When it comes time to decide how you will get your party food from buffet to the guests, you have several options but all require thorough consideration:
Appetizer plates are a very nice choice provided there will be a bit of space if a guest needs to put a glass down for a moment in order to eat and hold their plate. Additionally, if you do not have help to clear plates away from every flat surface the aesthetic of the party can take on the less than aesthetically appealing feel of a fete held in the dirty dish bin.
If you have help, you can rent appetizer plates in a number of patterns and shapes from any party rental company usually at a cost of about $5 per dozen to be returned rinsed. If you plan to throw buffet parties of this nature every year or more often, it will be more cost effective in the long run to have your own set if you can store them safely when not in use. Here are some very reasonable options which will pay for themselves after their second use and come in reams of styles for every occasion and style:
My most favorite little luxury of this season, the stunning Art Nouveau Plates from Pottery Barn, $39.50 for a set of 4.
For the whimsical holiday party. Pottery Barn Graphic Reindeer Appetizer Plates, set of 4 for $36
Colin Cowie's Glittering Appetizer Plates, HSN.com, $39.95 for a set of four
Whimsical Martini Appetizer Plates, martiniart.com, $28 for a set of four
If you are a one person army throwing a cocktail party as many hostesses and caterers are every day, one can opt for a paper cocktail napkin service: Strategically place loads of festive, good quality, color coordinated napkins every few feet on a buffet, next to the canape tray on coffee tables, and in conspicuous stacks throughout the party which is also a wise practice to encourage guests to use them as coasters on the rosewood buffet, good sweet Lord.