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Advice needed re buffet vs traditional wedding breakfast!!

OK don't know where to start!!

Have just got engaged and I'm desperate for a Xmas wedding (2010)! Know I've got my work cut out!! I would really like to get married late afternoon - twinkly lights and candles etc etc. I read somewhere else that someone did the same and then just had a big buffet at their venue afterwards which cut down their budget by not forking out for two food costs too! Quite like the sound of this and wondered if anyone was doing / had done the same? How would this work - when are you thinking of doing speeches, did the oldies mind missing the sit down meal, did you have table plans????!!

Any help / ideas please - my chatroom name says it all!!!



  • HEY!!

    we're having a big bbq buffet for our main wedding breakfast, slightly different but same concept, as i didn't want the really formal sit down, silver service, but still wanted structure and h2b didn't want to serve everyone chicken!

    we're gonna have table plans and speeches. just having them before people eat so that the groom and best man can chill out and enjoy their food! HTH!
  • My friend has just got married and to cut down on costs they had the wedding at 3.00pm, meal at about 5.30pm. Because it was later they did not need a buffet making the full meal more affordable. With it being out of season they also got everything much cheaper after a bit of haggling, you might not have to decide not to have a full wedding breakfast.

  • I suppose it depends on your budget, how formal you want your day and what you actually want - dont worry about guests they will go with the flow! We are not having a formal day we are have a sit down meal but its going to be jacket potatoes with salads and fillings on tables for people to choose from then a cold finger buffet in the evening.
  • Thx all for the ideas (and reassurance!!!) Also*20-8-11* like the idea of having speeches first so that they can enjoy their food!! My other half already has his pants in a twist over that!! Gorgeous moggy by the way!!
  • Hi - we are getting married at 4 pm and then going straight into the evening do. We are having tables like a formal sit down meal and then there will be three buffet stations and the staff come and get one table at a time to go to the buffet and then you get a choice. The dessert is going to be served to the table though so that everyine finnishes at the same time! Hope this helps! xx
  • I really like that idea. I do want an element of 'sit down meal' to keep the mums happy but that is a great alternative whilst still keep some of the formality. Will your evening guests be arriving at roughly the same time and also having the buffet Mrs Umf2be?
  • All of the guests are coming to everything, but you could have people arriving and eating too! Outr venue is huge so everyone can come to the ceremony. Have you found a venue? We are getting married at the Dome in Buxton. xx
  • We're getting married at 2:30 with a few guests, having sometime for photos and things and then we're going to have a fork buffet at the reception at about 5:30-6ish. We're also getting married on a Thursday as it's cheaper and much easier to get the time of year we wanted image
  • Think about what you like when you go to a wedding. We are moving away from the formal sit down as I don't think it encourages people to mix. We are getting married at 3.30pm, from 5pm to 7pm the day guests will be given canapoy and at 8pm we will do a buffet, likely to be BBQ. They say you should cater for 70% of your guests as most just want to focus on the booze! For cake we are thinking of doing a selection of cakes rather than a traditional cake as I have found not many eat the wedding cake. As pretty as they look it is an expensive expense if no one eats it.

    [Modified by: Diva Doris on December 25, 2009 02:07 PM]

  • MrsP-CMrsP-C Posts: 8,370
    Hi there.

    We got married back in Seeptember and went for a buffet . We got married at 3.30 , arrived at the reception about 5.45 after photos to a huge cold buffet with sweetie bar and dessrt bar. We had a table plan as I wanted the pretty table dressings as well as to keep some people apart a bit but it was lovely and informal and everyone mixed.

    We did speeches about 7pm I think, while most people still sitting, mr just tapped a glass for attentionimage

    Though I guess you could have them before opening the buffet if its not already laid out x

  • daisylozdaisyloz Posts: 3,109
    We get married in 6 days at 1.40 pm and we're having a hot buffet but with table settings ...then in the evening we're having just bacon rolls and chips for supper...its worked out fairly reasonable but we bartered...x
  • BambagirlBambagirl Posts: 7,506
    The hog roast barbecue is a popular idea but whatever you go for, haggle like hell! Bear in mind that SOME venues will only cater for the exact number you're having and will have someone keeping count on the day! You'll be billed for everyone who comes through the door over and above the number they've been told to cater for - or alternatively they might be turned away. Even if a guest already counted leaves early (as in before eating!), someone coming later on will be counted as an extra and NOT a replacement (even though no extra food will be put out!). Find out their policy on this. If they are catering for exact numbers and counting people, ask if you might take away the leftovers you've paid for. Hardly anyone does this but even if you can't be bothered to do so on the day/night, asking for such a thing in advance lets them know they're not dealing with suckers and keeps them on their toes!

    If at all possible, get outside caterers to bring food to your venue - if your venue will allow this (many won't) - or do your catering yourself.

    QUOTE (from Diva Doris):

    For cake we are thinking of doing a selection of cakes rather than a traditional cake as I have found not many eat the wedding cake. As pretty as they look it is an expensive expense if no one eats it."

    Well, if you make it yourself Diva Doris, you can have each tier a different flavour of cake. I did this and my cake cost me less than £40 - I baked and iced 3 tiers, all different types of cakes. It went down wonderfully! Going to a professional cake maker doesn't always give you a particularly wide choice. They can usually provide rich fruit cake, chocolate cake and vanilla sponge. I had rich GOLDEN fruit cake, spiced carrot & walnut cake and orange & lemon citrus cake. What wasn't eaten in the 2 or 3 days following the wedding went in the freezer for the duration of our honeymoon. The whole lot was gone in one month!

    Check out my thread here (it's on 3 different Forums) for FREE guidance on this and cutting the cost of many other wedding expenses:

    Bamba xx
  • Thanks for the tip Bamba but unfortunately baking cakes is not my strong point so will be on the look out for someone that can provide a variety of cakes, such as gateau, cheesecake, banoffie pie - so it is more a selection of cakes.
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