Répondez s’il vous “plate”: Meal preferences

by epi on June 28, 2013

Q: How do I word a response card that needs to indicate the guest’s meal preference as there will only be two choices of an entrée? I also need to know if they are attending. If the response card only contains meal preference, would they think they do not have to reply if they are not attending?

A: The traditional wording for a response card is:

M __________________

accepts ___

regrets ___

The favor of your reply is requested by July 26.

The “M” precedes the space where the guests writes his or her title and name, as in “Ms. Phyllis Reynolds” or “Mr. and Mrs. Joseph DeRuvo.” The guest checks either “accepts” or “regrets”. When one guest is able to accept and the other is not, it is necessary to make this clear on the response card. For example, a guest could write his name only and check “accept” and then indicate at the bottom of the response card that his wife will not be able to attend. For example, “Mrs. Mary DeRuvo regrets she will be unable to attend.”

It is preferable not to put entrée choices on the response card or the envelope. If you are offering menu choices, work out arrangements with the club, restaurant, or caterer to provide French service – where each waitstaff member carries a tray with both or all the entrees already plated and offers each guest his or her choice – or have the waitstaff ask each guest his or her preference at the table before serving. Some reception sites simply do not allow guests to make menu choices on the day of the wedding. If this is the case for you, you may correctly include the entrée choices on the response card for attending guests to check their selection. For example, above the RSVP, you may include:

Entrée selections:

Chicken Cordon Bleu ___
Baked Salmon ___

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Elle June 28, 2013 at 8:10 am

This may not have been the most correct way, but we did

__ [Description of chicken dish]
__ [Beef]
__ [Vegetarian]
__ Regrets

So that there was no way for someone to say they were coming without indicating their meal preference. We also did assigned tables so the wait staff knew in advance that, for example, table 4 had three chicken meals, two beef, and one vegetarian.


Elizabeth June 28, 2013 at 10:19 am

We got around this problem by offering our guests a “duet,” a smaller piece of salmon and beef on the same plate. People who were vegetarians or had other dietary restrictions noted those on the response cards, and it was no problem for the hall to accommodate them.


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