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Plated, Buffet or Stations: Which is Right For You?

When it comes to planning a wedding or any other special event, one of the most important decisions you'll have to make is how you want to serve your guests! There are three main options at ARRAS: plated, buffet, or station meal reception. All have their advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to consider your needs and preferences to determine which is best suited for you!


A plated dinner reception is a more formal and elegant option, where each guest is served their meal individually by a server. This style of dinner reception can be more expensive than a buffet, as it requires more staff to prepare and serve each plate. However, it creates a more sophisticated atmosphere, as guests can focus on their meals and enjoy more personalized service.


The classic formal dining experience

Guests do not need to wait in line or serve themselves

Portion control can be easier to manage

Less chance of food waste

Meal presentation


Can be more expensive

Limited food options for guests

Wait time between courses

Can be difficult to accommodate dietary restrictions or preferences


A buffet-style dinner reception is a more casual and relaxed option - guests serve themselves from a selection of dishes displayed on tables. This style of dinner reception can be less expensive than a plated dinner, as it requires fewer staff to prepare and serve the food. It can also be a great option for guests with dietary restrictions or preferences, as they can choose the dishes that suit their needs.


More casual and relaxed atmosphere

Wide variety of food options for guests

Guests can serve themselves and customize their plates

Can be easier to accommodate dietary restrictions or preferences


Can be crowded

More chance of food waste

Guests may need to wait in line to serve themselves

A less personalized dining experience


Rather than a traditional sit-down meal, guests can visit various stations that offer different types of food. Stations are interactive and range from chef-attended carvery to Mexican, Asian fusion, and beyond - guests have abundant options to pick and choose from!


Offer guests the most variety and customization

Fun and interactive way to experience different types of cuisine

Move and mingle freely - very relaxed atmosphere

Well suited for casual events, such as kid's parties or corporate get-togethers


May require more space and staff

Less formal

Can be difficult to manage allergies

Guests may have to wait in line at popular stations

Ultimately, the decision between plated, buffet-style or station meal reception comes down to your preferences, event type, budget, and the needs of your guests. If you're looking for a more formal and elegant atmosphere, a plated dinner may be the way to go. However, if you're looking for a relaxed and customizable dining experience, a buffet-style or station reception may be the better option. Whichever option you choose, make sure to communicate the details to your guests in advance so they know what to expect and can plan accordingly!

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