Plated is the most traditional style of service. The waiters bring your food already plated for a sit down meal. It can be a simple salad, main dish, and dessert or it can be a multiple course meal. Normally, with a plated meal, it starts out with a preset salad (Meaning the salad is already at the table before you get there) then the main course and lastly, dessert. There is no limit to how many dishes you can serve with plated meals.
Imagine sitting home with your family during a thanksgiving meal and having all of the delicious food set in the center of the table in front of you for you and your family to share. That is what family style is all about. This is a style that makes you feel more at home. During the wedding, family sized bowls and platters are brought out to the center of the table which lets the guest serve themselves. This sort of style will typically have a salad, main course, vegetables, side dishes and dessert. This is an up and coming tradition in weddings because it brings the guests together to share conversation and a wonderful experience. Fun Fact: In situations like this, the table will either have a very small centerpiece or no centerpiece at all because the food represents the centerpiece!
Buffet style is usually done with long tables decorated with chafing dishes and platters that contain lots of food. Make sure you have at least two lines for guests to be able to get to the food twice as fast. Do remember, even though this type of service saves you money on the wait staff, it DOES contain a lot more food than a plated dinner so remember... ** you will NOT always save money doing a buffet vs. plated dinner**
Stations are a lot of fun and very creative. You can use your imagination to theme the stations. Some examples include: "Under The Sea" for sushi and fish items, "Taste of Italy" for pasta items, "Greek Isles" for Mediterranean items and so on. Stations are a great way for guests to sample food they might have never had before and it gets guests to mix and mingle.