Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Dinner a la carte or pre selected menu?

plainjane0415plainjane0415 The hills of Tennessee member
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I am having a small destination wedding with a nice dinner at a restaurant at the resort we are having the ceremony at immediately following.  There will be 15 of us including FI and I, 12 adults, 3 kids.  We have been given the option to choose a set menu, or to have everyone just order a la carte from the restaurant's menu..  FI and I are having a tough time deciding what to do, any suggestions? Pros/Cons?
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Re: Dinner a la carte or pre selected menu?

  • If you do the set menu, would they be dishes not available to the other guests at the restaurant? If so, that might be worth considering, depending on the options they would provide for you. If you would just be giving your guests a reduced selection of the normal menu items, I'm not really sure what the pros would be (I'm big on letting people have options).
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  • plainjane0415plainjane0415 The hills of Tennessee member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    allispain said:

    If you do the set menu, would they be dishes not available to the other guests at the restaurant? If so, that might be worth considering, depending on the options they would provide for you. If you would just be giving your guests a reduced selection of the normal menu items, I'm not really sure what the pros would be (I'm big on letting people have options).


    The set menu would be choices from the restaurants regular menu.  No special items would be made just for our wedding. That is a good question though! 
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I guess the only down side to having everyone order off the regular menu is that you have less control over the final cost of the food.  But if cost of food isn't a major factor then I would let everyone choose whatever they want from the full menu.

  • I went to DW recently and they just had us order off the regular menu. It was really nice and different to have a big variety to choose from.

    The only reason I'd do a preselected menu is if you wouldn't be able to afford if people got the more expensive items.
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    plainjane0415
  • Honestly, I don't think it much matters either way - I've been to parties that have done it both ways and had no great preference at the time (now that I have some food sensitivities to work around, I would probably prefer being able to order what I want). 

    The preselected menu is nice from a hosting standpoint because you have more control over final cost.  I think from a waitstaff and service point of view, things are a bit easier to time and less chaotic with a larger group (like a prix fixe menu where everyone gets X number of courses, it's just a matter of picking between the few select options in each course).  Meanwhile, as a guest, getting to choose from the whole menu can be nice if you're just not feeling the preselected options (though, if you have indecisive guests, sometimes more options = more headache). 

    I will say, I personally would only do preselected if you are renting a private room in the restaurant and having only your preselected options typed out on a separate menu (not giving them the whole menu and telling them which things they can pick).  I think it can be kind of awkward when you see other people dining and really coveting their goat cheese ravioli and then are told "Oh, you can only have the beef or salmon."
    japrincess24
  • IMO - unless you anticipate every last guest ordering the most expensive thing off the menu, IMO, I'd much rather prefer ordering my own meal especially given that we have a lot of food issues within the family...  If it's an option, I'd let people order on their own.  My prediction is it will balance out in the end.
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  • For only 15 people, I think just ordering off the menu is fine.  
    Married 9.12.15
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    MesmrEwe
  • plainjane0415plainjane0415 The hills of Tennessee member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper

    Thanks ladies!  I think we are just going to have everyone order off the menu. :)

     

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    MesmrEwe
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer

    Just to throw in my $0.02, I have an intimate wedding (7 of us if you include me and DH) and our reception was at a restaurant.

    We did a set menu with the restaurant, but mainly that was because we did an alternative tasting menu meal, which is different from their usual fare. It went off splendidly. Had we wanted a more "traditional" meal (or, I dunno, however you want to phrase it) I would have happily had people order off the regular menu. Less decisions for me = less stress. :)

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