You ladies are so very helpful, so I turn to you in my time of need.
We had originally planned to do food stations at our venue (a historical mansion-y summer home-y type thing) due to space concerns: We have 80-some guests, and the dining room generally accommodates 50.
We were going to set up food stations in the dining room and then tables scattered throughout the dining room and the two adjoining covered porches that can be opened up to make one big indoor/outdoor space. We had originally wanted to do a seated, served dinner, but were told we couldn't do that for that number in any area other than the dining room (e.g., no seated, served dinner on the covered porches).
Well, I just got a call from the venue that plans have changed. They are undergoing renovations and have more or less "expanded" the dining room so that the living room next door can also be used as a dining room. There is a large French door that separates the dining and living rooms that can be opened, and tables can be arranged in both rooms that would accommodate a seated, served dinner for 80. Which I would love. Which our caterer said he can do. The living room is quite beautiful, with fireplaces, hardwood floors, and so forth, and in general, I prefer a served dinner (I think?)
The problem is that I've already had my invitations ordered. As we were planning in doing a buffet, I didn't include any option to select your meal on the RSVP card.
If we do a seated, served dinner after all, would it be a violation of etiquette to not ask guests to choose their meal? My thinking was that we could serve a dual entree, and there are vegetarian and vegan options for guests. The caterer said this would not be a problem and that he often does dual entrees, but ... is that true? Is that OK? Would you be pissed?
Here is the menu, which wouldn't change in the case of a seated dinner with waiters/waitresses:
5 passed apps (served on the lawn and in the gardens, or in the conservatory in the case of rain)
- Salad (spring greens, frisee, endive, and spinach with sweet onions, purple and yellow teardrop tomatoes, blackberries, prosciutto, and Rappahannock apple cider vinaigrette, vegan w/o prosciutto)
- Grilled Argentinean steak with chimichurri
- Short smoked salmon with Dijon and apricot glaze and frizzled leeks (this and the steak would be the dual entree)
- Basil gnocchi with sweet corn, crushed hazelnuts, and Parmesan shard (vegan w/o parm, OK for nut allergy w/o hazelnuts)
- Rosemary roasted fingerling potatoes with sea salt (vegan)
- Grilled asparagus with balsamic onions and shallot butter
- French, rustic, seeded, whole-wheat, and braided rolls with sea salt butter
- Miniature pies in multiple sizes and three flavors: Georgia peach, pecan, and chocolate silk
- Red velvet vegan cupcakes