How To Set Up A Buffet Table For A Wedding

If you want to learn how to set up a buffet table for a wedding, then consider two steps. We’ll also share tips to make your wedding buffet table look good and how to create a table setting for the buffet that suits the formality of the wedding. 

And if you have more questions about setting up wedding tables or serving food at the wedding reception, you can browse our blog for specific tutorials. For the menu, those on a budget can check what is the cheapest food to serve at a wedding

how to set up a buffet table for a wedding


How To Set Up A Wedding Reception Buffet Table 


Step 1. Create various heights

  • When you create buffet tables, you need to start with how you want the dishes and serve ware to look from the guests’ point of view
  • The most common set up in buffets is creating various heights using risers such as crates and stacking 
  • Of course, the higher dishes should be less likely to be messy, while those at a lower level can be the ones with soups and sauces
  • Don’t forget to position small plates near each dish so the guests can have a spot to put the serving utensil 
  • And of course, label all the dishes, especially those that may cause allergies to some people


Step 2. Arrange the dishes and cutlery

  • All the plates for the wedding buffet table setting should be on one end and the eating utensils and napkins on the opposite end to ensure a smooth flow of people
  • To have a smooth setting with your wedding buffet tables, you want the tables to be accessible on both sides and not have one side against the wall
  • The dishes on the wedding buffet table set up should be arranged where the most expensive ones are placed near the end of the buffet line to prevent guests from getting them in large amounts
  • Dishes with small quantities should be placed at the end of the line so they’ll last longer since the guests have likely filled their plates with the food items at the start of the buffet line
  • The table setting for a wedding buffet table should have the cutlery at the end of the line, so the guests don’t have to worry about dropping them when picking up food


What Is The Proper Order To Set Up A Wedding Buffet Table?

The proper set up for a wedding buffet table is to start with the most affordable dishes and those you can serve in large portions. Then, put the priciest dishes and those you can only serve in small quantities near the end of the buffet tables since the guests have already filled up their plates by the time they’ve reached them.

As for the settings of your serve ware and flatware, put the plates at the beginning of the buffet table and the napkins and cutlery at the other end. You can also try any of these three buffet table setting techniques to avoid heavy traffic in your wedding buffets:

  • If you have a small wedding reception venue, use the line-up buffet table setting to maximize the space when serving the dishes
  • Use circular tables so the guests can access all sides of the buffet table setting; it’s also ideal for a cocktail-style wedding reception
  • Those with a large wedding where you must serve a large number of guests, consider having a dual side serving station for your buffet 

Are you considering being the wedding caterer yourself? Read how to cater your own wedding


How Do You Make A Wedding Buffet Table Look Nice?

Consider these layout and decorating tips to make your wedding buffet table setting look nice. 

  • Use your wedding theme as inspiration with the elements, decors, and colors on your buffet tables
  • Have coordinating table linens and napkins in your wedding buffets
  • Match all tableware and cutlery on your wedding buffet table setting
  • Choose serve ware that is also decorative and get creative with your buffet labels for added appeal
  • Dress up your containers for the foods and dips
  • You don’t need to have a full table, but you can fill gaps and make the table setting look better with decors that won’t affect the food items
  • Be practical with how you set your buffet tables; consider server access, traffic flow, and ease of use of the guests
  • Create a wedding buffet menu with 80% cold food and the remaining portion for hot dishes for easier temperature control and safer food handling 
  • Assign staff to regularly clean spills and continuously refill the buffet 
  • Put the drinks on a separate buffet station to avoid spills on the linens and mixing with the dishes


Is A Buffet A Good Idea For A Wedding?

Consider a wedding buffet if you are limited with the budget for serving full-course meals and hiring numerous staff. Wedding buffets are also ideal for big weddings to serve numerous guests quickly. 



And that’s it! You just learned how to set up a buffet table for a wedding by playing with heights and knowing how to arrange the dishes and cutlery in a buffet table setting. 

Ultimately, consider the traffic and ease of use of your buffet table set up for the guests. Feel free to dress the tables up and be strategic with your meals’ placement. 

Leave a Comment