How to Word the Meal Options for a Wedding Response Card
By Amy Stanwyck
Updated September 22, 2017
A wedding invite response card traditionally has two goals: it solicits an RSVP from the guest, and, if requested, allows them to indicate their meal choice. One of the biggest questions that brides have about these cards concerns the wording. It’s important to ensure that the meal options are clear and concise, as to prevent time-consuming follow-up calls later on.
Wording the reply cards
Talk to the caterer, event coordinator or person in charge of the wedding meal to decide how the food will be served. If the meal is going to be buffet-style, meal options on the reply card aren’t as necessary. If the meal is going to be plated, choose what will be served and how many meal choices will be provided to the guests.
Choose between listing the main ingredient (chicken, steak, vegetarian), or listing the full meal (chicken tenderloin, filet mignon, vegetable stir fry). The former is a good option if the final menu hasn’t been totally decided yet.
Count a rough estimate of how many vegetarian and vegan guests are invited. A vegetarian meal can be included on the reply card as a meal option for everyone, or it can be specified for vegetarians and vegans only. Tally up how many children are invited. Consider including a “kids only” option for parents to opt into. If including a kid’s meal, include (for kids under 12) in brackets after the meal option, to clarify that the choice isn’t for everyone.
Check whether the invites are directed toward each individual guest, or whether one invite is going out to each family. If it’s individual, the reply card can ask for the requested meal to be checked with an x. If the invite is for a whole family, the reply card should indicate that a number beside each type of meal is required.
List the meal options underneath the RSVP info, or on the back of the card. Above the first choice, write a simple set of instructions, like “please indicate meal choice,” or “check a meal below.” Beside each meal choice, leave a line, box or space for the guest to indicate their choice.
Numbering the reply cards on the back is a useful way to keep track of them; if a guest has poor handwriting, it can also help to clarify their response.
Based in Toronto, Amy Stanwyck has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her work has been published in "Now Magazine" and "Eye Weekly." Stanwyck holds a Bachelor of Journalism in magazine journalism from Ryerson University.