When deciding whether to offer a buffet or stations or serve a plated meal, you need to think about how formal you would like your wedding.
A plated dinner is the more formal option and while it is an elegant choice to serve your guests, it is also more work for you. If you are offering a choice of entrée to your guests, you will need to make your meal selections prior to printing your invitations in order to include the options on the invites. As you get your RSVPs, you calculate the totals of what is ordered and then give the totals to your wedding venue. If people did not make a selection on their response card, you will have to call them and ask for a selection. It is quite a bit of work as you also need to provide a seating arrangement with the selections on it.
If you’d rather not worry about sorting response cards, a buffet is nice way to go. Your guests have a larger selection of food and they can go back for seconds (and thirds!) One thing to consider with a buffet is that people will have to wait to eat as tables are dismissed 1-2 at a time. In order to avoid too long of a wait, be sure to ask your venue how many buffets lines they usually provide for your expected guest count. One line per 50 guests is usually a good rule of thumb; many buffets are double-sided so that one setup will have two guest lines.
Food stations are a good alternative to a buffet for a fun, interactive wedding. You can select a variety of food stations to offer your guests and they can be themed and/or some of your favorites! Your guests are free to mix, mingle, and eat until it’s time to dance the night away.