Hi Shawna!

I have a question for you about logistics.

So, I am helping my friend with the dinner ideas for her reception dinner, and I was wondering what your thoughts are on buffet vs. family style.  Do you know what works best for Indian food? If you could also let us know what is more enjoyable for guests,  that would be great.

Thank you so much!


Hi Sejal,

Thanks for your email.  This is a very common issue for Indian brides because of the large guest count and the emphasis Indian weddings have on food.  I kept pushing for more flowers, while my mom kept pushing for more food! Go figure!

Buffet or family style service can both be nice, it just depends on her style.  If her style is more casual, then buffet will work better for her guests.  People can mingle and come back for seconds at their ease. However with large guest counts of 400 rarely are buffets seamless. And there always seems to be the challengesof long lines, cold food, and unavoidable chaos.

If she is having a formal/black tie style reception, she should consider having family style.  Family style allows her guests to be at served  and encourages conversation amongst the table. She should definitely talk to her planner or the hotel catering manager about this type of service, and if the hotel can handle it. The key is to find out how many servers per table there will be.  A ratio of 1 server per 2 tables is ideal. You want all tables to enjoy the meal together instead of having some people waiting and some people finishing.  It makes for a much more cohesive and fun party.  And, just a tip, make sure that she sits down with the hotel and her florist to see how the different dishes will fit and look on the table with her centerpiece on it.   Her florist may have to reduce the number of candles or accent flowers depending on the total look of the table.

Your friend is very lucky to have you watching out for her wedding day! I am sure that it will work out perfectly!

Wishing you love, laughter & happily ever after,
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