Simple Styling: The Buffet Table

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

First I tell you some crazy talk about how your wedding is not about details it’s about, um, your love or whatever, and then I talk to you about a detail. Mwahahahaha. You can’t pin me down.

Achem. As I was saying. I mentioned a while back that a simple and free way to class up your wedding is styling. Take elements you are already planning to have, and display them in a way that looks beautiful. Like many budget savvy brides, I’m thinking of the buffet option. Clearly, I will not be paying for each guest to have their own waiter. However, I live in fear of the giant aluminum buffet warmer. They are infinitely practical, I know, but they will bother me because I think they are ugly. So I’ve decided to bother my caterer (this is why I’m paying a caterer, I don’t want to be insufferably bossy to a friend) to set up a lovely buffet table sans aluminum buffet warmers. This table is a really classy option of a Mediterranean style buffet spread. And all it takes is food, linens, and plates. All things we are already paying for.

Picture: Martha Stewart Weddings

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit #NASTY

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  • does your caterer offer alt-servers like these as an option? this is gorgeous, but it’s far more than plates – those vessels look very mix-and-match (which, when they’re selected by a professional, can often mean $). are you thinking of bringing serving dishes of your own? that’s a marvelous excuse to haunt the alameda flea between now and next year…

  • Meg

    It will be interesting to see. All our possible caterers are hippy Alice Waters types (it is Berkeley after all) so it’s very possible. If not, I’m sure we can provide. We’ll be sourcing our vases that way, anyway. That and the net.

  • they also make round metal buffet warmers, that, when incorporated into a beautiful table scheme like this (one or two here and there) are much less ugly and still provide heated food on the buffet. imho, what makes those aluminum buffet servers ugly is having them all lined up in a row, with no style and no class to the arrangement. there is just no way to make a row of rectangular aluminum chafing dishes look stylish. the trick is to nestle a couple of round ones behind raised dishes of other food, so that they are less oh-look-a-chafing-dish and more part of the overall arrangement, with the added benefit of keeping your entree warm. just my two cents…

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  • Lizabeth Hilligator

    I think while pretty, it looks like a bunch of salads, fruit and cheese. Buffet chafing dishes are no big deal. Dont be so anal. Most guests want real food.