Kat
Expert May 2019

Plated salad before stations dinner?

Kat, on April 3, 2018 at 6:41 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 11
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Hi all! Sorry this is long! We’re doing stations for dinner at our reception and trying to figure out the best format for salads. After cocktail hour (which will have passed hors d’oeuvres and antipasti stations), guests will move into the reception area and take their seats. This is when we would get introduced, do our first dance, possibly do toasts, etc. Then the chef stations would open for dinner (a carving station, pasta station, and a taco station). Later in the night, there will be an ice cream sundae bar for dessert, and at the very end passed late night snacks.

Our caterer strongly recommends doing a plated salad when guests first get into the reception. He said that gets everyone in their seats for some of the formalities and gives the evening some structure. However, when we had discussed this with the other caterer we were considering (not the one we’re using), he was suggesting a buffet of salads during the dinner instead. Our caterer is happy to do whatever we want but I’m not sure what makes more sense.

Thoughts? Do you think it’d be weird to have a plated salad if nothing else the entire night will be served to guests in their seats? Or do you think our caterer is right about needing that formality at the beginning of the reception?

Thanks in advance!

11 Comments

Latest activity by happeningmom, on April 4, 2018 at 11:14 AM
  • Sarah
    Master June 2016
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    I prefer plated salads, and that’s how it’s been at 90% of the weddings I’ve attended even when there was a buffet/stations.
    • Reply
  • Forestwed
    Master May 2018
    Forestwed ·
    • Flag
    I would just do a buffet salad. I wouldn’t do one thing plated and the rest stations
    • Reply
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    We’re doing plated salad before buffet dinner. I’m thrilled with the idea. Salad out of one big bowl is a PAIN. It’s hard to scoop and get everything you want out of it. Either it takes a bunch of time, or you get a random scoop of lettuce with very few vegetables.
    The other advantage to it being available ASAP, is everyone has something available to eat while waiting for the buffet!
    • Reply
  • Daria
    VIP January 2019
    Daria ·
    • Flag

    I think a plated salad is nice, as it gets everyone something to eat right away. Otherwise, you will have to have the salad as part of the buffet and it will get mixed up on the plates with the main course, or everyone will have to go through the line twice.

    • Reply
  • Anna
    Expert June 2019
    Anna ·
    • Flag
    Plated salads are perfect paired with buffet/stations. That way people get up as they finish their salad and crowds at the stations are staggered. Buffet salad is sort of a disaster many times.
    • Reply
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    Another con to a buffet salad is that salad either takes up a lot of room on a plate, or you need a separate plate or bowl, which can be hard to maneuver.
    • Reply
  • WED18
    July 1993
    WED18 ·
    • Flag

    As a guest I would prefer plated.

    • Reply
  • Kat
    Expert May 2019
    Kat ·
    • Flag
    Thanks guys! These are all really good points. I think we will go with the plated salads.
    • Reply
  • Kim
    Devoted September 2018
    Kim ·
    • Flag

    Yes, I went to a wedding not long ago that had plated salads already on the table when we entered, followed by a buffet. It was nice to have something to start on right away, and it got everyone to their seats and got the meal underway. I really liked it this way.

    • Reply
  • K
    Devoted May 2018
    Kaitlin ·
    • Flag
    We are putting the salad with the buffet, but that’s really only because we’re letting the guests pick which toppings they want for it (different veggies, croutons, etc.). Otherwise, we probably would have gone plated.
    • Reply
  • H
    November 2018
    happeningmom ·
    • Flag
    For my oldest daughters wedding we had a cocktail hour, then a plated salad, then he buffet. For my youngest we will be filling the same idea. Personally I prefer to have a plated salad as it gives guests something to eat while they are waiting for the formalities and dinner.
    • Reply

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