I'm having a bit of a catering issue that is probably only in my head, but I still need to run it by other brides for suggestions. I have a tentative menu and when I shared it with my mother and future MIL, they shared the same concern . Basically I'm having a wedding at 5:00 and plan on serving BBQ and offering an alternative meat, green beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, rolls, and a fruit/veggie tray.
I made RSVP cards but haven't ordered them yet. I put on there an entree choice bc I thought it would be good to get an idea of how many wanted BBQ and how many wanted chicken so I knew how much to get.
When I shared my menu and RSVP card ideas this is what I was shared. Having RSVP cards with entree choices indicate that I'm having a sit down dinner. I don't think my venue is big enough for that and I don't want a sit down dinner. When I said that, they said that they thought that my menu isn't really something that you can eat standing up. I think they're wrong but there is validity in their concerns because I am trying to figure out whether my menu is way too formal and can be scaled back some. I've only got 6 guest tables and I'm sending out 100 invitations.
Am I overdoing it with food?
@born2teachuga: So, you've got what 48 chairs? And 100 invites translates to how many people? I think even if it translates to 100 guests, that's not enough seating. If I'm eating bbq, I at least want to be able to sit in a chair, even if I have to put the plate on my lap.
How will the food be served? If it's laid out in a buffet, lots of people will take both. That's what people do at buffets. Skip the sides, and load up on the "good" stuff, thinking they should get their/your money's worth.
I would either go for a finger food menu, or get more tables. As a guest, I would be extremely frustrated/upset at your wedding. I'm a perpetual klutz, and prefer to eat sitting down unless its true finger food. Add in a nice dress or outfit, heels, and a potentially messy food and no place to sit- honestly I probably just wouldn't eat. There's no way I could manouver a plate, a knife/fork to eat BBQ/Chicken and sides, and a drink without a table a chair. Some things you could do:
Add more seating (if there is space)
Cut back # invited
Modify your menu-
Instead of BBQ, could you do mini/finger BBQ sandwiches or some type of BBQ'ed meat skewer, fruit/veggie tray, and other appetizer type foods? There's a recipe for fried Mac and Cheese balls- they look like bite size meatballs, but are mac n cheese with a breading on the outside, they are super yummy and easy to eat standing up. Then you could set up tables with the food, and plates and napkins, and guests could easily get food and eat without needing a seat.
I get wanting the more casual laid back feeling to a wedding- we went for a similar feel and it worked out nicely, but I just don't see the table/eating situation working well.
You could do a lot of bar height tables to give people a place to set their plates while they eat. Or. switch the menu to more finger-friendly food.
If your wedding starts at five, you really need to offer people a meal instead of just finger foods. Your menu sounds great, but I'd be concerned that my guests would be uncomfortable not being able to sit all night. I'd either add more seating or invite fewer people.
I also agree with your mum and FMIL. Asking which entree they want will lead to trouble. What if the guest ticked chicken and when they get up to the food there is no chicken left because someone who ticked BBQ liked the look of the chicken as well/better?
I also agree that more seating is needed regardless of food or not. Asking 100 people to stand for 4-6hrs is a bit much especially in high heels.
Well I just looked at my notes again and I actually have 9 tables. 6 will be inside the pavilion and they're 120", then I'll have 3 cocktail tables set up outside near the bar area that are 108". My ceremony and reception are all at the same place. The ceremony is 500 ft from the reception area. They have 150 chairs available to rent and whatever we use for the ceremony, we will just transfer to the reception (I'm guessing. Need to double check that). With this info added, what do you think I should do now?
For that time of day/night, you need to offer an actual meal, not finger food, and if you're having a meal, you need to provide more seats. BBQ is messy and especially if you have ladies in high heels, they'll want to sit down. I think you could only get away with this if you had a much earlier wedding with a cocktail reception.
@born2teachuga: I PM'd you, but another note is still about asking preference. Unless you're going to keep track of who said which meal, and specifically have someone serving and keeping track, I wouldn't count on the RSVP's giving you an accurrate count of how much to buy. I often forget which entree I selected by the time weddings roll around, and end up (usually pleasantly) surprised about what lands on my plate. If things are going to be laid out on a table casually, I'd count on a lot of people taking BBQ and chicken. We had a buffet with chicken/lasagne/roast beef/ham/salmon/ or a seafood dish, and I was surprised how many pepole had ALLLLLLL of them. Gotta load up on those big ticket items!
You need seating. Yikes.
I've never been to a wedding reception without enough seats for everyone (even cocktail receptions) and I think I would be a bit miffed. I'm young and a pretty good party-goer, but I would probably not last too long at your event. And as far as I'm concerned, BBQ & cole slaw are NEVER finger foods. Even with the green beans and mac & cheese, I would definitely need a seat. There's just too much of a potential to make a total mess! The others are right... you need to bite the bullet and get more tables/chairs or cut the number of guests.
As for the meat selection, I would also leave it off the RSVP card for the reasons others have stated. We do regular BBQ meals at work, and in general we do a three to one ratio of pulled pork to chicken (if you do pulled chicken instead of chicken breasts or some other variation...) when we cater, and that seems to work pretty well.
It is way too much to ask guests to juggle coats, plates, drinks, silverware, napkins, purse, etc. Even if you have picnic stye seating (no table, purse on your lap) people need a place to sit down and park their stuff.
I think you need some sort of seating for everyone. At 5pm I might not be expecting a full formal dinner, but I would at least expect to sit down with my food. I'd be pretty miffed if I just got finger food, and I wouldn't be confortable eating whilst standing up. You don't need to do the full formal table thing, but I think people do need to be able to sit down!
I think since your wedding is at 5 over dinner you need to serve a full meal. It doesn't have to be plated but there should be enough seats for everyone to sit down. Just have it buffet style.
I agree with others you need enough seats/ space to eat. Are you self catering? I think even with the buffet option the caterers usual have a good idea on prior history of how much they need. So it possible to ask your caterer for their advice on that. I also think the way it is worded on the rsvp indicates a sit down meal.
I also have to throw in if you are having meal served standing up then you need to have the appropriate food for it. Having bbq and coleslaw is definitely the type of food that needs be served sitting down.
I have been two weddings without traditional sit down set table sitting.
One started later with the ceremony at 7, then had heavy appetizers that were easy to eat.
The second had lounge seating with stations and eat as you go or please. With flood served in small bowls,plates. and glasses which again maid it easy to get multiple portions and comfortable eat at couches cocktails tables.
So if you want to serve food that I think going those routes would be easier and more convenient for the guest.
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