Post # 1
Hi guys.. originally we planned to have a buffet and we ordered our invitations and response cards months ago.. yesterday we met with our wedding venues coordinator and we all decided that a plated dinner would actually work out much better for us. She said it makes the dinner go alot quicker and also it will help us reach our minimum. Plus the more I think about it the more I just like the whole idea. Anyway..the issue is the response cards we have only say accept or decline. So here are my options… reorder all new response cards that match the suite… make little insert cards that includes a meal selection.. use an online rsvp and have meal selection there?… Not sure that to do. Any ideas? Thanks!
Post # 2
Our venue is taking orders at the table. Will yours do that? They say a lot of people change their minds after filling out the cards anyway. If not, I would say to do the online RSVP.
Post # 3
Do you think all of your guests would be able to RSVP online? Maybe you could print the meal choices on a label and add it to the RSVP card if there’s space and it wouldn’t look strange.
Post # 4
Despite what they try to tell you, most reputable venues are perfectly capable of estimating amounts and allowing people to request their preference the day of. Some just don’t want to, for obvious reasons, but will agree to it if you insist.
Traditional etiquette dislikes RSVP cards as well as the idea of requiring your guests to order in advance. Since this is a private social event, most proper thing to do would be to just to serve the food you want to serve, perhaps with a notice on the website for anyone to contact you with allergy issues.
In reality, many hosts want to offer options.
If ordering tableside is impossible, your best bet in this case is probably to just contact your guests individually.
Post # 5
Could you just do an alternative drop and if the guests want to switch amongst themselves on the table they can?
Post # 6
We are doing plated but disliked the idea of making guests order in advance. We also wanted to avoid the pain of keeping track of all the rsvp choices, especially since many people seem to change their minds at the last minute anyway. Our solution is to do a “duo” of two proteins, with everyone getting the same plate. Our caterer says this makes things go much more smoothly and quickly the day of. Bonus: we don’t need to assign seats, just tables!
We were offered a filet and grouper option that was in our budget. If the duo had been too pricey, we would have simply ordered one “safe” protein (chicken or steak) and called it a day. Good luck with your planning!
Post # 7
As others said, table-side ordering would be best. If it’s not possible though, any of your options would be fine. Or just order whatever you want to serve and have people contact you about restrictions.
I recommend against alternate drop unless you’re in AUS or somewhere else where that’s common. In the US it’s not common and I would hate it so bad. When I first heard of it here, I didn’t even believe it could be real. I know the idea is people will trade, but who wants to be passing plates back and forth. Plus, you know one will be more popular than the other. People with the popular one will feel guilty for keeping it, and people with the less popular one will be drooling over what they can’t have. Although chicken piccata is not my favorite, if that’s what you’re serving, I’ll eat it and have a wonderful time. But if you’re serving ME chicken piccata and the guys next to me steak au poivre, I’m going to spend dinner cursing my bad luck.
Post # 8
Every plated dinner wedding I’ve attended has always asked tableside, even when the choice was already on the response card. The caterer doesn’t literally tally up exactly how much of what to have prepared. Don’t worry about it.
Post # 9
Hmmm… 2 daughters = 2 plated weddings = escort cards with entrees on them, as requested by the venue. On the template of the numbered tables in the room, we had to write down how many of which entree, should be brought to each table. The waitstaff didn’t ask the guests – it would have been difficult to hear, above the band. Plus there was dancing between courses, so not everyone was in their seat, before the entree was served.
With one of the two venues it would have been possible to change around the number of meals a bit – it was a hotel ballroom and they regularly prepare something like 5% more, in case extra people show up. The other was a remote site, 10 minutes from the hotel/caterer and they allow a little extra, in case of misshaps, but that’s about it.
Before I started ordering vegeatrian entrees, my husband and I would order two different choices, and then trade-off, if we didn’t like one of our choices. I saw a 4 weddings show recently, where the guests had a complete menu at each place, with choices for each course. They mentioned 8 entree choices. I can’t imagine how long that would have taken?
Post # 10
So much of the practicality of ordering on-the-spot depends on the venue and the caterer. If your caterer doesn’t offer this, now is the wrong time to make them try something new. Just get new RSVP cards printed up. it’s the most straightforward option and while it does cost some money, you’ll save hours of frustration managing the RSVP’s if you end up sending out two RSVP cards.
Post # 11
Thank you guys for all of your opinions. I’ve never in my life heard of the ‘alternate drop’ and I don’t think I would like it…and unfortunately the venue said we need to know the orders ahead of time so no ordering at the table. .. We are just going to have to suck it up and order all new response cards.. We have plenty of time and it’s really the easiest option I guess.. our fault for ordering our invitation suite before we finalized dinner plans. Thank you guys!
Post # 12
We chose a combination plate of filet of beef and seafood and served it to every adult guest. On our website, we asked guests to contact us if they had food allergies. We heard from no one. For the small number of guests that I already knew had a seafood allergy or could not eat beef, those individuals received two portions of whichever item they could eat and none of what they could not eat. I learned from someone else that another guest is a vegetarian, so I contacted his wife to ask what he would prefer from the venues vegetarian entrees. Everything worked out great. People literally raved about the food at our wedding.
Post # 13
I’ve never actually attended a wedding where specific seats are assigned. Though it is a traditional thing to do, it never had anything to do with identifying which people ordered what. When there is an option, waiters generally come around during the toasts, the speeches or the first course and ask what you’d like to eat. At that time there is at most quiet dinner music playing and people are usually seated. If someone happens to be away from the table, the waiter will know to come back.
Combination plates are perfectly acceptable, and even recommended by etiquette as an alternative to soliciting menu choices, as if one at a restaurant rather than a private social function. We did opt for choices, though.