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How to Note Your Guests' Meal Choices | Wedding Reception Details

As you dive into the minutiae of wedding planning, one very important task is to note your guests' meal choices for the caterers. This will ensure everyone gets their meal of choice in a timely manner and avoid any food-related snafus. To avoid hangry guests or allergic reactions, and to keep your wedding design looking chic, we have a few top tips for denoting your guests' meal choices and the reasons why this is a crucially important task on the wedding planning to-do list.

Wedding Place Setting
Danielle Harris Photography

When To Gather Meal Choices

If you're doing a plated dinner with multiple entrees for your guests to choose from, you will request their meal choice with the RSVP. Just as guests will include the name of any plus ones they're bringing, they'll decide between the meal choices you have given them. This is also a chance for your guests to denote any food allergies and dietary restrictions they may have, which would need to be noted for the caterer. While including this on the RSVP is encouraged (and keeps everything in one place!), allergy information could also be requested on your wedding website. Gathering this information and working with it in a thoughtful way shows your guests that you care about their experience and ensures that no one is left with a grumbling stomach for the toasts and dancing!

Indy Wedding Planning
Danielle Harris Photography

Why It's Important

As you plan an evening of elegance, even if the wedding is on the casual side, you want it to flow in a formal way. You want your guests to be wowed and feel pampered as they celebrate your love. Attending a wedding can be a huge thing for a lot of guests, so this is a unique opportunity to show your thanks to them by making them feel extra special. Aside from pampering your guests, in the time between when a guest sends in their meal choice and the wedding day, it can be just enough time for a person to forget what they requested, so the whole evening will run much more smoothly if you've taken care of that for them.

Make Meal Choices Stand Out

The sky is the limit when determining how to note meal choices, but the key is that differences should be stark. Different shades of one color whether that's a jewel, font, ribbon, etc. are not a good way to notate choices as similar colors can be easily mistaken, especially in low-light evening scenarios.

A few of our favorites ways to denote meal choice are:

  • Colorful silk ribbons

  • Different colored keys

  • Mini photos of each guest in different colored frames

  • Multiple colors of place cards, or place cards with large swaths of varied colors

  • Different images on the card depicting the meal choice (ie: carrott, chicken, et.)

While it may be tempting to use all of the above options as add-ons to your escort cards we recommend not combining the two items. Guests typically would not be aware that they need to use the escort cards to serve a purpose, and therefore they might leave them on the display, lose them, or forget to place them on the table. Having the seating chart and/or escort cards serve one purpose, and place cards serve another. This tends to offer the most seamless process.

Wedding Placecards
Violet Short Photography

To avoid having your guests and caterers left scratching their heads about whether or not they're supposed to be receiving the meat, fish, or veg, clearly noted meal choices are crucial. While this can feel like a tiny detail or an annoying pre-wedding task, take some time to select a way to denote this in a way that is in line with your design. These little details will have a huge impact on the flow of your wedding meal and can be a fun way to add one more fun element of design into your wedding vibe.

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