Disclaimer: All joking aside, this section is not about making flippant remarks about vegetarians or vegans, nor about anyone with dietary requirements. Because as you, the reader will likely know, recent news events have highlighted that making such jokes is NOT OK. I’m not discriminating I have a family member who is a vegetarian.. This section is actually just about the pros / cons of giving your guests menu options.
No Choice – You Shalt Eat Chicken
You may instinctively believe that no choice is the easy choice; your guests will simply eat what you tell them to eat. And if you have invited 50 children who will all happily eat MacDonald Happy Meals [other fast food chains are available] then this maybe true.
However if you have invited 70-100 adults, it is fair to say a hand full of them will not even like chicken; nor your vegetarian option!
At that point you have two very basic options;
- Pander to them and start offering other options on the quiet to guests who dont like chicken
- Explain that your wedding is X months away which is plenty of time to learn to like CHICKEN.
Assuming you are not like this author and have an underlying urge to be liked, then option 2 probably isn’t the right one for you. Unless you enjoy ruling your wedding with an iron fist.
Not providing your guests with a choice (outside of vegetarian and vegan) usually works out a little cheaper. The overhead of caterers being able to satisfy multiple types of each course usually adds a surcharge to your bill. Worth noting however that there is always a vegetarian option available at no additional cost; and the vegetarian option can also be adapted to be vegan.
Pro Choice – What Shalt Thou Eat?
Giving your guests an option for each course usually keeps 99% of the guests happy [there is always one]; and providing menu choices with your invites and receiving their responses along with the RSVP is the normal process.
Although you’ll have to do the administration of this, it is incredibly helpful on the day if peoples name cards on the table also have their menu choices printed on them. Why you ask?
- Guests will have selected their menu choices months prior to your wedding and may not remember what they chose.
- It is not uncommon for people to suddenly prefer the sight of their neighbours food and ‘pretend‘ thats what they in fact ordered.
- Your guests will no doubt to talking to each other, so place names that can be turned around to show staff what everyone is eating saves time and disruption.
As mentioned in the the ‘No Choice’ section; providing options to guests will likely increase the costs of your catering bill; as there is extra resources and effort involved in making varying dishes. This is just one of the costs of getting married, as is the cost of corkage, over priced holidays [honeymoons] and pretending that a ‘toaster’ is something that you have always wanted, and have in fact lived without until this very day..
Test Your Menu!
Any caterer worth their salt #foodpun will suggest you visit their premises and taste your menu; DO IT
- This is a great chance to try your menu, which is good for many reasons
- The tasting is usually free assuming that you have already booked them; and everyone likes free food
it is your responsibility to check its free, don’ take this authors word for it
Person Insight [the last one] Amanda and I opted to give our guests menu choices. This was well received by most. We tracked RSVPs and Menu Choices via an elaborate Excel Spreadsheet [other spreadsheet applications are available] with VLOOKUPs and conditional formatting [Excel skills are sexy].
Why am I telling you this? Because tracking RSVPs as them came in meant that I could provide our Stationary Company with all information needed to create place names along with the menu choice; thus removing the ability for our lying, cheating and general mischievous guests to cause an incident.
and there was much rejoicing