Where and how to hold a wedding reception instead of a banquet


A buffet reception is one of the options for holding a wedding feast. The name comes from the French word «a la buffet», which means in translation «on the fork». This is due to the fact that at the buffet table the main working tool is a fork. During such an event, guests drink and eat, standing near the tables to which chairs are attached. A wedding reception becomes the preferred option in many cases, for example, if the bride and groom leave immediately for a trip or the ceremony itself is designed for a small number of people.

Pros and cons of a wedding reception

Reception - an alternative to a wedding banquet

In European countries, a wedding reception has become a traditional method of treating guests. For us, this trend is new, but it is already starting to gain momentum in popularity. And this is due to the following advantages:

  • A short buffet reception, in comparison with a full-fledged banquet, is not so tiring for young people after a busy wedding day, which includes a ransom, the ceremony itself, a photo shoot, etc..
  • The buffet menu is cheaper than the banquet, since the wedding buffet does not provide for serving hot dishes.
  • During the organization of the buffet reception, there is no strict reference to the number of guests, since seating is not supposed.
  • The buffet table is more diverse, it includes many recipes for snacks.
  • During the banquet, the host entertains the guests and they must participate in competitions, regardless of whether they like the host or not. And during the buffet, you can come up with different areas for recreation, entertainment, communication. That is more likely that each guest will find something to their liking.
  • Buffet room provides more room for decoration imagination.
  • Appropriate live music during the buffet, the presence of a large number of candles.
  • Guests can chat with anyone, not just their neighbors. In general, during the buffet, a more friendly, warm and cozy atmosphere prevails. Newlyweds are not required to sit only in their places, like idols.

The wedding reception has its drawbacks:

  • Reception is suitable for small events.
  • No hot meals.
  • If there is a buffet in the open air, there are many nuances to consider.
  • Unusual and unconventional form of conduct can confuse the older generation, for example, grandparents, parents.

How to organize a wedding reception?

Proper wedding organization is the key to a successful event

During the organization of the wedding buffet, some nuances should be taken into account:

  • There should be more dishes than the guests themselves, because during the event no one watches where he left his plate.
  • Take care of enough seating as guests will want to sit down after a long day on their feet..
  • For newlyweds it is not forbidden to organize a separate table so that they can relax after a photo shoot and walk, and after joining the guests.
  • Tables should be arranged so that the treats were conveniently approached from all sides. They can be round, rectangular.
  • The optimal amount of food per person - 500 g.
  • The whole event is designed for 2 hours. A sufficient amount of drinks and snacks should be present on the tables.
  • The buffet includes self-service, but it is not forbidden to order a waiter who helps guests with dishes, drinks.
  • Do not forget about the design of dishes, tables, because this is a special art. Beautiful dishes, tablecloths with skirts, flower arrangements - classic stand-up meal.
  • At events, in some cases, a freestanding raisin table is used, which can be a chocolate fountain, a champagne slide, a sweet table, fondue.
  • At the receptions there are sandwiches, dishes on canapé skewers, desserts, tartlets, fruits.
  • Take care of the presence of ice if the event takes place outdoors in hot weather.
  • It’s better to attach candy wrappers with guest names to the glasses.
  • Tables can be divided by subject: sweet, with fruits, cheeses, snacks, alcoholic beverages.
  • Traditionally, every hour after the buffet, a bright event is planned, for example, the launch of lanterns, a wedding dance, tossing a bouquet, musical breaks, competitions.

Scenario options

Wedding receptions are held both outdoors and in a restaurant, at home. In summer, it is better to prefer fresh air. But remember that the weather can let you down. In this case, it is worth taking care of the presence of a large tent. In addition, the event can take place on terraces, verandas, motor ship, lake shore. Choose the option that is most convenient for you and feel free to organize such an elegant, economical alternative to a banquet.

In nature after the registry office

Reception wedding away from the city

After painting the newlyweds, a buffet is usually organized. In the warmer months, fresh air is the ideal venue. For its organization it is required to think over important trifles:

  • Preparation of furniture for a buffet - folding tables, chairs, benches, a canopy or a tent in case of rain.
  • Preparation of necessary utensils: serving bowls, plates, forks, spoons.
  • Drawing up treats for guests: fruits, snacks, desserts, sweets.
  • Entertainment program, music.
  • Beautiful venue design.

In the restaurant

Restaurant wedding

Organization of a buffet at the restaurant is the easiest option. You do not need to think about cutlery, furniture, surprises that the weather can bring. The main thing to think about is:

  • Arrangement of tables - it is better to place them along the walls of the hall or in the center in the form of the letters W or D.
  • It is better not to clutter up the tables with a large amount of decor, but to place snacks and dishes on them. At the same time, the latter should be decorated so that it is pleasant to look at them.
  • The menu is necessarily a great variety of cold snacks, portioned hot snacks, desserts, drinks.

At home

Holding a buffet at home

At home, it is not forbidden to hold a buffet if the young are very limited in budget. But even in this case, the event can be made interesting, fun:

  • Think about music and various competitions for guests so that they don’t get bored.
  • Think about how square the apartment or house is to the number of guests.
  • Think over furniture: place tables conveniently, take out all unnecessary.
  • Arrange a place for dancing in the next room or in the same, if the area allows.
  • Carefully think over the table setting: a set of dishes, beautiful tablecloths, napkins.
  • Calculate the menu based on the number of guests.
  • Do not forget about home decoration: beautifully arranged bouquets, balls, posters, fabric draperies on the tables.
  • Warn your neighbors in advance about the upcoming celebration, possible loud music, noise.
  • At home buffet there should be a person who will lead the whole process.

Buffet aesthetics

Beautiful wedding table setting

The aesthetics of the buffet table is extremely important. There are many options for a beautiful serving of snacks:

  • Glasses for martini, bowls - a great option for serving desserts, salads.
  • Ceramic Spoons - Serving Hot Snacks.
  • Shot glasses - serving cold appetizers, sauces.

Observe the main condition - the portion should be small, for two bites. Tables with refreshments are better divided: cold appetizers and salads on one, hot snacks on the other, drinks on the third, desserts, sweet treats, cake on the fourth. A very original decoration of the buffet was a chocolate fountain, of which children are most delighted. The fountain is accompanied by pieces of fruit, marmalade, marshmallows, which are put on skewers and poured with chocolate.

Table setting during the buffet table

It is not forbidden to serve champagne in the original way: the fountain of a sparkling drink looks beautiful, and filling a glass from it is a particular pleasure. Another spectacular method of decorating drinks is the pyramid: glasses are made up a slide, champagne is poured into the top one, from which the drink spreads throughout the pyramid. Another idea for the feast of the lady buffet. Represents a girl dressed in a beautiful suit with a full skirt, which serves as a table for drinks and snacks.

The arrangement of tables can be carried out in the form of the letter W or D, so that guests are provided with an approach from all sides. Serving is done in two ways: double-sided or single-sided. The last option is applied if the table is near the wall and the dishes are located on one side. The first option is considered more convenient. Serving begins with the arrangement of crystal or glassware. After they put vases with fruits, flowers, jugs of drinks, bottles of alcohol.


If there are few guests at the wedding ceremony, then the services of the host may not be necessary. It is not forbidden to invite a saxophonist, DJ, jazz band for the musical design of the festival, animators - cartoonist, mimes, magician, living statues. You can organize a photo zone where each of the guests can take a beautiful photo with the newlyweds. If the celebration includes many guests who are almost unfamiliar with each other, invite a show group with a host.

At the wedding buffet, drinks are usually served red, white wine, champagne, cognac. Recently, punch has become especially popular. There are no strict rules - be guided in this matter by your own taste. Choose any cooling drinks for the buffet - mineral, sparkling water, juices. At the end of the reception for the wedding is not forbidden to serve coffee.

A variety of buffet snacks

The buffet menu for the most part consists of cold dishes. The easiest option is tartlets, canapes, small sandwiches. Think over as many salads as possible. Add caviar, cheese, fish fillet, ham, shrimp, gherkins, pickled mushrooms, pastes - the table will be varied, tasty. In some cases, receptions include hot snacks - turkey, pig, lamb saddle, cut into small slices and made in the form of a carcass. Traditional julienne buffet.

We give an example menu for a choice for an exit buffet, designed for an event, the duration of which is 1.5–2 hours:

  • Tartlet - dor blue cheese with grapes, nuts, honey, candied orange on a cream cheese pillow.
  • Tartlet - Caesar salad with Parmesan, slightly salted red fish.
  • Tartlet - Olivier salad with crayfish, chicken breast.
  • Canapes - mozzarella with basil, cherry tomatoes.
  • Canapé - smoked beef, sweet pepper, cheddar cheese.
  • Canapé - rolled piece of smoked salmon on a slice of cucumber with olive.
  • Canapé - carrot cake with nuts.
  • Canapé - chicken roll with vegetable filling on a baguette with cherry tomato.
  • Shot glass - strawberry soup with champagne.
  • Assorted fruits and berries.

Registration of a wedding buffet - photo