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Many elements contribute to the style of your wedding, including the expected size of your guests list, where you plan to marry and your personality as a couple. You’ll know from the start if the two of you favor the elegance and tradition of a church wedding with a reception in a grand ballroom, or a more casual setting such as a garden, an art museum or by the sea. The time of day you marry will also affect the degree of formality.

Seated dinners are decidedly more formal, while a buffet is perfect for more informal weddings or a setting where you want guests to mingle throughout several rooms. A buffet can be easily designed to accommodate a large guest list, with duplicate stations arranged on each side of the room.

Another point to consider if having a seated dinner is whether or not to have a choice of entrees. It’s considerate to provide a vegetarian choice if you know you have guests who would prefer that. It’s also nice to balance a beef entrée with a choice of chicken or fish. If you opt for a beef entrée. suggest that the caterer prepare a seafood appetizer for variety.

Taking a close look at the guest list is helpful, too. Would most of your guests feel more comfortable with assigned seating and waiters serving the meal? If so, that signals a seated presentation might be better.