Casual Cuisine: When the food doesn’t match the reception

by epi on October 3, 2012

Q: A co-worker is planning her daughter’s wedding for this summer. Her daughter wants to have hamburgs and hot dogs with assorted salads for the reception meal, yet the wedding is not casual. Is this appropriate? If not, how do we tell this co-worker?

A: You don’t, unless she asks. If they wish to have an unorthodox reception with informal food then that is their right to do. If she asks you what you think you can tell her, but giving her advice that was not requested might alter your relationship with this co-worker.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi Worden October 3, 2012 at 9:55 am

If an invitation is addressed Ms. So and So, doesn’t have and guest, is it proper to rsvp with 2 people?


Just Laura October 3, 2012 at 9:59 am

If the invitation is addressed to only one person, then only that person is invited. If addressed to Mr. and Ms. Whomever, then both are invited, but no more. If Mr. and Ms. Whomever and family, then the whole bunch is included.


Country Girl October 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I’m glad you asked this question, I wish more guests would seek out the correct answer as you have instead of assuming. And Laura is 100% correct.

At my recent wedding I received a few rsvps with additional guests and simply showed up with additional guests , who really caused some problems for me. (Oddly enough among them, one friend brought her uninvited sister who had a complete dramatic meltdown about a boyfriend’s text during our reception, and another couple who was friends with my parents brought their adult son who had bullied me in high school.) Regardless however, the couple has intentionally invited those most close with them. Additionally they have likely budgeted accordingly. Rsvp yes if you’d like to attend by yourself or rsvp no if you don’t, but please don’t put the couple in the awkward position of adding an unexpected guest to their list or forcing them having to tell you ‘no’.


Lilli October 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I know people who do this all the time, but it really isn’t proper and puts the hosts on the spot of either having to call you and tell you your guest can’t come, or trying to accomodate someone who wasn’t invited (even if they really can’t).


Lisa October 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm

In response to the questions asked of EPI today: what’s not appropriate is passing judgement on someone else’s wedding. Is this a new nationwide pastime? When we were planning our wedding, plenty of people weighed in with their disapproval. My aunt even had the temerity to mock my shoes. Before one looks down one’s nose at someone else’s wedding (or anything else worth judging), one should imagine being shut out of the judgee’s life.


Jerry October 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I agree wholeheartedly. +1


Joanna October 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Of course you can’t say anything to the bride and groom about their choice of food, but IMO it sounds like they are angling for a cheap way out of feeding people. The chicken, beef or seafood entrees that are typically served at weddings can cost them $100 or more per head; but hot dogs and hamburgers are pocket change in comparison. I’m sure they are still expecting the same wedding money given to them, however, meaning they increase their take.

Naturally, I imagine most couples are hoping to earn some money for their new life together, so it’s not a slam on these people. However, there are more subtle ways of going about keeping your costs down, you know?

That aside, if it’s a formal wedding, people will come dressed accordingly. Any foods that require ketchup and mustard and being picked up in the hand seem like a disaster waiting to happen.


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