Wedding Food & Drink: How to Offer Reception Dinner Entree Options?

Q: We will have two wedding reception dinner choices, plus a children's meal. How do we let our wedding guests know the options, and how do they let us know what they would like (and how many of each)?

A: The most common way of handling this is to include the wedding reception dinner options on the bottom of the response card -- it makes things really easy for your guests, since they need to return the card to you anyway. Some etiquette experts (and some regular people, too) will tell you this is tacky, but for many people it's simply the most practical.If you don't want to do that, talk to your wedding caterer or reception site manager to come up with a plan. When you give them the total headcount for the reception, specify the number of children (since they'll be getting kids' meals), but also ask how they plan on handling the entree choice. Most caterers will have a good sense of how guests will choose (whether it will be split down the middle or one choice traditionally enjoys much more popularity). To really be on the safe side though, you should probably go ahead and order a few extra of each meal.If that sounds too scary, stick to the wedding invitation response cards. Simply list the three options (you might indicate what the child's meal includes as well as noting that it's for kids) underneath the line on which wedding guests let you know whether they will attend. Put an underscore in front of each option, so guests can write in the number of each kind of meal that they'd like (or a check mark, if, say, there are three people coming and each of them wants a different meal). Guests generally understand what to do when they see wedding reception dinner options on a response card, so don't worry too much about it!

Up Next
Q&A: Invitations: Destination Wedding Etiquette?

My fiance and I are getting married in Maui and know that not all the 200 guests we would like to invite will make it. When we come back home, we are going to have a reception for everyone not able to make the trip. I've read that when getting married away and returning home to a reception, you should only send out wedding invitations to those you know can and will attend the wedding, then send out separate invitations for the reception. We both feel very strongly about sending invitations to everyone and then including (at the bottom) that a reception will be held in our honor when we return. We are afraid that if we follow etiquette, we will hurt people's feelings. Do we follow the rules or do what we feel is right?

by The Knot