Buffets do take a minute. Feeding a 100+ plus takes some time, if you want to do it in orderly manner, and not open it up to a free fall. I usually go to each table and tell them that they can go, and then stand by the next table until I can tell them it’s their turn. But that can still take up to an hour to get through, which can be a problem if you’ve only got five or 6 hours for the whole night. So, what can you do?
Tell your caterer that you’re concerned and bounce around some ideas. Double-side the buffet so that more guests can go through at a time? Double up the total number of buffet tables? What’s going to work in terms of the staff he has, or how much more is it going to cost to make it happen? Get clear on what’s possible on his end. And, have a discussion about maybe shortening up the cocktail hour. Talk to your photographer about that, too.
You can also free up time in other ways. Do the first dance right when you enter into the reception area. Ask that your meal be served at your table, so you can eat quickly and then mingle. Maybe have toasts during dinner service, depending on how everything is laid out? Open up the dance floor. Go visit all those people you’re afraid you won’t have time to hang out with, or drag them on to the dance floor that you opened up for that purpose. Your priority is to enjoy the night with your friends and family, so enjoy it. It’s all there waiting for you. And remember, there are no rules, you just need to figure out the best way to make it work.
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