Does your caterer perhaps offer a combination plate of beef and chicken (smaller portions of each, of course)? I wanted to offer my guests AMAZING food, but I did not want to get lost in the complex details of having to decipher who from a family of four was selecting which of several entrees etc. Instead, I decided to do what I had recently seen done at two other formal weddings, and that was to offer a combination plate of filet of beef and shellfish.
Although we had a special kids’ meal for the children, all of the adults at our wedding received the combination plate — with a small number of exceptions. I personally knew that a handful of our guests are allergic to seafood, so THOSE guests received a combination plate with two portions of the beef. My dad, who is Catholic, does not eat meat on Fridays, and I was married on a Friday, so HIS entree was a double portion of the seafood.
Our reply cards did not make any reference at all to menu selections and were used only to indicate the name(s) of the guests and whether or not they would be attending. However, we listed our dinner menu in detail on our wedding website, and we had a note at the end asking anyone who is allergic to shellfish, or who cannot eat beef, or who required a vegetarian entree, to e-mail us to let us know.
At the reception, we had escort envelopes bearing guests’ names. For the overwhelming majority of guests, all that was inside was the escort card indicating the guest’s table number. However, for my small number of menu “exceptions,” I used vellum and sparkling letters in one of our wedding colors to create beautiful, little, specially coded cards that asked these guests to place the cards at their place settings. The cards specifically identified for the venue’s servers which guests received the double portion of seafood, and which received the double portion of beef. I also had one guest who required a vegetarian entree.
I was so happy at how simple this “system” was, and my guests just raved and raved about the food at our wedding! 🙂
I hope you are able to devise a system that will work best for you, your Fiance, and your guests and that you have a wonderful wedding!