We at Men’s Vows believe there are three things to get right at a wedding: your vows, your music and your catering. After all, your wedding is about indulging in love, disco and vittles.

So, when it comes to the latter – the yumminess of your dream meal – the world is your oyster, or burger, or cupcake. Budget notwithstanding, the options are endless for what you serve. But, there are many options for how you serve, too.

Let’s take a look at the particularities of plated, family-style or buffet service for your wedding.




This is the most traditional and, sometimes, most expensive of service styles. Your guests are seated and individually served. No matter the vibe or theme of your wedding, plated service adds an air of elegance and formality to any wedding.

The advantages of plated service are that you can control portion sizes and, as a result cost. Similarly, you can get precise with what you serve based on exactly what your guests specify they’d prefer to eat. And, given everyone stays at their table for the duration of the meal, the energy in the room is a lot less chaotic.

But, no matter what, because of the additional service staff, the additional print (for the menu response cards) and the likelihood of having more involved center pieces, plated service tends to be more expensive.




By now, you’ve all been to the trendy restaurant that serves everything in sharable portions so that all at the table can indulge and enjoy. Same theory applies at family style wedding.

Couples and caterers opt for easily shareable foods that tend towards more comfort food. Guests “have at it” sharing from large platters at the center of the table. You don’t need to bother asking anyone’s dietary preference, because inevitably your menu will serve all that table, even if some of you might be fighting over the last spear of broccolini.

Family style saves on print costs (no reply cards needed), centrepieces (gotta keep space for the trays to lay down) and often on food given the types of family-style foods. Now, where costs can creep back in, is with larger tables (and linens) to make space for trays of deliciously shareable foods.



Buffet service sets your guests free as they make their way alongside long tables stacked with the most delicious of meals. Sometimes, buffets take the form of various stations from carving to pasta, giving guests free reign over what they want to indulge in. And, without question, buffet service is the most casual and raucous as people are up and about, mixing and mingling, as they pile their plates high.

And, while buffet service tends to be the cheapest – fewer wait staff, less serving implements – be careful that your venue doesn’t charge by consumption because what buffet service facilitates is seconds, thirds and fourths.

If yours is a wedding celebration that wants to be fabulous and fancy, plate it up. If yours is one that wants to footloose and fancy free, take a stroll over to the buffet. And, if you want to be fancy and fancy free, then family-style is the way to go.

But, no matter the service, just make sure everything is delicious!