Types of buffet: which are and which is the best for wedding?

There are approximately five types of buffet that can be performed at a wedding party. Cocktail service, cocktail + island, American franc, plated or à la cloche . Above all, the difference in each of them refers to how much is served for each guest and what type of cuisine is offered.

Along with the decoration and the soundtrack , gastronomy is one of the protagonists of the party, so it deserves attention in your choice. In general, it meets the profile of the couple and the proposed budget. For this, we have prepared a basic guide to know the main types of wedding buffet. Come on?


By Luciano Martins
Partner-Owner of Casa Petra


Types of wedding buffet: the complete guide


Also known as the steering wheel, this service is based on the circulation of waiters around the party to serve the guests. Small portions are offered with different options of canapés, fried and baked snacks, which do not necessarily require dishes. This is a type of buffet with the lowest cost of all options and, therefore, it is usually the choice of newlyweds with a smaller budget.

I end up not recommending the cocktail for weddings in Brazil. Because as there is a tradition of wedding parties with plenty of food, this is an option that may displease the guests. In other words, this type of buffet falls short by Brazilian standards.


Cocktail + island

On the other hand, the cocktail service with an island already gives guests more freedom. There is more variety of salads, cheeses and mini portions, where people can help themselves. It does not necessarily mean that a full lunch or dinner is offered, but this type of buffet is more comfortable than the previous option.


American Franc

This is one of the most used buffet types in Brazilian weddings. It mixes two distinct services: American and French.

The first is characterized by islands or stations where guests serve themselves. The second, in turn, is more formal: with the guests seated at the table, the waiters circulate the room with platters and tableware, serving them according to what they want.

Because it is very refined – and considered by many organizers to be almost a ceremony in itself – the French service received touches of the American buffet and gained the taste of Brazilians. It is best suited for a large number of guests, for example.

In this type of buffet, food is arranged on a side table and people help themselves with the help of a specialized team.



The type of buffet plated is more static, plastered. It is an English version of the service, but simpler. In this case, the ready-made dishes are already assembled from the kitchen and delivered to the guests. It is recommended when most of the guests are older, but it usually does not please because it has a specific time.

This format holds people at the table for up to two hours. Consequently, it makes the party a little more quiet, as guests need to wait for the service to be completed before going to the dance floor, for example. In general, it is most sought after by classic or formal couples.


À la cloche

One of the least common types of buffet in Brazil, to be sure, is à la cloche .

In fact, this is a service that has fallen into disuse even in restaurants. Very few companies still do – I would say something like one in each city.

In this model, it is chosen what will be served, at what time, and the order of entry of the dishes. It requires the most staff, so it is the most expensive of all buffet types.

Of course, it is also the most luxurious, but it demands even more care when choosing the providing company.

How to choose the buffet for my wedding?

Now that you know the types of buffet, the question comes: which one to choose?

Well, there are a number of factors that must be taken into account when choosing the best option for the wedding party. Budget, personality of the bride and groom and even the majority of the guests are key points in this decision.

For smaller budgets, rather informal and more casual parties – where guests remain standing most of the time – the cocktail format is going well. But at parties that receive many elderly people, the models on board are better accepted for convenience.


When in doubt, is it better to go by the majority?

I believe that every wedding party needs to show the couple’s personality. And pre-established models of the market do not always behave exactly what the bride and groom expect. There is no problem in mixing buffet types or even using more than one, as long as there is common sense.

American free service, even though it is widely accepted in Brazilian weddings, can be preceded by a cocktail, for example.

Therefore, knowing all types of buffet is valid to know what is best for each case. But every bride can also create something personalized, resulting in a unique wedding!


Now that you know how to choose the best buffet service for your wedding, how about seeing other tips to help organize the big day? Just access here .


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