A Wedding Breakfast or Brunch
This is the perfect choice for couples who are planning an early morning wedding. Popular choices for an early morning celebration include: croissants and jams, smoked salmon, elegant quiches, fruit salads, omelet and/or carving stations, a variety of teas, juices, and coffees, and mimosas. Some will also offer Bloody Mary beverages or an espresso bar. A delicate white cake, or even Angel's Food cake, can offer a nice, light way to finish this type of reception. Weather permitting, a beautiful outdoor area – ex. resort oceanfront or lush gardens – can serve as an ideal setting for a wedding breakfast or brunch.
A Cocktail Reception
This is a delightful party, which lends itself to ample mingling. If you’re a social butterfly who loves to meet and greet everyone, this could be the reception for you. At a cocktail reception, you’ll see hot & cold hors d’oeuvres, caviar, iced raw bars, single-serving soups, wines, etc. Some cocktail receptions may even feature elaborate ice sculptures or bars carved entirely out of ice, or specialty drinks, such as pomegranate martinis and peach bellinis (champagne with peach purée).
A Tea Reception
If you envision your celebration as an elegant afternoon, you might consider hosting a tea reception. Ideal for those who are hopelessly romantic, popular tea reception fare may include sweet or savory tarts, delicate finger sandwiches, fruits and cheeses, an assortment of fine or unique teas – cold or hot, champagnes, and exotic coffees. Who can resist a warm almond-encrusted Brie, topped with buttery caramel and complemented by a piping hot cup of French vanilla tea? The offerings are limited only by your imagination.
A Buffet Dinner
The buffet dinner is an ideal choice for couples who would like to give friends and family the opportunity to choose where they sit and offer them a broader menu. A buffet is a great way to handle weddings of all sizes, but be sure to think about what your guests like to eat. For example, if you have a lot of vegetarians on hand, be sure to plan accordingly and don’t go overboard on meat offerings. Even if you only have one or two vegetarians, be sure to let the catering staff know so they can accommodate their needs. This way, no one will feel left out on your big day. Keep in mind that buffets encourage more milling about and standing in line and may require more staff to keep buffet items hot, dishes replenished, etc.
At dinner station-style receptions, you can serve all of your favorite foods, and those of your guests, too. This is an excellent reception choice for people who have eclectic friends and family. There truly is something for everyone at a dinner station reception. Like the buffet-style reception, dinner stations encourage milling and standing in lines, and often require a larger staff.
A Sit-Down Dinner
A sit-down dinner is a formal way to celebrate your nuptials. The location of your reception has a lot to do with planning your sit-down dinner reception. While popular menu choices include pasta and chicken, many sit-down receptions offer filets, common fish, or surf and turf selections. Some bolder menu choices, that are gaining in popularity, include more exotic fish and quail. Many couples, who choose the sit-down reception, opt to have dinner first and reserve the dancing until after the meal has ended.