Some prefer one over the other. But both styles - served on a tray or on a table - offer advantages. Hosts need to consider what’s in the meal to follow.

There are a thousand variables in putting on elegant events. Ask any Los Angeles wedding catering company professional and they should be able to come up with a list that long in a matter of minutes. (Their stories can be rich, involving everything from live ponies to dead guests.)

But perhaps one choice that many party throwers wrestle with most is whether to have the hors d’oeuvres passed by wait staff or to have a stationery appetizer buffet. The fact is that wedding and corporate caterers in Los Angeles find that either can work - and that sometimes it makes sense to do both.

The pros and cons of each scenario are as follows:

Passed hors d’oeuvres - One might argue this method lends a certain elegance to an event, as service by wait staff that comes to you enables you to continue in conversation without having to make a trip to the serving table, juggle a plate and drink, and appear to be gluttonous if you grab several items at once. But others will variously complain that (a) the servers were too frequent and therefore they ate too much or (b) the servers were hard to find and they had to seek them out.

Proving once more that you just can’t please everyone.

From a cost standpoint, extra staff might add to costs. But not always. Sometimes the amount of food served by wait staff is less than if a table were set out.

Stationary hors d’oeuvres - This method empowers guests to eat to their hearts’ content. And if the experience of wedding caterers Los Angeles is any indication, there are many such guests. But there are some guests who are either physically unable to handle a plate and a drink, or they just don’t want to break from conversation to amble over to the table.

This often is the more expensive option. Your catering company will be able to outline the differences.

Both - Having both is a luxury, but also appreciated by all. Most corporate and wedding caterers in Los Angeles are able to accommodate this for a price.

Another question to tackle relative to hors d’oeuvres is how to balance the menu against the meal. Factor first for timing: how long has it been since guests likely ate their last meal (longer time = feed them fast). And since the appetizers are served during the cocktail hour, make sure it doesn’t go much longer than an hour or else there guests may overeat before the meal. Also, is the meal rich and generously portioned? You don’t want to fill up your guests before a full-bore prime rib lands at their place setting.

Finally, understand that there is no single perfect plan. But the overall impression you leave with your guests is ideally that they had a good time. Being well fed - but not overstuffed - is part of that.

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