Questions for Stacy: Indicating Entrée Choices


My fiancé and I are in the process of creating our invitations and are trying to decide whether or not we ask our guests to indicate their entrée choice on their reply card.  Can you please explain the reason some couples choose to ask this question and some choose not to?  I would imagine there are pros and cons associated with both decision.


You are correct; there are pros and cons that come along with either decision.  Some couples feel that asking their guests to make their entree decision prior to the wedding takes away from the surprise factor of the night.  Additionally, some feel that it’s difficult for guests to think of what they’d like to eat at the wedding, let alone remember what they selected that far in advance.  Weddings where guests are asked to indicate their entree choice when they sit down to dinner are better suited for smaller weddings.  Another important factor to take note of is that electing to order upon sitting down can slow down the dining process, as the waiters must collect orders and then work with the chefs behind the scenes to place them.  In our experience, this is done most successfully when our clients have done restaurant buyouts, as they are able to utilize unused ingredients on their public menu the following day.

The biggest pro associated with asking your guests for their entree choice in advance is the amount of money you save by allowing your caterer to create a more accurate food order.  When entree choices are not made in advance, the caterers have no way of gauging which entrees will be in high demand and are forced to purchase as much as three times the amount of food that will actually be consumed that evening.  When you ask your guests to make their entree choice in advance, your total food waste goes down tremendously.  I would suggest discussing the various fees associated with all the above options with your caterer before making this decision.  If food waste is of particular concern to you, I would definitely suggest you ask your guests for their entree choice in advance or make it easy and choose on their behalf.

Our favorite (and most recommended) way to serve dinner at a wedding is plated.  This way the menu is selected ahead of time and guests don’t have to worry about choosing a meal or making a decision once they’re at the wedding.  We find that our clients want their guests to have fun and feel as though they are at a festive dinner party. What better way to achieve this feeling than choosing the meal on their behalf? Think of it this way: your wedding is essentially the most fabulous dinner party you’ll ever throw.  When hosting a dinner party at home, do you ask your guests in advance what they’d like to eat?  If you’re anything like us, the answer is generally no.

I hope you have fun creating your menu, and Bon Appétit!

Photo By Yvonne Wong

Photo By Yvonne Wong Photography

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