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Choice Menu or Set Menu?

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

When I’m meeting with couples a discussion that quite often comes up is the wedding menu…..

Prior to my wedding stationery business, I worked in a wedding venue for 12 years selling weddings, private events and conferences and this topic used to be discussed with couples a lot. Back then it was easy, the event had to choose one starter, one main and one dessert for the entire party with the exception of dietary requirements. This was mainly due to the fact most of the banqueting food was prepped and served from a satellite kitchen (rather than the main kitchen) and doing a choice menu would have been an operational nightmare. However, I’m finding in more recent years, as I provide stationery to a number of venues, that some do offer their wedding couples a choice menu. This is not the case for all and you definitely need to discuss this with your Wedding Co-Ordinator. But if your venue does offer this then there are a number of things you perhaps need to consider.

1. You will need to get your guests choice of food prior to the wedding, again check with your venue but they would usually require a full menu list quite a number of weeks before the wedding day. Most venues would suggest you offer a choice of 3, perhaps a meat, fish and veggie option for starter and mains and maybe 1-3 choices for the dessert. One way of asking your guests for their choices is to include the menu on your RSVP with tick boxes for them to complete and return, see example below:

2. You will need to co-ordinate your guest choices yourself and your venue will require a detailed seating plan of exactly where your guests are seated along with their menu choice. It’s not that hard really, a simple spreadsheet with the guest names and what they are eating alongside a simple drawing of the location of each guest on each table will be sufficient or just put your guest names in a clockwise order with the first guest facing the bride and groom.

3. As a lot of guests choose quite well in advance, quite often guests will forget what they have chosen so the venue will want to have this indicated on each place setting so there is no confusion on the day (and so any dietary requirements do not get given a dish they are perhaps allergic to). There are a number of ways I can help you with this:

a. I can indicate on the placecard below the guests name an abbreviated version of their menu choice and then we can put a full menu on each table for reference.

(see pic)

b. The other option is to have individual menu cards with the guest name at the top and their menu choice so you do not need to have placecards as well. (see pic)

Like I said not every venue offers this but if they do it is worth considering, as at least then you are not just going for a simple veggie starter, chicken main and chocolate dessert but it does require a little more co-ordination on your part.

If you want to discuss this further with me I’d happily chat through various options and I can definitely make sure any table stationery ties in with the rest of your wedding day style.

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