How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?

Online Users: 1,349 guest(s), 0 user(s). Replies: 40


Tofu Posts : 66 Registered: 4/2/09
How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 23, 2009 12:01 AM

Hi brides,
I'm a strict vegetarian (did my name give you a hint?) and the menu planning is causing some waves... If you are vegetarian, please share how you balanced the different dietary interests at your wedding. For me, the issue is not about finding a meal to eat because obviously there will be a vegetarian option, but about not wanting to support animal cruelty by purchasing murdered animals for my guests to consume (not to get too activist-y on you, but you get my drift I hope!) My FH (and his entire family) is not vegetarian and wants meat at the wedding.

Any solutions that worked for you? Or suggestions from non-veg*ns who have opinions or relevant experiences on this issue?

Thanks in advance!
tofu


Cool

Reply


HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 23, 2009 1:53 AM Go to message in response to: Tofu

If you and FH were both vegetarians, I'd say it'd be completely fine for you to go ahead and plan a completely vegetarian reception. Or if your FH as a meat-eater was totally fine with a veggie reception, I'd also say go for it.

But since it sounds like he wants meat at the wedding, here's my suggestion: if you're able to choose your own caterer, look for one that is conscientious about where they get their food, i.e. serves produce purchased locally as much as possible, serves free-range chicken, pasture-raised beef, etc.

And/or maybe you serve a couple of vegetarian main dishes and just one meat main dish, do a buffet, and that way the majority of the food is veggie and most everyone will be able to find something they like. If you do a plated reception with only one meat option, you face the possibility of complaints that there's only a chicken option for meat-eaters when they really wanted a steak, or there was just the steak option when they have heart trouble and can't eat steak.

And maybe make the veggie options extra-fun and attractive, like a pasta bar or a mashed potato bar (with the potato and toppings served in martini glasses--I attended an RD with that and it was yum-my!).

preview image

 

 

 

 

Reply


CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 23, 2009 8:17 AM Go to message in response to: Tofu

I'm personally not a vegetarian, but a good portion of my guests are vegetarian or vegan. As I don't practice it, and I'm not having the event catered really... I have done the following.

Walmart trays.
Instead of getting the meat and cheese combo tray (which, trust me, would have been cheaper and easier), I got the meat trays and the cheese trays.


I decided to forego the fruit tray because the only one that offered fruit put it right next to cheese

I have veggie trays for the vegans (yeah, I know... not the best option, but I do not understand that diet other than 'no animal products', so this is really the best I can do)

but I have kept all of the elements separate so that those diets are respected.

These are the diets I am catering to at my wedding reception

Diabetic
Glutten Free (they just don't get cake. I'm sorry. I am contemplating picking up some GF cookies though)
Vegetarian
Vegan

Anyone else is just on their own!

I understand where you're coming from, but an important half of the couple of honor IS a carnivore.


Misty

Reply


NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 23, 2009 11:01 AM Go to message in response to: Tofu

I definitely think you shoujld offer a meat option. I understand your issue with it and thats fine, but it seems there are quite a bit of people who are not vegetarians. I'll share a story. DH's co worker went to a wedding for his cousin who is vegan. Actually the couple is vegan. The WHOLE wedding was vegan. Not one ounce of regular food. To me, that didnt seem fair. I am all for having options for different diets, but it seemed really rude to me to only offer one type of diet food. DH's co worker said the food was nasty and it was just horrible over all. If you reversed it, it would be rude to only offer meat when you know you have vegetarians in the crowd.

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

Reply


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 23, 2009 11:10 AM Go to message in response to: Tofu

dear Tofu,

Your best bet is to call around and talk to various caterers. Explain that you want a vegetarian only reception and see what they have to offer.

You want something interesting and tasty for all guests. Get an interesting variety of dishes.

I do not agree that meat "must" be served to accomodate non-vegetarians. Non-vegetarians can get by just dandy with a single meatless meal. The trick is to make the food appetizing and varied.

You'll find similar arguments in the alcohol / no alcohol realm. There are couples who personally abstain from alcohol and don't really want to see it at their reception. They are under some pressure from others to serve alcohol as a courtesy to their guests.

In that I disagree. It's absolutely possible to entertain guests without a single drop of alcohol, just as it is possible to entertain guests without an ounce of meat. The couple should not have to sacrifice deeply held beliefs just because others claim they can't go a few hours without booze, nor meat.

Reply


FutureMrsBabler Posts : 104 Registered: 5/18/09
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 23, 2009 11:25 AM Go to message in response to: Tofu

Hi, Tofu!

I know (almost) exactly where you are coming from! I'm not quite a vegetarian, but will only eat meat from animals that were raised in a sustainable way. I grew up on a small family farm and believe in those practices of agriculture (where animals are actually able to live a somewhat normal life) - and not industrialized farming (where animals are completely exploited, IMO).

Anyway, I eat very little meat and usually look at it as a 'special occasion' when I do. My family (other that my sister, she has the same views on the topic as I do) and FH and his family looooove meat. I knew we would have to have some sort of meat at the reception, so we are serving pulled pork and pulled beef sandwiches. The reception is going to be in my parent's backyard, so we are going for a classy/casual picnic theme, with a buffet of bbq type kind of food (cheesy potatoes, salads, fresh fruits and veggies, etc). The meat will be coming from a friends of the family who raise grass-fed pigs and steers that are not confined to barns/sheds.

I'm from WI, 'America's Dairyland,' and there are TONS of local farmers who would be willing to sell us meat, if we didn't happen to know anyone personally. Maybe you could do something of the like? A great resource to find farmers who raise their animals in a humane way is the Sustainable Table's Eat Well Guide, you simply plug in your zip code and what you are looking for, and a list of local farmers show up. ( http://www.eatwellguide.org/i.php?pd=Home) Otherwise, have you considered serving 'Certified Humane' meat? (http://www.certifiedhumane.org/) This is a pretty pricey option, but since it's so important, it might be totally worth it.

I hope this helped! Good luck with everything!

You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

~Dr. Seuss

Reply


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 23, 2009 11:41 AM Go to message in response to: Tofu

I would not have a vegetarian-only menu unless most of your guests are vegetarians and the rest are open to new types of food. While I would be content with a vegatarian menu at a wedding (I don't consider myself to be a vegetarian, but I eat very little meat), DH would be miserable - and so would many other people I know. Please do not have an all-vegan menu. Even I would be miserable at an all-vegan wedding.

Values are great, and I agree with you on animal cruelty - but a wedding with miserable, hungry guests is no fun for anyone. If I were you, I would look for a caterer that is willing to get meat from organic, cruelty-free sources. If you can't find anybody who deals strictly with that (there are a few in my area, at least), be prepared to research places where they could get meat that is raised as humanely as possible. I would look at smaller, preferably local farms. Your local farmer's market might be a good information source, as would health food stores.

I understand why you don't want to serve meat at your wedding, but remember that others have not made the same lifestyle choices as you - and you'll still want them to be happy and comfortable. It will certainly be a lot more work for you to research all this, but it's not your guests' fault that you feel strongly about this.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

Reply

Agape14 Posts : 201 Registered: 12/31/08
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 23, 2009 11:56 AM Go to message in response to: Tofu

In this case when it's only one half of the couple that wants a vegetarian meal I don't think it's fair to FH to have that imposed on him. I think the suggestion about finding a responsible caterer is a good one and would be a good compromise for you and your FH. And I also think it's important to think about your invited guests when planning your event. You wouldn't want to go to an event where no vegetarian option was provided just because your hosts are meat-eaters, and I think the same courtesy should be applied in the reverse. Of course you could argue that one meat-less meal is no big deal, but if you're going to apply that logic think about how you'd feel or react if someone on the other side of the fence used the same thinking.

 

 

~~Life's tough, wear a cup~~

Reply

mikesangel4lf Posts : 26 Registered: 4/11/09
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 23, 2009 6:10 PM Go to message in response to: Tofu

I have a question. Do you eat fish? I am having a similar situation in reverse. My family and his eat meat but I am selective. Anyway one of my best friends that is coming is a vegitarian. I am pretty sure she eats fish so I am looking into a fish plate with veggies. That way she can eat and be happy that she was thought of special in the planning.




Gay Marriage Pictures, Images and Photos

Reply


AJLM Posts : 49 Registered: 11/18/08
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 23, 2009 7:58 PM Go to message in response to: Tofu

I agree with AOTB to talk to multiple caters about their vegetarian options. There are some amazing vegetarian options, but there are also some very awful "options" (I've been at networking breakfasts where their vegetarian alternative was just a large plate of the fruit side they were giving everyone else.)

i would suggest doing a few taste tests or try different restaurants and caters that are known for their vegetarian options and see if you and FH can come to an agreement. Many times people don't understand or are skeptical that there can be very good and very unique vegetarian main dishes. If he really feels strongly that he wants a meat option I would compromise (if you're doing a cocktail hour do vegetarian appetizers like vegetarian stuffed mushrooms, vegetarian sushi bar, hummus bar, etc.) and have both meat and vegetarian options for dinner. After all this is his wedding too.

Reply


Bally Posts : 355 Registered: 9/25/08
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 24, 2009 10:01 AM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsBabler

''I'm not quite a vegetarian, but will only eat meat from animals that were raised in a sustainable way.''

Not trying to nitpick, but eating meat from animals that were properly farmed, in no way resembles a vegetarian, because the end result is the same (animal is killed for food) Thats like people saying they are vegetarian but still eat fish (and/or chicken). Those people aren't vegetarian cause fish and chickens are animals. So instead of saying you're 'not quite' a vegetarian, you could say you're socially and morally conscience consumer. Or else you are a 'meat-reducer'.

Anyways I do commend you on your attitude to farm animals, its refreshing to see.

In Ireland our cows (beef and dairy) are all grass fed and live outdoors, thats the norm here. Although chickens and pigs and farmed in sheds which is disgusting. Sorry that was a tangent...

As to OP, its a tough decision. I know I wouldn't pay thousands of pounds to feed guests dead animals when its so against my morals. I've never even bought meat for family/friends/bfs to eat, they can eat the veggie option or else buy and cook their own meat.

Its not like meat eaters will go hungry if there is no meat dish, whereas if there was no veggie dish, the veggies would go without.


To people interested in the differences

Vegans - Don't consume any animal products
Ovo-lacto Vegetarian - eats eggs, dairy products
Pescatarian - eats fish but no red meat or poultry

Its one of my piss offs in life that people will say 'oh you're vegetarian, do you eat fish?' and I say 'NO because a fish is an ANIMAL and I do not eat ANIMALS!!!'' I and I know other vegetarians, resent fish eaters calling themselves vegetarians, because it confuses things for the rest of the populace. Hopefully someday the majority will understand the difference and the word Pescatarian will start becoming more common place and clear up confusion.

Sorry I'm rambling/ranting and to Tofu, sorry for hijacking your thread, but it would appear we have the same beliefs :)

Reply


myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 24, 2009 12:43 PM Go to message in response to: Tofu

If you were having a wedding all by yourself, then a vegetarian wedding would be just fine (there are plenty of great options--think about a hearty pasta or risotto). But, you have a groom, he's a meat eater, and it's his wedding just as much as it's yours. And, by the way, you guys are going to be eating meals together for the rest of your lives--is he going to have to give up meat because it offends you, or are you willing so live with "to each, his/her own"? I'd suggest giving both a meat and a vegetarian option (for all courses, not just the main course). Everyone will be free to follow his/her own choices and standards, without imposing them on others.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

Reply

JasmineF Posts : 12 Registered: 2/6/09
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 24, 2009 2:58 PM Go to message in response to: Tofu

I understand where you are coming from, even though I am not a vegeatrian. I look at it this way, I am not serving any pork products at my wedding, b/c FH and I do not eat this for relgious reasons. If someonet gets annoyed at this (not that anyone will), oh well. My wedding = I serve waht I want.

I have a wheat allergy. There will be no bread at my table (no cross-contamination) and no cake. We are doing chocolate fondue instead. Again, my dietary issues trump the guests b/c this is my wedding.

That is not to day, of course, that I dont' care about my guests. If you really feel strongly about the vegetarian issue, and your FH agrees this is OK not to sure meat (b/c really, its a matter of compromise btwn FH and you and not the guests), then I say don't serve meat if you dont' want to. If people are miserable, they will get over it. I have eaten many awesome and filling vege options and don't miss the meat. It's not like you would be throwing them a plate of raw veggies. lol.

Reply


FutureMrsBabler Posts : 104 Registered: 5/18/09
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 24, 2009 4:04 PM Go to message in response to: Bally

Bally--

I don't consider myself a vegetarian what so ever, I simply wanted to respond to the OP letting her know I have dealt with a similar situation with my wedding. My main issue is with the treatment of animals, and I simply wanted to bring up the option of serving humanely raised meat versus whatever the caterer uses - if she decides to serve meat as a compromise for her FH and his family.

Most of the time when I am asked about my beliefs on eating meat, people respond, 'oh, so you're pretty much a vegetarian, then.' Depending on the situation, I either explain every detail as to what I eat and what I don't eat and why, or simply reply with a 'not really, but close enough.' I know the difference between vegans, vegetarians, ovo-lacto vegetarians and pescaterians - I simply do not fall into any of those categories, so to keep things somewhat simple, I usually just describe myself as 'not quite a vegetarian.' I'm sorry if I may have offended you.


You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. 

~Dr. Seuss

Reply


Tofu Posts : 66 Registered: 4/2/09
Re: How are you vegetarian brides dealing with menu planning?
Posted: Sep 24, 2009 4:17 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsBabler

Thanks all for the suggestions so far. I hadn't thought about "ethical" meat (which is still unethical to me, but at least a bit better). I asked one venue today and was told they would look into it!

I love the mashed potato bar idea, and I asked my FH and he likes it too. So thanks for that suggestion as well!

To clarify, I am a vegan (no fish, meat, eggs, dairy, honey) and I will not be making my FH give up meat. I would love him to come to that decision on his own (I'm not crossing my fingers!), but I don't like to pressure people to make those kinds of choices.

Cool

Reply
RSS

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift
Subscribe to Brides magazine