Buffet Catering Vs Sit-Down
Buffet Catering Vs Sit-Down

While planning for the perfect wedding, you must consider several things, not the least of which is the type of food you offer your guests. Would your guests like to sit down and have the food served to them or would they rather choose the items from a buffet? To make your wedding a memorable one for yourself and the guests, choosing the right catering is essential. Additionally, you may also want to keep it within the budget. To help you with the dilemma, we have drafted pros and cons to assist in choosing between buffet and sit-down.

Budget Allocated for Food Arrangements

The budget should be one of the primary considerations when choosing between sit-down and buffet catering. Yes, the wedding should be memorable; it is a once in a lifetime event, at least everyone hopes. However, you do not want to be broke by going overboard with the idea. You should always consider your budget and the type of catering that is suitable. Usually, sit-downs are more expensive than buffet due to the food attendants required to serve the food to the guests. Compared to buffets, there is an extra need of staff, which will come as an added expense. When in a budget, the buffet should be chosen over sit-down.

Are the Guests Seated or Standing?

As the host, you would have planned most the activity that goes on before and during the wedding such as sitting arrangements. Knowing what the guests will be doing prior to the meal can help you decide whether to have a sit-down or a buffet.

If your guests will be walking around taking a tour of the arrangements or involved in some other form of physical activity, then, they would prefer to sit down and relax their legs while having the meal. However, if they will be stationary for a long duration, they might prefer to stretch their legs and choose the items to eat from a buffet.


Need for Socializing the Guests

If you have guests who are mostly family members, distant relatives, and friends, you would want to have a buffet catering so people can roam around with their food and socialize with each other. Some of them would not have met each other in years; they may only see each other during weddings or other party celebrations. On the other hand, sit-down catering is suitable for a formal atmosphere, where the guests hate waiting in line.

Option to Choose a Variety of Meal

Buffet provides the guests with the option to choose from a variety of items laid down on a long table. Sit-down catering limits the options for the guests. The guest has to eat the food laid down on the plate instead of choosing between items. With sit-down catering, you need to have a menu that is common in Australia, and most people enjoy, whereas, buffet catering allows you to have a variety of exquisite food items and the guest can choose whether to try them or not. In sit-down catering, there is a complete disregard for the preference of the guests. The guests have to eat whatever is presented to them.

The Wedding Theme

The theme of your wedding is also an essential factor in deciding the type of catering you would want. A sit-down catering is more elegant than a buffet; it is suitable for a more formal atmosphere. In this type of setup, things are more organized, and there is less work for the guest. On the other hand, buffets are suitable for a casual atmosphere, where guests have to line up for dinner.

Pros & Cons of Buffet and Sit-Down Catering – A Quick Takeaway

Buffet Catering – incredibly versatile

The buffet is the most popular wedding catering not just in Australia but the world over because it is very versatile. It allows the guests with the freedom to choose the items.


  • Flexibility for the guest and the host; the host can choose what options to provide and the guest can choose the items to eat.
  • No requirement of extra staff as the guests will serve themselves.
  • Lining up in front of the buffet table provides time for the guests to mingle with each other.
  • You do not have to worry about dietary restrictions, as the guests will be serving themselves.


  • You will need a wide variety of items.
  • Lines in front of the buffet table can be annoying.
  • Shortage of items can occur as the guests serve themselves.

Sit-Down – Traditional Choice for Receptions

The sit-down catering consists of three-course meals, where staff brings the food to the guests seated on the table.


  • Cost of food items is controlled.
  • Everyone is served at the same time.


  • It is expensive, as more staffed is needed to serve the food.
  • There is limited food option for the guest.

Why Hire a Caterer?

Whether you decide to go with buffet or sit-down, hiring a caterer has many advantages. A caterer can save you a ton of time, which you can utilize for other important aspects of the wedding or party. Catering companies make their living feeding people, so they have to be good for people to keep hiring them. By hiring a caterer, you guarantee that the guests will have great tasting food. The other benefit of having a catering company handle the wedding is a professional looking setup. The presentation is an essential factor for a great dining experience.

No matter the type of catering you choose – buffet or sit down –, this is a special day for you with everlasting memories. Put yourself in your guest’s shoes and imagine making a decision. Do not stress yourself, as this is only a part of the major event. Other things need your attention too. Additionally, you can always consult the caterer, and they will suggest the best option, keeping your preferences in mind.