you expect and the capacity of the venue.  They can range from 12 by 12 feet up to 20 by 30 feet or larger.
  •  Fireworks


  • Garbage Cans: Prepare enough quantity for various spot to reduce the cleaning jobs afterwards.
  • Heaters/Air Conditioners: You need to rent heaters or air conditioners if you hold your wedding buffet reception outdoors and the temperature is too cold or too hot. Check out if the electric power source at the venue able to support the quantities required.
  •  Tents / Canopies: You may need to rent tents or canopies to save your guests from hot sun, strong wind or heavy rain during your outdoor wedding buffet ceremony.

Hired Help/Tasks Delegation:

  • Person to set up the wedding buffet table.
  • Guest organizer to welcome the guest and arrange seats for them.
  • Cooks and kitchen helps to prepare and refill food at the wedding buffet.
  • Bartender to take care of the bar
  • Photography to take photo
  • Videographer to record the video
  • Clean-up crews to clean up the tables, floor during and after the event.
  • Gift organizer to in-charge of the gifts received and deliver them to your house or car.
  • Returner of rental equipment to send back all the equipment rented before the deadlines to avoid late fees.
  • Tip giver to pay all the hired helps after the event.

Event management:

  • Timetable for wedding reception from beginning to end
  • Timetable for preparing/serving food at wedding reception
  • Diagram for food placement
  • Diagram for buffet tables, guest tables layout and decor
  • Calculate the total cost and prepare money

You may download the Wedding Buffet Reception Checklist in pdf version.

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