Wedding buffets are often tricky and tough to execute. Which is why when got the feedback that the food was great and the service was fantastic, I couldn’t help but breathe in a sigh of utter relief.
It wasn’t because I didn’t have faith in our caterers and all the promises they had made (that all ended up being met), but because there’s so much that could go wrong. And I know from myself as a wedding attendee that the first (and sometimes) only thing notice is the food and the service.
And after all, what is a wedding if not a massive dinner party with dancing?
I remember, in the lead up to our big day, I had my heart dead-set on a seated dinner. A nice salad, a good appetizers, a chunky piece of steak, and a selection of desserts. No fuss, not too much thought, and people didn’t have to get around much and stand in line at the typical buffet. Then, after several meetings with a few venues, and later, the caterer we selected, it became clear to me that not only was this idea beyond our budget, it was exhausting for the team working on this event.
Plus, the variety would be severely restricted- and the majority of people don’t like being told what they’re going to eat- even if I thought it was a good idea.
So we went for what was trending in the world of weddings: an international buffet with several live stations. People could walk up and have their food done on the spot, avoiding those ugly serving platters that are associated with weddings. It was cool that we got a station for pasta, one for Mexican-style fajitas, one for all sorts of grilled meat, and another one for shawarma (which everyone always goes nuts over).
Even though we got quite the selection of food, we did play around with the menu to be more inclusive of Lebanese classics (like tabbouleh and fattoush) and accommodating for vegetarians. The pasta station only came to be because the initial suggestion was a mini-burgers one and I felt that we were veering on BBQ territory rather than the intimate backyard wedding feeling we were trying to have.
But generally speaking, the whole thing was flawless, from set-up to packing at the end of the night. The service, which I was most worried about because anyone can make great food, was impeccable. I was happy to learn that the bride and groom get their own waiter for the night and he was so attentive and considerate, never leaving our water glasses empty or a plates missing anything. I know that the rest of the servers took great care in assisting our elderly guests or helping people decide what to choose from the massive spread.
No one’s plates got snatched before they finished eating, packing did not start while people were still seated, everyone got their drinks served, there was no crowding or pushing and shoving to get to the items, the whole area was decorated great even with our little input- and it seemed that overall, it was just a great portion of the night.
And let’s not forget about how delicious the cake was!
Note: A huge, heartfelt thank you goes out to Black Olive Catering from Ahmad and I and our families for all their hard work, and for taking all my horror stories and transforming them into one of the most memorable parts of our wedding and giving our guests a great experience. I made a point not to be one of those brides who doesn’t sit down and eat, and I succeeded- so we were able to tell that the food was exactly like it was at our tasting session. It was one excellent meal we will never forget.