When you are planning your wedding reception, a buffet might not be your first choice. Many of us have had bad experiences of buffets at pubs or family restaurants, that were just not up to standard. The last thing you want for your wedding is bad food.
Something about a buffet doesn’t seem modern, or trend-setting. Mass-produced food that congeals as it goes cold, or is weirdly hot and cold in different spots, or that seems to be unnaturally coloured somehow doesn’t feel like fine dining.
But wedding day buffets are making a glorious comeback, and should definitely be given another look. This is not the poor cousin of wedding dining, but a young hipster uncle who still really has it going on.
You’ll be excited about your wedding reception options when you discover our list below.
Consider some of these wedding day buffet trends
Oysters and champagne
A gorgeously chic option for pre-dinner drinks and canapes is to instead have a freshly shucked oyster buffet, served side by side with champagne and perhaps some cool martinis or G&Ts. This works very well if your venue is near the beach, but there really isn’t anywhere in Australia that you can’t get good quality oysters.
This feels sort of vintage cool and sexy romantic. It is a definite crowd-pleaser and guest-wower.
While the lolly buffet is a very popular addition to a wedding reception in recent years, it is a long time yet before this trend will be out of date. Young and old alike just love a lolly buffet.
You can put your own spin on it by incorporating your specific colour palette or perhaps only using lollies from your childhood.
For lolly buffet options and ideas, talk to Kimmys Lolly Bar in Darwin.
This is not technically a buffet but can be a lovely and very unique treat at your wedding to add a touch of something special.
Hire vintage crockery and serve proper high tea with all the trimmings, dainty sweet and savoury bites, scones with jam and cream, and of course champagne. Your venue may be able to help you out, or you could bring in a specialist travelling high tea company.
This trend is coming into its own now, and more and more weddings are seeing a donut buffet. Donuts have gone high class and are no longer just fried bread, but are works of art and cuisine in their own right. Donuts provide a fusion of imaginative flavours and are decorated to resemble tiny sculptures, and are anything but bland or humdrum.
For some vibrant donut buffet ideas, talk to Boardwalk Catering in Sydney.
Prosecco and more
While food vans have become a welcome addition to many weddings, we particularly like the mobile alcohol van.
One fantastic example of this is The Fizz Fellas, based in Sydney. Their gorgeous little three-wheeled van can serve prosecco, espresso martinis and more on tap; you just serve yourselves. The little vintage van is super-cute and makes for great photo opportunities, as well as being a classy grown-up buffet.
For a similar option based in Melbourne, check out The Prosecco Van.
What goes better with wine than cheese? You can put on a stunning cheese buffet, showcasing some of Australia’s best fromage options, served alongside gorgeous accompaniments like dried muscatels, sliced figs and more.
For something very different check out the striking cheese ‘cakes’ created by Cornelius Cheese, based in Victoria.
This serve yourself bar involves crushed ice drizzled with shots of liquor or mixers. Don’t think of the pre-mix dispenser with just one or two options; this is much more classy and sophisticated, with much more choice.
This is an easy one to set up for your home wedding or one that you are arranging the catering for.
While we are in the grown-up iced-treat section of our article, we must mention Pops Australia, who is based in Melbourne. Creators of the original champagne popsicle have now come up with a variety of alcohol-fuelled popsicle flavours that make the ultimate treat at a summer wedding.
Distributed from an old-world ice-cream bicycle by a cute guy in a jaunty cap, these icy delights bring a real sense of charm, whimsy and playfulness to your wedding day. But for grown-ups.
The make-your-own-sundae bar may have started as something for the kids, but the adults have stolen this idea well and truly for themselves.
There are few things more fun and satisfying than being able to build your own sundae with all your perfect trimmings, such as chocolate fudge sauce, butterscotch sauce, nuts, fruit, sprinkles, choc-chips, whipped cream, and so much more.
This goes very well at a vintage style wedding; you can completely embrace the 1950s style ice-cream shop ambience.
This ingenious idea brings a sweet waffle buffet to your wedding, and we are not sure if there is anything better than that. Let’s Waffle N Shake provide this spectacular service in Melbourne, and it’s not long before all cities will have their own versions. They create and serve Belgian waffles on a stick and smothered in gloriously rich and sweet toppings such as their Salted Caramel.
Nothing pleases a crowd more than traditional Spanish delicacies like Paella. You can arrange for a paella and tapas buffet at your wedding, with hearty dishes cooked fresh in front of you and all of your guests.
For this mouth-watering delight, check out Ole Paella, based in Perth. This could be a wonderful idea for later in the evening, once people have had a few drinks and are looking for some satisfying food to fill their empty bellies.
Talk to your venue about ideas and options that they might have for you as well. Embrace the quirkiness of the buffet and bring back all the fun of interactive food and drinks; your guests will be talking about for months to come.