Ways to steer guests toward cheaper meal option?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
34 posts

I don’t necessarily think that would work. The options you mentioned actually sound better to me than the “more appealing” ones! ha! 

Here’s an idea. My friend is getting married and she was talking about how they had their tasting and she was actually considering the vegetarian option because it was so good. I ended up picking that for my meal since she raved about it. You could try that!

Post # 3
5028 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2017

There’s truly no way to influence someone to choose one option over another and I am willing to bet only a select few would have dietary concerns/lifestyles that would limit them to the vegetarian option.  I personally think its ridiculous that you are purposely selecting meals that you believe to be less appealing to coerce your guests.  You chose to provide a reception to your guests so be a good host.

If I were to attend your event, I would likely opt for fish (and not because of the price tag). I try to stay away from heavy carbs/grains and chicken is a pretty typical everyday option in my world.

Btw, not only is the vegetarian option less money but it is of little nutritional value, pasta and cheese.  This is what would influence my meal choice.

Post # 4
3452 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

Your menu might not make you look cheap but this certainly makes you sound cheap. Listen I’m all for saving a few dollars but your plan blows. I don’t want to be steered toward ravioli bc you purposely picked two other options that you know aren’t very appealing. Thats just wrong. Maybe ask if you can negotiate pricing by only picking two options or see if you can negotiate the price per plate down a couple dollars. It worked with our venue but I’m not sure if thats the norm. Not sure what else to suggest I just know I don’t care for this plan at all.

Post # 5
246 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Not to come off rude but if you’re worreid about being able to afford everyone’s meal I would either switch your caterer or go with a family-style or buffet dinner, both of which are usually less expensive than plated options.

Post # 6
1020 posts
Bumble bee

Good luck with all that.  I don’t think you can steer your guests towards the cheap option.  Like the pp, both of the entrees you think are less appealing sound great to me.  I would order the shrimp out of those three options.  And a lot of people- men, especially – don’t think they’ve had a real meal unless there’s meat. 

Post # 7
5846 posts
Bee Keeper

I’d hate to think someone gave me the illusion of an option all the while wishing I picked C not B or A. 🙁  Never give people an option if you’re not truly open to whatever they choose. Deliberately  choosing what you think are less appealling fish or chicken options is just…well, I don’t even know how to put it into words. If you want to go with the vegetarian option for everyone, then just go with it. 

Post # 8
1398 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I’d be picking that chicken lol that sounds bomb. I don’t think you can influence guests to pick a certain meal. I wouldn’t be picking ravioli at a wedding and I don’t think you should expect guests to pick a cheaper option…cut back on something else if you can’t afford it. You decided to go with this venue or caterer who sets the prices so just don’t try to influence people to pick something they may not like because it’s cheaper for you! Honestly a few dollars a person isn’t going to be that big of a deal unless you have like 1000 guests.

Post # 9
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I honestly don’t think this will work. I don’t think I’ve ever ordered a vegetarian meal at any event and unless the other option was something I was allergic to I wouldn’t lol


I think your best bet is to eliminate one of the more expensive meals. If you did a seafood and vegetarian dish theres a potential for more people to pick the vegetarian meal because they may not like it/may be allergic but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Post # 10
654 posts
Busy bee

I don’t know if a lot of people are going to be swayed by “buttery” cheese raviloli, as a PP mentioned there’s almost nothing in there but carbs and fat. I’d either choose a more affordable caterer, or make dinner one option – cheese ravioli.

Post # 11
7430 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

This sounds pretty awful to me. Plus, If you have 100 guests, this will save you a whopping $500 (if every single person changes from the most expensive item to the least expensive item).

“… I want people to eat what makes them happy.”  No, you don’t, because you’re considering choosing a less desirable menu with the sole motivation being to cut costs (at the expense of your guests’ enjoyment).

“I’ll still have a nice menu that doesn’t make me look cheap.”  And doing it this way is really uncool.  Why not add a nice lobster in blueberry-broccoli sauce too? That would make you look like a super high roller without spending money, after all.

Find some other way to cut back, not one that makes you seem ungracious.  There should be nothing on your menu that you don’t want people to actually order, nor should there be anything that you would not be thrilled to eat yourself. 

Post # 12
702 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I don’t think your plan would work honestly. You’re not going to influence people’s decisions…a lot of people assume a vegetarian meal won’t be filling or satisfying so even if people think your meat/fish options sound nasty, they’ll probably opt for the least offensive option and might just make sure to eat something else beforehand in case it turns out bad. Plus, honestly, one of the only things people will remember from your wedding is whether or not the food was good–so pick the best tasting food and let people pick what they like.

Sidenote-you found a caterer that’s willing to cater alongside food your family is prepping? That’s surprising since most wouldn’t like the liability of getting blamed if someone gets sick off of the other food at the wedding.

Post # 13
4656 posts
Honey bee

I’d take shrimp over salmon any day of the week.  I just ordered a salad with salmon on it and am regretting it, wishing I had chicken.  What you may think is less appealing may be even more appealing to others.  I lots of people who would pass on masala  (since it has mushrooms) and pick raspberry.  You’re going to be sorely disappointed trying to guess what people will do.

If you don’t want people to pick them, don’t offer them.  Simple as that.  Find some other way to be cheap, whether that is only offer vegetarian meals, remove the seafood option and only offer chicken or veg, see if limited buffet might be cheaper averaging out the costs, or do a fixed plate option where everyone gets half chicken, half ravioli except vegetarians who get full ravioli.

Post # 14
257 posts
Helper bee

Just cut the fish altogether? I’ve never seen ANYONE order fish at a wedding, its always the steak or chicken. Just offer two options, meat (chicken) and vegetarian (pasta) and call it a day.

You can’t influence your guests decisions, they’re picking a meal months out from when they’re going to eat it (and some people will automatically pick chicken, no matter WHAT kind because that’s all the want to eat). 

Unless you’ve got a super shitty caterer, you’re not going to look cheap. Make sure the quality and presentation is up to snuff and you’ll be fine. I get wanting to save money, but food is NOT the place to do it. Cut back on your dress/decor/florals/whatever instead. Food is SUPER important.

Post # 15
507 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

rao4400 :  Be a gracious host, find another way to cut costs. The reception is your way of thanking your guests for witnessing your union, don’t purposely “steer” them towards a cheaper meal option. 

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