Wedding Etiquette Forum

Response Card Confusion

I know there have been a lot of variations on the question of how to format response cards, but I can't seem to find anything that makes sense to me.  We're ordering invitations on Friday so I'm starting to worry.  Oh, and the invitations will be very formal.

1. I am inviting guests' significant others (whose names I know or will find out), but I'm also giving +1s to my single guests.  How do I word the response cards so that the single guests can let me know if they're bringing a +1 and what his/her full name is?  Do I do the M_________ thing or write Name(s)__________?

2.  We are serving 2 types of entree on one plate so guests don't need to let us know their meal choices, but how do I get them to let me know if they need a vegetarian or kids meal or have allergies? I don't want to do a  ___ Number of vegetarian meals or anything like that because I'm worried some people might just choose pasta even if they're not a vegetarian.   Should I just put "please list any dietary restrictions below"?

I wish I could just do the very traditional response card that just says "the favour of a response is requested by..... " and leave it at that.

Re: Response Card Confusion

  • itzMSitzMS member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited November 2013
    The M____________ line is fine. If someone doesn't include their guest's name, you call them and find out. Easy.

    Anyone who wants a meat free entree should get one. I'm not a vegetarian, but I often prefer to eat meat-free dinners. Why do you care?


    Please initial meal choice:

    _____ Chicken/Steak Duo _____ Vegetarian Pasta Primavera ______ Children's Entree


    ETA: Guests with serious food allergies or issues will always let you know. Trust me. No need to prompt them.
    PrettyGirlLostBlue_Bird
  • Do the above! It worked well for us. 

  • edited November 2013
    itzMS said:
    The M____________ line is fine. If someone doesn't include their guest's name, you call them and find out. Easy. 

    Anyone who wants a meat free entree should get one. I'm not a vegetarian, but I often prefer to eat meat-free dinners. Why do you care? 

     Please initial meal choice: _____ Chicken/Steak Duo _____ Vegetarian Pasta Primavera ______ Children's Entree 

     ETA: Guests with serious food allergies or issues will always let you know. Trust me. No need to prompt them.
    To the bolded, I feel like an answer to this question is because her wedding is not a restaurant... I know that sometimes those duo entree plates are expensive, and maybe it will cost her even more on top of what she's already paying for each individual vegetarian plate that needs to be made available for those who don't eat meat for dietary restrictions, not just because they felt like have pasta that night. If that's the case, why doesn't she just put a line on there saying "Please let us know what you feel like having for dinner."

    Edited to fix quote box
  • JustNicki said:
    I know there have been a lot of variations on the question of how to format response cards, but I can't seem to find anything that makes sense to me.  We're ordering invitations on Friday so I'm starting to worry.  Oh, and the invitations will be very formal.

    1. I am inviting guests' significant others (whose names I know or will find out), but I'm also giving +1s to my single guests.  How do I word the response cards so that the single guests can let me know if they're bringing a +1 and what his/her full name is?  Do I do the M_________ thing or write Name(s)__________?
    The "M__________" is fine. If they're bringing a guest, they should write the name in. If you're worried about the ambiguity of a single name or that they won't, "Name(s)_____" is fine and provides more guidance, but it's less formal IMO. We used it for our wedding and I have to say we had zero problems figuring out who was coming.

    2.  We are serving 2 types of entree on one plate so guests don't need to let us know their meal choices, but how do I get them to let me know if they need a vegetarian or kids meal or have allergies? I don't want to do a  ___ Number of vegetarian meals or anything like that because I'm worried some people might just choose pasta even if they're not a vegetarian.   Should I just put "please list any dietary restrictions below"?
    Why does it matter if a non-vegetarian picks a vegetarian entree? I think it's fine to use your wording. Vegetarians will write "Vegetarian" in the space provided. Or you can do @itzMS's approach. Either way is fine from an etiquette standpoint.

    I wish I could just do the very traditional response card that just says "the favour of a response is requested by..... " and leave it at that.

    *********************************************************************************

    image

  • itzMS said:

    The M____________ line is fine. If someone doesn't include their guest's name, you call them and find out. Easy. 

    Anyone who wants a meat free entree should get one. I'm not a vegetarian, but I often prefer to eat meat-free dinners. Why do you care? 

     Please initial meal choice:

    _____ Chicken/Steak Duo _____ Vegetarian Pasta Primavera ______ Children's Entree 

     ETA: Guests with serious food allergies or issues will always let you know. Trust me. No need to prompt them.

    To the bolded, I feel like an answer to this question is because her wedding is not a restaurant... I know that sometimes those duo entree plates are expensive, and maybe it will cost her even more on top of what she's already paying for each individual vegetarian plate that needs to be made available for those who don't eat meat for dietary restrictions, not just because they felt like have pasta that night. If that's the case, why doesn't she just put a line on there saying "Please let us know what you feel like having for dinner."

    Edited to fix quote box



    That's a pretty lame venue if they can't accomodate a second meal choice.

    Giving guests two options is not making it into a restaurant...

  • itzMS said:
    The M____________ line is fine. If someone doesn't include their guest's name, you call them and find out. Easy. 

    Anyone who wants a meat free entree should get one. I'm not a vegetarian, but I often prefer to eat meat-free dinners. Why do you care? 

     Please initial meal choice: _____ Chicken/Steak Duo _____ Vegetarian Pasta Primavera ______ Children's Entree 

     ETA: Guests with serious food allergies or issues will always let you know. Trust me. No need to prompt them.
    I am a bit concerned about it because our venue charges an extra (and ridiculous) fee if the amount of vegetarian entrees exceeds a certain percentage.  The way it works is that we had around 10 choices of entree (steak/chicken duo being one of them).  We could pick one entree for all our guests to have or give them a choice out of 3 (but we would have to pay almost double per plate if we gave them the choice).  The venue doesn't consider the vegetarian option as an entree choice, rather they see it as something inconvenient for them to do which is why they would charge extra if there are more than a few.  It's a ridiculous policy, but that's what I'm working with.

    I think I will go with the M_________, and you are right about people being vocal about allergies.  Thanks for the advice.
  • We did this and everyone filled it out correctly. 
    M________________________

      [ ] Wouldn't miss it for the world.
         __________would like beef
         __________would like chicken
         __________ has a special dietary request: 
    _________________________________

      [ ] Will celebrate from afar. 
  • JustNicki said:


    itzMS said:

    The M____________ line is fine. If someone doesn't include their guest's name, you call them and find out. Easy. 

    Anyone who wants a meat free entree should get one. I'm not a vegetarian, but I often prefer to eat meat-free dinners. Why do you care? 

     Please initial meal choice:

    _____ Chicken/Steak Duo _____ Vegetarian Pasta Primavera ______ Children's Entree 

     ETA: Guests with serious food allergies or issues will always let you know. Trust me. No need to prompt them.

    I am a bit concerned about it because our venue charges an extra (and ridiculous) fee if the amount of vegetarian entrees exceeds a certain percentage.  The way it works is that we had around 10 choices of entree (steak/chicken duo being one of them).  We could pick one entree for all our guests to have or give them a choice out of 3 (but we would have to pay almost double per plate if we gave them the choice).  The venue doesn't consider the vegetarian option as an entree choice, rather they see it as something inconvenient for them to do which is why they would charge extra if there are more than a few.  It's a ridiculous policy, but that's what I'm working with.

    I think I will go with the M_________, and you are right about people being vocal about allergies.  Thanks for the advice.




    -------

    That really sucks about the upcharge. I think you might just have to deal with it though. :-/

    If you really want to avoid it entirely, you could also potentially do:

    ______ # of adult entrees

    ______ # of children's entrees

    melbelleup
  • ashleyepashleyep member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited November 2013
    I think my venue is similar. They'll make a vegetarian plate for vegetarians, but it's not an official third option. I was talking to my bridesmaid who is a vegetarian and she says that she would just write that she's a vegetarian on the response card, same as most other people with dietary restrictions. Even if I don't have an official line for restrictions.

    And I'm not inviting a lot of kids, so I'll probably just include a handwritten note with those invites to let me know how many kids meals.
    Anniversary
  • @itzMS I will probably just have to deal with it.  Avoiding it entirely sort of seems like tricking people.  

    @ashleyep That's a good idea to include a note for couples with kids.  We're only inviting 6 so that's definitely doable, thanks!
  • I don't think anyone is going to pick the vegetarian entree just for the heck of it...but i'd let them know that the other option is a chicken/steak duo. 

     

    I don't eat red meat or fish, but i do eat chicken.  We went to a wedding where the meal options were chicken/steak duo and vegetarian, and FI and i both got the duo...and then i ate both servings of chicken and he ate both servings of steak.  Easy.  However, we also went to another wedding where no option was offered on the invitation - i assumed it was a buffet.  we got there and the only option was a steak/crab cake duo.  I don't eat red meat or fish.  So FI ate two steaks and two crab cakes, and i ate two servings of mashed potatoes and veggies.  Guess who got stinking drunk because she didn't have an actual dinner in her stomach that night?  If that wedding gave the option, i definitely would have (rightfully) gone vegetarian.

     

    Most people will be happy with a chicken/steak duo...let your guests know about the vegetarian option as a courtesy.  You don't want people to leave hungry or they will ALWAYS remember that yours was the wedding where the only food available was stuff they don't eat.  I will always remember the steak/crab cake debacle as being awful.  Most people see steak and crab cakes as a luxury meal...i see it as "me needing to stop at Mc Donalds on the way home so as to not starve to death."

  • @delujm0 I love vegetarian entrees :-) So yes, I'd often choose it over wedding chicken.
  • @itzMS i tend to like them too...but i think MOST people would stick to what is provided, as it's pretty inoffensive.  I think that OP is concerned that a LOT of people are going to want the vegetarian option instead, and for some reason her venue is charging a lot more for that option (which doesn't make sense to me at all, as it should be cheaper to make than meat, but whatever).

     

    OP, i'd give the meal choices as "steak/chicken duo" and "vegetarian."  Don't expand on what the vegetarian option is, just let your guests know that it's available.  Yes, it is possible that some people who would eat steak/chicken if it was the only thing available will select vegetarian, but i seriously doubt more than 10% of your guests will do so (unless they are truly vegetarians).  When you selected your menu, you knew this was a possibility - you have to live with it now.  If you just don't offer vegetarian as an option, you may wind up having true vegetarians forever remember your wedding as "that time i couldn't have dinner and had to leave early to get fast food" or something similar.  You definitely don't want that.

  • Since it sounds like you have some children invited, I'd do a spinoff of what @itzMS suggested:

    ______ # of steak/chicken duo entrees
    ______ # of children's entrees
    Special Dietary Requests:
    ____________________________

    This lets your guests know what the meal is, and asking about dietary requests gives your vegetarians a place to let you know they need a veggie meal.  I feel like most people like steak or chicken and will be fine with it, but this way if someone eats fish but not "meat" and won't eat the duo you've given them a place to tell you so.

  • delujm0 said:

    Most people will be happy with a chicken/steak duo...let your guests know about the vegetarian option as a courtesy.  You don't want people to leave hungry or they will ALWAYS remember that yours was the wedding where the only food available was stuff they don't eat.  I will always remember the steak/crab cake debacle as being awful.  Most people see steak and crab cakes as a luxury meal...i see it as "me needing to stop at Mc Donalds on the way home so as to not starve to death."

    That's a great point.  FI actually wanted to do a steak/lobster duo and it was vetoed because of just this. 

    All of these suggestions are good, and very much appreciated.  What about something like this?

    The favour of a response is requested by ______
    M__________________

    __ joyfully accepts
    __ regretfully declines

    Please initial the entree choice for each guest:
    __ filet mignon and chicken au porto duo
    __ vegetarian
    __ children's plate
  • Looks good. The pre-written emotion (joyfully, regretfully) is generally left off, though, if you want to stick to traditional etiquette.

    Not a hill to die on though if you like how it looks.



  • annathy03 - it would give the vegetarians/pescatarians room to let you know they need a veggie meal, without you suggesting it as an option to everyone, if you pefer that:

     

    ______ # of steak/chicken duo entrees
    ______ # of children's entrees
    Special Dietary Requests:
    ____________________________
  • JustNicki said:...
    1. I am inviting guests' significant others (whose names I know or will find out), but I'm also giving +1s to my single guests.  How do I word the response cards so that the single guests can let me know if they're bringing a +1 and what his/her full name is?  Do I do the M_________ thing or write Name(s)__________?

    2.  We are serving 2 types of entree on one plate so guests don't need to let us know their meal choices, but how do I get them to let me know if they need a vegetarian or kids meal or have allergies? I don't want to do a  ___ Number of vegetarian meals or anything like that because I'm worried some people might just choose pasta even if they're not a vegetarian.   Should I just put "please list any dietary restrictions below"?

    I wish I could just do the very traditional response card that just says "the favour of a response is requested by..... " and leave it at that.

    The "very traditional response" request that you quote is written on the lower right corner of the invitation, not on a separate card at all. And you might be surprised at how many of your guests really can figure out how to reply without your providing the stationery and wording for them. I had a garden party for my niece a while ago and had 29 out of thirty guests reply promptly of their own accord. The thirtieth guest didn't get the invitation.

    The proper way to know the names of your guests who will be accompanying your single friends, is to talk to your single friends and ask them for the name and address of the person they want to come with, so that you can invite that person directly. Especially if you are having "very formal" invitations, which imply that you are having a "very formal" wedding party, you will not want to take shortcuts on proper formal protocol.

    People who have life-threatening allergies or who are strict vegetarians have a great deal of life experience in dealing with those limitations. Assume that they will contact you if they have a concern, or they will manage to cope on their own. To be kind, you might want to ensure that the vegetables you are serving on the entree plate are spaced away from the meat so as not to have come into contact with it. Of course, if you are doing a very formal meal you would not be placing pre-filled plates down in front of your guests and cross-contamination of the vegetables by the meat with which they are sharing the plate would not be a problem; but I understand that "formal" generally means "as formal as we can manage" and that service a la Russe or service Francais are not feasible in most gatherings.


     

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