No Meal Choices on RSVP & Not a Buffet

posted 2 years ago in Food
Post # 16
6335 posts
Bee Keeper

This would not have worked out for us lol. We had  meat/seafood options for our appy and our entree. The appy was 95% seafood and 5% meat, and then the entree was 90% steak and 10% fish. My caterer would have been hooped because they would have ran out of both the seafood appy and the steak entree lol. 

That said, my Mother-In-Law DID try to change her mind the day of, but I think she was the only one. They did make a few extra anyways. 

Post # 18
248 posts
Helper bee

Our wedding was like this as well.  We created a menu at our tasting and offered our guest a choice of 4 entrees (chicken, beef, seafood, veg), which servers took orders tableside the night of.

Post # 19
3839 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I’ve never had to choose my meal when I RSVPd. It seems to be more of a thing in the US? (I’m in Australia). All the plated weddings I’ve been to you just choose/order at dinnertime and there’s never been a problem. 

Post # 20
4471 posts
Honey bee

There’s nothing unusual about this.  I’ve been to company dinners like this.  There is a pre-selected menu, we’re given the options when we get to our table, and the servers ask us our preference at the table.

If your caterer is telling you this is their preferred method and they have been in business long enough to cater more than one wedding, believe them.  They know what they are doing.  They know how to calculate amounts and assure there is enough – it’s their job.

Post # 21
9039 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

kristin36890 :  Another aussie bee saying I’ve never had to rsvp with a meal choice. The standard here is alternative drop, so you get the steak, the next person the chicken, the next the steak and so on. It is understood by hosts and guests that anyone with food restrictions will tell the host when they rsvp, which is what we do as I’m vegetarian and my husband is vegan. 

If you don’t like your meal you just let the waiter know you would prefer the chicken over steak as they always make extra.

Post # 22
11960 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

Your planner and your own research are correct. Most properly you don’t ask in advance. Either there is table side ordering or the caterer just serves a pre-arranged menu with accommodations available day of.

Many caterers are aware and fully capable of accommodating. Some pretend not to be unless you insist and others only consider their own bottom line and will require a meal count, giving you no choice. 

Post # 23
6301 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

kristin36890 :  we were able to have people choose at the table if we wanted but a) this would have cost more and b) more importantly, this would have really put a squeeze on an already tight schedule. So we gave people 3 options for the starter and dessert and 4 for the main (full descriptions, not just chicken/red meat/fish) and then their options were printed on a name card which doubled up as a menu card so that on the day they were reminded of what they had ordered.

Post # 24
334 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

j_jaye :  this has been overwhelmingly been my experience too, I’ve never had a choice with a meal at a wedding.

Post # 25
4009 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

j_jaye :  that’s so interesting! I’ve never heard of meals done that way. I like hearing different ways things are done in other countries. I especially like the fact that I’ve learned that in Australia it is standard that bride and groom pay for their BPs attire! 

At our wedding our guests selected what they wanted from three choices ( seafood, chicken, beef) with a waiter at their table on the day of the wedding. 

Post # 26
1305 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve been to weddings where there was no RSVP for your entree choice.  At those, everyone received both entrees, so if it was steak and chicken, both were on the plate.  I’ve also been to weddings where you had your choice of one of 3 entrees and ordered at the table.

We’re doing family style, which I realize isn’t super popular, but that’s what our venue recommended.  We are having the reception in the private room of a restaurant and it was less expensive for us to choose 3 entrees (and sides, plus salad and soup) and to have them serve it family style.  The only thing that will be plated is the soup.

OP, don’t stress it.  Your vendors have done this before.

Post # 27
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2018 - SLS Las Vegas

Horseradish :  you couldn’t be more wrong. Especially if it is in a large hotel. There are hundreds of workers in the culinary department and they plan for every scenario.

Post # 28
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Our venue cooks meals to order, so there will be a choice of two entrees on the menu the night of the event (plus a vegetarian option available if needed), but our guests won’t preselect beforehand on rsvp cards. They’ll just order their choice table side.

Post # 29
252 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

j_jaye :  I second your post -am in Australia too and the weddings I’ve been to are usually alternate drop. Good thing Darling Husband is super chill and always willing to swap if I prefer the other option. 😆

Our wedding venue had “alternate drop” as the standard option however we chose to pay $8-10 extra per person to allow each guest to order from the menu. Darling Husband didn’t have all that many requests for the wedding but he really wanted guests to be able to choose their mains. 

Post # 30
4038 posts
Honey bee

kristin36890 :  Besides buffet receptions, the plated receptions I have attended always had a meal selection with the rsvp card. I can only think of my friend’s reception which was plated without a meal choice because they had less people coming than they thought so they were able to upgrade to a dual entree which was beef &prawns. They knew ahead of time 5 of their guests are vegetarians so they just informed the caterer. 

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