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Luxury Weddings

Is broadcasting the menu necessary?

We are having a very nice plated dinner, and we decided to upgrade to surf and turf, which is normally a petite sirloin and jumbo shrimp, but talked the venue into switching the shrimp for a grilled salmon since a lot of people (including me) are allergic to shellfish.

Besides the one or 2 people who have gluten allergies and the kids, everyone is getting this dish. We worked really hard to pick it out and wanted to eliminate as much headache and confusion as possible.

With that being said, because people wont be making any decisions about their meal and they just get to sit back and be served, is it really necessary to have the menu posted? Our tables will be pretty full with programs/activity sheets (not as corny as it sounds, i promise), huge table name signs, and centerpieces.

Can my guests just be surprised when dinner is served?

Re: Is broadcasting the menu necessary?

  • I don't have an answer for you unfortunately -- I have the same question!  We haven't sent out invites yet or set the menu but are getting ready to do both.  Our venue gently encouraged us to wait to set the menu, and not worry about including it in the invites because it is a duet so like you there won't be any choices to be made unless they need GF, Vegetarian/Vegan, allergies, etc.  But I feel like guests are going to ask, so maybe it is just easier to tell them.  I'm thinking we're going to do a chicken and a salmon, but we'll decide when we talk to the chef.

    It sounds like you may be beyond the invite point, so I would say if it will be clear what the food is then you probably don't need to print menus but that is just my two cents.  
    AlwaysMrsWrite
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think if they don't have a choice then there really isn't any point in doing menus. The only reason I might do one is if any of your side dishes include things that people may be allergic to like nuts or something.
    image
    AlwaysMrsWrite
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We had a duet of filet and crabcake. We didn't mention the menu in the invites.  We did have menus at the table so people knew what they were eating. The venue provided them.

    We already knew who had shellfish allergies and they got 2 filets (measures to avoid cross contamination were taken care of.  Neither guest had problems with shellfish at their table, just could not be on their own plate.).  We knew those who didn't like red meat and arranged for them to get 2 crab cakes.  We also knew in advance our vegetarians/kosher guests were and they got a special meal.

    It might seem odd, but between us, my parents and his mom we knew everyone's restrictions before the invites even went out.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    AlwaysMrsWriteMrsMarendekitty8403
  • Oh my goodness, I had the same question. Maybe this will help: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1012748/oh-hellfire-venue-change-dinner-change-am-i-violating-etiquette#latest

    At any rate, I kind of got mixed responses: some say mention it beforehand, some say it'll be totally fine to not mention it, and some say don't do this, find a way to offer a choice. I'm glad I asked! In the end, we are going to serve the plated duo dinner (steak + salmon) but the servers are going to offer the vegetarian dish (a something-something gnocchi with corn, asparagus, Parm shard, and something else) to guests after they drop off the salads, if they would prefer. There is plenty, and if a guest wants a second portion of steak or salmon, that will be doable.
    AlwaysMrsWritecarliealissa
  • I've seen examples where one menu was posted instead of individual ones at each place setting.  This would be my preference if I were in your shoes.  We have a good number of vegetarians and I wouldn't want to cause them to worry if they'd have an acceptable choice.

    AlwaysMrsWriteCrazyCatLady3carliealissa
  • edited March 2014
     @16maybeless : I don't know why, but "something something gnocci" made me almost snort with laughter!

    Thanks for the help!
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I am assuming you haven't sent out invites yet, so just make a note on the RSVP for guests to write down any allergies or food issues they may have so that you know what adjustments to make to your meal.  But since you aren't having a choice then I really don't think you need to broadcast the menu. 

    lc07
  • Well, I don't eat red meat, but do eat seafood.  If I were a guest at your wedding I would like to know in advance what was being served so that I could tell the servers to bring me a plate with only fish, and no steak.  I wouldn't be happy having a piece of steak automatically set down in front of me.

    Can you just have one or two menus per table?
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    Well, I don't eat red meat, but do eat seafood.  If I were a guest at your wedding I would like to know in advance what was being served so that I could tell the servers to bring me a plate with only fish, and no steak.  I wouldn't be happy having a piece of steak automatically set down in front of me.

    Can you just have one or two menus per table?

    I have the opposite issue... I can't eat any type of seafood without getting physically ill.  So, I would definitely need to a plate without any seafood. So, I agree that including a menu on the tables would be a good idea.  Or you could do one larger menu, maybe framed or something, when you enter the reception area, so people can see what they meal is before sitting.  Then the waiter can ask if there are any issues or restrictions when they serve the salad.  But, people should have some sort of notification prior to the meal being set in front of them.

    image 

    CrazyCatLady3
  • I kind of had this concern too but we have multiple options for dinner. iIts just table side so they don't have to pre pick.

    We added a line on our RSVP card asking for mention of any food allergies/dietary restrictions. We already cover most bases on our menu and desserts with gluten free times, dairy free items, and vegan items as well a mix of meat types. I will have small menus at the tables as well. 

    I would also make sure you have something vegan to offer. You may have guests who don't eat meat or seafood and It would really suck for them to stuck with side dishes for dinner.
    CrazyCatLady3
  • You indicated that there will be programs on your tables. . . . if dinner is already listen on the program is it possible to include what the dinner will be.  For example:

                Dinner: a duet of petit sirloin and grilled salmon

  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited March 2014

    I think you need to have menu cards. Or a place on your invite where guests can say they are vegan, gluten free, etc. Do you have a veg option? Will guests have to ask for it at the table?

    FWIW, if you say surf and turf, I would expect filet and lobster. Not salmon or shrimp.

    BabyFruit Ticker
    TeddiD34Peaseblossom55
  • There was something that stuck in my mind about this post that I couldn't put my finger on but I think I just figured it out.  This was posted on the Luxury board, and I think luxury implies going above and beyond to host your guests, lots of nice extra touches, etc.  So the arguement of "you don't HAVE to do it" and cutting corners doesn't fit here, imo.   Making people wonder what they're going to eat is unnecessary and may cause anxiety for anyone with allergies, etc., and certainly does not scream gracious hostess.
    CrazyCatLady3Peaseblossom55jenl1681
  • Adding an example of the menu I mentioned above:
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    There was something that stuck in my mind about this post that I couldn't put my finger on but I think I just figured it out.  This was posted on the Luxury board, and I think luxury implies going above and beyond to host your guests, lots of nice extra touches, etc.  So the arguement of "you don't HAVE to do it" and cutting corners doesn't fit here, imo.   Making people wonder what they're going to eat is unnecessary and may cause anxiety for anyone with allergies, etc., and certainly does not scream gracious hostess.
    I agree with all of this.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    offthemarket915
  • Adding an example of the menu I mentioned above:
    This is a nice example but it just kills me when people can't be bothered to look up the correct spelling of "hors d'oeuvres"!


    dolewhipperAlwaysMrsWrite
  • Adding an example of the menu I mentioned above:
    This is a nice example but it just kills me when people can't be bothered to look up the correct spelling of "hors d'oeuvres"!


    I hear you!  Just couldn't spend any more time googling a photo.
  • If you're sure you'll catch everyone with allergies/other restrictions, don't bother with a menu. I'm allergic to fish and shellfish, and went to a wedding once where there was no menu, and nowhere to note restrictions. Every course, including the salad, had fish or shellfish. I couldn't touch any of it due to cross-contamination. The waiter finally brought me a vendor meal, because that was safe, and he felt bad.
     
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I cannot eat gluten but I can eat steak and shrimp. I don't see how it's a gluten conflict? I agree with Maggie that you should still have a spot on your RSVP card to ask guests to indicate whether or not they have dietary restrictions so you can make special plates for them.
  • lc07 said:
    I cannot eat gluten but I can eat steak and shrimp. I don't see how it's a gluten conflict? I agree with Maggie that you should still have a spot on your RSVP card to ask guests to indicate whether or not they have dietary restrictions so you can make special plates for them.
    Sometimes the sauces the meat/fish is in have gluten in them.
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    lc07 said:
    I cannot eat gluten but I can eat steak and shrimp. I don't see how it's a gluten conflict? I agree with Maggie that you should still have a spot on your RSVP card to ask guests to indicate whether or not they have dietary restrictions so you can make special plates for them.
    Sometimes the sauces the meat/fish is in have gluten in them.
    Excellent point. I am always leery of sauces, salad dressings, soup etc. I hadn't thought of that in this particular instance. I imagine steak without sauce and shrimp with maybe a lemon butter. But you are absolutely correct. Thanks!
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I would prefer to know what I'm going to be eating BEFORE I receive the entree.  And I don't even have any allergies.  It's just something that's nice to know rather than wondering.  Have a small menu at each setting.
  • There was something that stuck in my mind about this post that I couldn't put my finger on but I think I just figured it out.  This was posted on the Luxury board, and I think luxury implies going above and beyond to host your guests, lots of nice extra touches, etc.  So the arguement of "you don't HAVE to do it" and cutting corners doesn't fit here, imo.   Making people wonder what they're going to eat is unnecessary and may cause anxiety for anyone with allergies, etc., and certainly does not scream gracious hostess.
    all of this
    We are having a table side selection of three entrees so I am obviously including menus, but I think including menus regardless of whether there is a choice or not is a nice personal touch

    Anniversary

  • people prefer single choice to a split entree.  i would read the post i linked below.

    http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1015518/split-entree-or-single-choice#latest

    i know you didn't ask, but since this is the luxury board i figure you are interested in giving your guests the best possible experience.
    offthemarket915
  • Kind of an old post, but I'll answer my thoughts anyway...

    I'd like a menu for a plated meal.  I'm a picky eater, and I don't care for steak OR salmon.  If it's not buffet where I can choose to load up on sides, I'd like to know what I'm being served so that if I don't like it, I may choose to eat something before the wedding.  Otherwise I might be leaving early out of starvation.
  • Menus are great, as I like to know what to expect and sometimes need help identifying the flavors. I don't think you need to let your guests know beforehand, because they can just tell the waitstaff while there if they want the vegetarian option.
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