No Meal Choices on RSVP & Not a Buffet

posted 2 years ago in Food
Post # 2
8815 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

kristin36890 :  I always thought this was up to the caterer. Some require counts in advance and some say they’ll have it covered day of. Your wedding planner’s opinion doesn’t matter if your caterer does it one way or the other — have you asked them?

Post # 3
713 posts
Busy bee

I’m not giving a meal choice and I’m having a plated meal. My venue sent me a list of meal options for the main course and I have to pick 3 of those for my guests to choose from on that day. There were like 10 options so I couldn’t ask what everyone wanted because I have to limit it to three choices on the day of. I am making sure to cover my bases by having a meat option, a vegetarian option (pasta), and a seafood option. 

Post # 4
5951 posts
Bee Keeper

I’ve been to plated events, including weddings and very fancy showers, where there were no meal choices provided, it was either a pre-selected multi-course meal (for example: anti-pasto, pasta, main entree- same for everyone- salad, dessert) or served family style at the table. I’d be fine with this but if you have food allergies or you’re a vegetarian etc, I’d inquire. 

Post # 5
7414 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

That’s nuts. Your caterer is not going to be cooking meals to order and they’re not going to make extras just in case. Your etiquette book is wrong and so is your wedding planner. Ask the caterer. They’ll tell you they need a head count.

Post # 6
1463 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Double check with your caterer that they don’t need numbers for each entree beforehand. I didn’t have meal choices on my RSVP card. We provided menus at each place setting and guests were able to order directly like a restaurant. But this was the norm at my venue, we chose 3 entrees that would go on the menu and the venue planned accordingly.

Post # 8
1638 posts
Bumble bee

My venue gave me the choice of either. Having them order day of was more expensive by $10/head. I went to a wedding where they printed out these cute little pieces of paper with images of the food (fish, beef, vegetarian), and put it at the person’s assigned seat so the person could remember what they ordered.

Post # 9
4035 posts
Honey bee

You’ll have to check with your venue. I’ve never worked with a planner, just the venue’s banquet manager.

Some want exact numbers of each entree, but will still make a certain percentage of plates above that final number, due to guests changing their minds, additional guests showing up, dropped plates, etc. Other venues will give you a tableside menu, of a few different entrees, and the guests make their choice at their seats, the evening of the reception.

My family has offered mulitple entree options, which were later marked on the guests’ escort card, so they remember what they requested and the server knows what to serve without asking the guest. (The music might be too loud, they might not be in their seat, and such). 

P.s. I was in the midle of making the 1st response, but I guess I type too slowly. Responses made while I was typing would have changed my response. 

Post # 10
1351 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

To make sure I understand this correctly, the day of your guests will be given the choice day of between a certain number of entrees?
If that’s the case, it’s totally normal. This was the way we had it at my wedding and many i’ve been to in the past.

Post # 11
8815 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

kristin36890 :  Is part of your planner’s job to work with the caterer so you don’t have to? If so, and you trust her, sounds like you don’t need to provide meal counts. If not, or if you don’t trust her, I would ask the caterer directly. Like someone else said, sometimes there’s a price difference between giving counts in advance vs letting people order at the table. Your planner could be trying to make things easier for you or she could be trying to influence you towards the more expensive option. If there’s no price difference and the caterer says they can accommodate tableside orders, I’d trust them and save myself the hassle.

Post # 13
2610 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club

That’s usually up to the caterer. Some places don’t require it, but some do. My venue required a number for each meal choice. They made extras of each in case people changed their minds or forgot their selection. I actually have a friend who has a TON of allergies who was able to eat one of our meal choices with a small modification and she loved it so much that she asked if she could get seconds, since she can rarely eat out due to her allergies, and they gladly packed her up a couple more servings in a to go container to take home for another day. I thought that was awesome! She told me after the honeymoon and we did not get charged any extra either.

Post # 14
2489 posts
Buzzing bee

I went to a formal wedding recently that had a plated meal without a meal choice on the RSVP card. Instead, they had waiters take our orders tableside. It was not great for me because I’m vegan and they didn’t plan for that eventuality (they had a veg meal loaded with dairy), so I ended up with a very bland plate of unseasoned veggies. As a guest I’d prefer to know in advance whether there’s an option I can eat or whether I should head to Chipotle to fill up before dinner.

Post # 15
2877 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

A lot of caterers handle meal options that way and just offer three or so options for guests the day of so I wouldn’t really worry about that. They know how much food to order based on attendance. I would however try to figure out if you have any guests with food allergies or if any guests are vegan to ensure that they will have a full meal like every other guest. 

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