I'm with shroomgirl. Gotta know something about budget, facilities and what you can and like to cook before jumping in with suggestions.
What are we looking at? You said you wanted to keep the price down. What does that mean? Around $20 per head for everything? More? Less?
What are the onsite facilities like. Typical is something like a six or eight burner commercial stove with two full sized ovens, a flat top, some big pots, commercial sink onsite, reasonable amount of space on a big, stainless table, and not much in the way of refrigeration. So much for typical. What do you have?
Do you have to supply linens, plates, flatware, chaffers, other serving pieces? Or do they? If they don't, is that factored into your per person budget?
Do you have to set up the hall, chairs, tables, buffet table, etc? Or, will they? Do you have a separate rentals budget?
If there's something you do particularly well, by all means play to your strengths. Especially since you've been out of the game for awhile. The one caveat is to not let your buffet get too eclectic because your six best dishes are wholly unrelated. Do you have some particular style you're very comfortable with? For instance, are you the world's greatest Danish cook, or maybe Greek? The best soul food in North Dakota? Does your BIL have a big, trailer mounted Klose? Ethnic cuisines are a good way to be exotic and keep costs down.
What about beverage service? If there will be cocktails, you'll want to do some apps -- either at an app station, or passed. If there will be wine, you'll have to think about pairing.
You should be able to handle 45 with one other person very easily. It's not impossible to do by yourself, but will stretch you thin. 45 covers for one cook isn't much of a catering challenge, but you can only be in one place at a time. When I catered, I didn't like to do more than eight covers by myself. It's not the cooking, it's the schlepping.
If you're going to have a carving station as Chef Billy suggested, two people could be tight -- but it depends on the menu.
You might want to consider at least one main which can be prepared in advance and is sturdy enough to hold up to chaffers, a quality meat in a quality sauce. Chicken Marsala is a good example, so are etouffe and chile verde. I'm not actually suggesting these in particular, but you get the idea. Baked casseroles like moussaka or lasagna, are also good for keeping service simple. I know you already know this, but things which are both good and don't require constant and immediate attention make life so much better.
Good luck and let us know,
Edited by boar_d_laze - 9/4/10 at 5:23pm