No formal dinner invitation is proper without inserted menus which are either intended to be returned with an RSVP or simply announce the anticipated meal. But themed parties that may not be as formal may also include separate menus particularly if the caterer is preparing an unusual meal or buffet.
A Polynesian themed pool party may include exotic foods which will be intriguing to most guests but others may want to grab a bite at a fast food restaurant. An Australian outback themed barbeque might be thoroughly announced in the menus so that the guests can be for warned about the presence of salty vegemite or shrimp. They may not want to avoid the party or complain about the food but should be given a heads up anyway.
Conversely, the menus can tip the invited guest off about the level of effort that the hostess is giving to an occasion. Weddings may be lavish or simple and the designation of black tie or white tie may not even be present on the most elaborate plans. But when the enclosed menus specify pastry wrapped turkey and expensive wines there is a clue that the simple dinner party is anything but one for sweat pants. It may say “casual" on the invitations but that sweater the hostess is wearing is going to be made of cashmere.
Menus inserted in invitations are often a simple matter of getting an accurate count on the number of people desiring beef and those who want chicken. The caterer will need to know. People who neglect to return these with the RSVP may show up at the wedding. This is really a problem. Caterers can get very irate when accurate and early counts are not provided. Make sure that these menus aren't missing from the invitations.
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