Photo: Laura Ivanova Photography
Planning the menu for your wedding is fun, but it can also involve some work and a lot of choices. Buffet or plated? Multi-course or family-style? Chicken? Fish? Beef? It's a lot to address! One thing that most wedding menus include is some sort of starter course, such as a soup, salad, or amuse bouche. The question is, does it have to be vegetarian if you're offering a vegetarian menu option? Our experts weigh in.
When you're choosing your wedding menu, start off by picking items that sound delicious to you — but keep a mental list of any guests who might need alternative meals. One of the safest ways to cover multiple dietary restrictions in one go is to work with your caterer to create a vegetarian entrée that is also free of big allergens like nuts and is also kosher-friendly, so most of your guests can opt for that meal without worrying. So does that mean you can't serve a gazpacho with grilled shrimp or a lobster ravioli before the main course comes out?
There's nothing stopping you from choosing a salad or appetizer course that isn't vegetarian, but you may want to have your caterer prepare an alternative option that is available upon request. This could mean the plated salad with no cheese, a napoleon of chilled grilled and fresh vegetables, or some other vegetarian and vegan-friendly choice. If you do have the menu include a non-vegetarian appetizer, either include a note in fine print that a vegetarian appetizer is available upon request, or have your servers ask any guests who selected the vegetarian entrée if they would like the special salad or starter, as well.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the vegetarian option is (usually) less expensive, so if you're looking to cut down slightly on catering costs, it could be in your interest to choose a delicious vegetarian salad or starter instead of one with meat or fish, and save the protein for main courses only.
See more: 21 Food Bar Ideas for Your Wedding