Wedding Buffet Menu Items: Reception Buffet Food Ideas

LDS Reception Buffet
Photo Courtesy of Whitney Lewis Photography

Deciding on a buffet rather than a sit-down dinner gives you a lot of peace of mind when you’re in the throes of wedding planning: you’re juggling so many expenses that saving money with a buffet feels great. But now you need to decide what to serve at your wedding buffet!

Whether your buffet is catered or you’re putting it together yourself, here are some essential things you need to know about wedding buffet food selection.

Catered Buffet Menu Selection

Wedding caterers who do buffets generally offer different packages of food at tiered price levels. This simplifies the process for them and for you.

a catered table displayed with food
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Look carefully at the buffet offerings of several wedding caterers in your area, comparing menu items and pricing information. You should be able to compare the quality of foods by scheduling a taste testing before signing with any wedding caterer.

picky kids at a wedding buffet
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Some typical catered buffets feature:
• Chicken Marsala
• Prime rib
• Tortellini Alfredo
• Salmon
• Garden or Caesar salad
• Rice pilaf
• Potato quarters or wedges
• Baked focaccia bread
• Garlic bread
• Vegetable medley
• Fruit trays

When selecting your wedding buffet package, take into account the type of wedding you’re having (casual or formal) and the tastes and dietary needs of your guests. If you’re anticipating having a lot of children at your wedding reception, make sure that one or two items on the buffet are “no frills” items that even picky kids will still eat.

DIY Wedding Buffet Menu Items

If you’re doing your own wedding reception buffet, then menu selection becomes a little more difficult.

DIY buffet table at an LDS wedding reception
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The key to DIY buffet success is to choose items that are both inexpensive to buy and easy to prepare. Foods that can be prepared a day ahead of time and simply warmed up on the wedding day are best, since you’ll probably be working with limited oven space.

Making a few items from scratch is an option, but also check out frozen meals at bulk warehouse stores like Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club. Doing so is generally cost-effective and definitely cuts down on the amount of time and work involved.

Some of the most popular DIY buffet foods include:
• Lasagna
• Pulled pork sandwiches
• Baked chicken
• Meatballs
• Mac and cheese
• Baked beans
• Chicken fettuccini
• Pasta salad
• Garden salad
• Fruit arrangements
• Veggie trays and dip
• Rolls

professionally catered buffet food
Photo Courtesy of Carly Daniel Photography

Once you’ve drawn up your list of menu items, it’s absolutely essential that you make a detailed plan for what can be prepared when. Make sure you have enough oven and preparation space in the kitchen for your chosen menu items.

Whether your wedding buffet is catered or you’re pulling it off alone, menu selection is a serious matter. The guests may not remember the color of your tablecloths or the type of flowers you used in the centerpieces, but they will remember the food that they ate at your reception.

♥ Jenny Evans
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Catering for LDS weddings, LDS reception, LDS open houses
LDS weddings, LDS reception, LDS open houses

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