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How to choose between a seated dinner vs. hors d’oeuvres for your wedding menu?

By: The GrandWay
August 9, 2021

How the menu is served at your wedding sets the tone and theme of your big day. Having your guests moving around and mingling with each other creates a social and interactive wedding perfect for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to be served. This wedding style gives your guests lots of choices for what to eat, who to talk to, etc. A seated plated meal gives a fancier elegant feeling. Guests will feel spoiled having someone serving on them all evening. Both menu styles are great, but which one speaks to you as a couple? Your budget and venue will dictate how you choose between these two menus options. You may think one style of menu will save you a lot of money, but it could end up costing you more when comparing the two options. 

Some questions to consider when deciding between a seated dinner versus hors d’oeuvres:

  • Do you have the space to fit all your guests seated at a table or will it be too tight (consider COVID-19 restrictions as well)? 
  • What kind of food do you want? 
  • Do you like a variety of food or would you be ok with a set menu? 
  • Do you and your guests enjoy mingling or prefer to be with people you know? 
  • Lastly, what fits your budget?

A seated dinner can seem more expensive, after all, it seems fancier with servers serving your guests a beautifully presented meal, pouring their drinks, etc. On the other hand, a cocktail-style wedding with hors d’oeuvres is simpler and less structured, which can seem like a budget-friendly option…but don’t jump on this idea too soon! Depending on what kind of hors d’oeuvres you want to serve and how many per person are needed, it could actually end up being more expensive. Hors D’oeuvres could save you money if you choose the traditional/standard caterer menu, have guests serve themselves, or cut back on the amount per person (Suggestion: Share with guests to not come hungry, if you go with this option).

So then is a seated dinner better than hors d’oeuvres at your wedding? 

Not necessarily. With a seated dinner you can serve it in a variety of ways, which could make it more affordable, however, it is still a full 3 or more course served meal, which has the potential for more cost. Serving the menu as buffet or family-style (servers place large platters of food on the table or serve each table from a large platter) could be more affordable options to discuss with your caterer. With a seated dinner you can work with the caterer to lower costs with the food you serve and how you serve it, but similar to the options surrounding hors d’oeuvres, the answer remains “it depends”.

Ultimately, it comes down to your budget, the type of food you want and how much, the ambiance you want to create, and what the caterer and venue can physically do. Both options can be presented elegantly, creatively, and on budget, so choose what suits you as a couple first.

Regardless of what you choose our wedding coordinators are here to provide you with a variety of menu options that can work with your budget. They can help simplify this process for you. Contact us today by clicking this link 

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