How Do I Figure Out How Much of Each Entrée My Wedding Caterer Should Make?

indicating guests' meal choices on the reply card

Photo: Brian Finke

Many wedding caterers request that you provide them with a count of how many of each main course your guests will be having. Is there an easy or efficient way to do this? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your catering questions in our daily post.

Our caterer asked us to give him in advance the exact number of each entrée he'll need to provide. How do I get this information from our guests?

Most caterers these days will ask you to give them the precise number of each entrée—that way, they'll know exactly how much food to order and can plan their meal preparations accordingly. The easiest way to get your guests' meal choices is to address it on the invitation's reply card (though doing so may interfere a bit with the design of your stationery suite!). Keep it as simple as possible, opting for single words like chicken, beef, vegetarian, etc. (Definitely don't list actual descriptions of each dish—that would be opening up a can of worms that you do not want to deal with!) Include a request for guests to indicate their entrée choice, along with a blank line next to each options so guests can fill in the number of meals. You could also include a separate enclosure in the invitation. Many stationers include these in their suites, as it is commonplace for couples to request meal preferences with an RSVP.

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