One good menu plan for a wedding reception is a sit-down dinner for a reception in a ballroom or club. Another menu plan is a buffet for the couple who wants multiple dishes served.
A sit-down dinner is suitable for a more formal reception or one where the couple wants to pair special wines with specific courses. This style of menu takes time and is typically pricier than other types but is usually catered with a particular amount of food to accommodate the attending guests. A buffet is appropriate for a day wedding with brunch-style food as well any menu that includes multiple food options. Buffets are not recommended for weddings with a guest list of 100 or more guests. Buffet food should not sit out longer than two and a half hours, and a wait staff is needed to direct buffet traffic.
For tight budgets, a cocktail menu plan includes hors d'oeuvres and drinks. Because there is not a lot of food, the reception is kept under three hours and is more low-key with less traditional reception activity. This is also an option for a wedding with a large guest list or in addition to a dinner. A casual barbecue is an appropriate menu plan for outdoor weddings or country themed weddings. Fare includes anything that can be grilled or found at a large picnic, and the caterer may bring a cook tent to prepare the food.