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Wedding Reception Food 101

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Wedding Reception Food 101

Put the U in Menu: How to pick the right wedding reception food.

Choosing the perfect wedding reception menu, one that matches the flow and style of your event, doesn’t have to be difficult.  In fact, we would say it’s one of the more appetizing decisions you’ll have to make while planning your Long Island wedding. In order to pick the wedding reception food that is right for you, we recommend weighing your options and then being creative!


Formal sit-down dinners are …well, formal. They are timeless and are a great choice for couples that are celebrating their wedding at a catering hall, since the wedding venue will be able to provide the service and staff needed to serve and clean up in a timely manner. If you have speeches and toasts planned, consider a sit-down dinner, which will encourage your entire guest to be seated (and quiet, if the food is good) for a significant amount of time.

We recommend a banquet style menu for wedding receptions with a smaller guest list. Since they are seated close together conversation will flow effortlessly and the individual price per plate can be low. On the contrary, serving individual dishes to a large 300 guest wedding can become rather costly and keeping everyone in his or her seats might be tough.


More recent Long Island wedding trends show brides breaking the banquet barriers. They are opting for a less structured dining experience and replacing main course dishes with interactive food stations.

Buffets are a great way to satisfy a large group of people while offering variety (and when it comes to food who doesn’t love options!) Buffet-style menus are also a great option for those couples that love partying. They encourage guests to eat whenever they please- meaning no breaks from dancing or mingling. This type of wedding menu leaves lots of room for creativity when it comes to choosing wedding reception food; from carving stations to seafood stations, you are sure the find the perfect spread. If you communicate with your catering hall they can offer you suggestions on ways to customize your wedding reception food stations.


Cocktail receptions are a perfect option for those on a tighter wedding budget. Cocktail receptions usually last around 3-4 hours and provide the guests with hors devours only.

This choice is recommended for couples who want to  offer their guests multiple options as well as couples who have a large guest list with a not so large budget.

There is no denying that the food you serve at your wedding is important. By communicating your budget and desires with your catering hall, they will help you create your vision by providing you with the best menu you can afford. Once you’ve figured out the wedding reception food for you, check out our guide to picking the perfect wedding cake.