Serving Wedding Cake vs Buffet Table: Pros & Cons of Both

Serving Wedding Cake vs Buffet Table: Pros & Cons of Both

You’re getting married! Yay! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. It looks like you’re working your way through your wedding planning checklist, and you’ve come to the wedding cake and desserts step in the list. You’re doing a great job. Your wedding is going to be amazing and guess what?! This step in the process means you get to eat cake! Once you’ve ordered your cake tasting kit and settled on your flavor(s), you’ll want to decide how to set up and serve the wedding cake at your venue.


There are a couple of options for how you can serve your wedding cake to your guests. Some people choose to have the catering staff serve the cake, while others go with a buffet table. We’ve baked wedding cakes and made desserts for thousands of weddings in Arizona (and beyond!). We’ve seen both options done beautifully and honestly don’t have a real preference. After all, both end up with cake and that’s all that really matters! We do know the pros and cons of both a serving cake and a buffet table though. So, read on to learn more!

 serving wedding cake.

Pros of Having a Serving Cake at Your Wedding


  • Guarantees everyone gets a slice – This one is pretty self-explanatory. But, in case your wedding will be the first wedding you’ve ever attended, the way this works is that the catering staff actually cuts the cake for you and serves it to each of your guests, one by one. Don’t worry, traditionally the happy couple is served first for all the fun wedding cake tradition stuff.
  • Serving is more orderly – If you’re looking to have a bit more of a structured wedding, or if your wedding planner has their clipboard and a headset and you’re not super sure what happens if you go off schedule and you don’t want to find out, serving is the way to go.
  • Serving cake is consistent – This saves time and money. You may only have the caterers for a certain amount of time. There are usually multiple servers serving cake to tables at once. So, the cake gets out to your guests more quickly. Plus, the size of the cake slices is more consistent, ensuring that there will be plenty for everyone and you don’t run out.
  • Serving builds anticipation – This is a fun one because it almost guarantees that everyone will love your wedding cake, especially if you have Silver Rose bake it for you. Those guests sitting and waiting to receive a slice will be on the lookout for their slice to arrive and excited to dig in when it does.
  • Lastly, serving wedding cake to your guests is just a bit more elegant than having everyone line up and wait.


Cons of Having a Serving Cake at Your Wedding


  • Serving limits the cake flavors – Typically serving cake is best for a single-flavor wedding cake, as all guests will get the same thing. Unlike the dinner that’s kept in the kitchen before being served to your guests, the cake sits on display in the reception hall. So, being able to determine who gets which flavor on the spot is a bit of a logistical nightmare for the catering staff.
  • Timing must be shortly after dinner – If the timing is off for the cake serving, guests may not be in their seats and may not return for a while, if at all. This could mean uneaten and wasted cake, which we believe is an absolute tragedy. You may think, “Well someone else can eat their cake.” That’s just weird. We love cake, but we don’t just walk up to some stranger’s unattended cake and start eating it. We want to, but like germs and stuff.
  • Serving cake may cost extra – Yup, some caterers will charge more to have their staff serve the cake after cutting the slices to place on the cake plates. We’re not saying they’ll all do this, but we have seen more than a few do this. So, it’s worth asking about this.


Well, that’s the pros and cons of having your wedding cake served by the catering staff. As we mentioned earlier, we don’t really have a preference. Both serving cake and a buffet table are great options. Keep reading for the pros and cons of a buffet table.


Pros of Having a Buffet Table for Your Wedding Cake


  • Guests choose their slice – Let’s face it, people are picky. It’s cool. We’re picky, too. Some people want a corner piece for maximum frosting intake. Some people prefer a piece with a more cake-to-frosting ratio. It really is a science, and we understand that this matters a lot to your wedding guests. So, let them choose!
  • More flavor options – If a con of serving cake is limited flavors, then a pro of buffet tables has to be more flavor options. When guests are grabbing their own slices, the kids can grab that peanut butter and jelly flavor slice and the adults can grab the lemon raspberry cream. Although let’s be honest, that peanut butter and jelly is always the first to go!
  • Buffet tables allow for more relaxed timing – This is great for stragglers and seconds-goers. Trust us, you will have both. We all have that aunt who spends all of her time gossiping and then decides after everyone is finished eating that it’s finally time for her to grab a bite. And of course, when you order from Silver Rose, you’ll have plenty of guests going back for seconds on the wedding cake! Just saying.
  • Buffet tables are just pretty – Line those babies up with a table full of mini desserts next to your beautiful wedding cake and guests can fill their plates with a slice of cake and treats of their choice.
  • Buffet tables have a more casual feeling – If you’re going for a less elegant wedding and want to make sure your guests feel relaxed and laid back, a buffet table is definitely the way to go.

 wedding cake buffet table.

Cons of Having a Buffet Table for Your Wedding Cake


  • Must be announced properly – A buffet table for your wedding cake relies heavily on your wedding DJ or coordinator to announce that it’s time for cake. If this announcement is missed or not timed properly, the table could be forgotten by some guests.
  • Greedy Guests – This one is hard for us to list in the con category, but it’s true that some people just love cake a little too much. We can’t condone this behavior, although we do understand it. But the fact remains that when guests can serve themselves, they may take more than their fair share. We could blame the kids, but we would probably be lying.
  • Speaking of kids – Buffet tables don’t always mix well when it comes to unattended children. They often want to try every flavor, which can lead to wasted cake. Their adorable little fingers aren’t always health-code compliant. And the best case, they love every flavor and go back for seconds, thirds, or fourths while mom and dad are off dancing.


So, there you have it. We hope that we’ve given you a few things to think about when it comes to the different ways to serve your wedding cake to your guests. There is no right or wrong way to do it. It’s whatever works best for you and your wedding. Whichever option you end up picking will be amazing, and we’d love to bake a beautiful wedding cake for you either way!