Wedding Woes

Wedding 'beef'

mrsconn23mrsconn23
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edited December 2017 in Wedding Woes
Dear Prudence,
I’ve recently become engaged. I’ve been a vegetarian for ethical reasons for more than 20 years, and my fiancé, while not a vegetarian himself, often eats vegetarian food with me. I’d like our wedding dinner to be meat-free, but my fiancé is very against this. He thinks most people will expect meat (his family is full of “meat-and-potatoes” types) and won’t enjoy the meal otherwise. I don’t want to serve meat at my wedding. I feel very strongly about this, but my fiancé thinks I’m forcing my beliefs on everyone and “taking away their choice.” It’s not like I want to pass out pamphlets or tell people what to eat at other meals—I’d just like to serve a meal that’s incidentally vegetarian and delicious. I’m not sure if it matters, but his parents are not helping pay for the wedding, it is mostly us and my parents. How do we resolve this?
—Animal Lover
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Re: Wedding 'beef'

  • Although I am not a veggie,  I tend to side with LW on this one.  As long as I could taste the food beforehand and verify that it is substantial (i.e. eggplant parmesan YUM), then people shouldn't take offense.  Maybe offer stations - pasta with marinara and alfredo sauces; margherita pizzas, eggplant parmasean, etc.  Meatless doesn't have to be boring.

    short+sassyJediElizabethernursej
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
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    I'd like to hear the responses on this one because I'm on the fence myself. One hand - it's a reception for your guests and most are meat eaters.  On the other - it is going against a belief. 

    short+sassySP29
  • I think a buffet would 100% help this issue.
    I'm not vegetarian, but quite often when I'm out I'll steer more vegetarian just because I'm picky on how things are cooked.
    But M, is a "meat-and-potatoes" dude.

    So we did both. Pasta that was vegetarian, and meat option.
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  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
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    banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,
    I’ve recently become engaged. I’ve been a vegetarian for ethical reasons for more than 20 years, and my fiancé, while not a vegetarian himself, often eats vegetarian food with me. I’d like our wedding dinner to be meat-free, but my fiancé is very against this. He thinks most people will expect meat (his family is full of “meat-and-potatoes” types) and won’t enjoy the meal otherwise. I don’t want to serve meat at my wedding. I feel very strongly about this, but my fiancé thinks I’m forcing my beliefs on everyone and “taking away their choice.” It’s not like I want to pass out pamphlets or tell people what to eat at other meals—I’d just like to serve a meal that’s incidentally vegetarian and delicious. I’m not sure if it matters, but his parents are not helping pay for the wedding, it is mostly us and my parents. How do we resolve this?
    —Animal Lover
    This one is really tricky IMO.

    If you do it though, I would still try to give guests choices if possible.    Some vegetarian options at weddings are meals like eggplant parmesan which I'd love but my husband would gag at.    

    And if we saw the bride getting into or out of a vehicle with leather seats or wearing leather shoes we'd roll our eyes at why she's talking out of both sides of her  mouth.

    The bottom line here though is that she's bringing up her FI's family not paying but her FI himself has spoken up.   So she and her FI need to talk about what they want for their wedding and to compromise together.   It sounds like she's trying to say, "If you want your family members to be able to eat meat then your parents need to pay for that because *I* won't let *our* money go to that.   And if that's her stance it's bullshit.  So the two of them need to communicate well without playing the money card.  
    This is the key to me. It's not that "all the family members are complaining that we made this decision" it's that they are still in the process of jointly trying to make a decision, and the FI feels differently about hospitality than she does.

    It's not inhospitable to serve a delicious vegetarian meal, but I understand wanting to increase your guests' enjoyment if possible, and her FI seems to care more about that, while she cares more about the principle of not paying to kill things. I'm not sure where the compromise lies.

    Anniversary

    SP29
  • scribe95 said:
    I mean what are these two going to do every week during grocery shopping? Is he not allowed to have meat in the house or ever make meat at home? 
    THIS!  Her money goes to meat if her FI buys it at home or when he's out to dinner.  
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • scribe95 said:
    I mean what are these two going to do every week during grocery shopping? Is he not allowed to have meat in the house or ever make meat at home? 
    Right!?
    M is a red meat eater, but understands I'm not. I pay for groceries, but I'm not going to constantly say "no" and hold the "i pay for groceries" over his head
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  • banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,
    I’ve recently become engaged. I’ve been a vegetarian for ethical reasons for more than 20 years, and my fiancé, while not a vegetarian himself, often eats vegetarian food with me. I’d like our wedding dinner to be meat-free, but my fiancé is very against this. He thinks most people will expect meat (his family is full of “meat-and-potatoes” types) and won’t enjoy the meal otherwise. I don’t want to serve meat at my wedding. I feel very strongly about this, but my fiancé thinks I’m forcing my beliefs on everyone and “taking away their choice.” It’s not like I want to pass out pamphlets or tell people what to eat at other meals—I’d just like to serve a meal that’s incidentally vegetarian and delicious. I’m not sure if it matters, but his parents are not helping pay for the wedding, it is mostly us and my parents. How do we resolve this?
    —Animal Lover
    This one is really tricky IMO.

    If you do it though, I would still try to give guests choices if possible.    Some vegetarian options at weddings are meals like eggplant parmesan which I'd love but my husband would gag at.    

    And if we saw the bride getting into or out of a vehicle with leather seats or wearing leather shoes we'd roll our eyes at why she's talking out of both sides of her  mouth.

    The bottom line here though is that she's bringing up her FI's family not paying but her FI himself has spoken up.   So she and her FI need to talk about what they want for their wedding and to compromise together.   It sounds like she's trying to say, "If you want your family members to be able to eat meat then your parents need to pay for that because *I* won't let *our* money go to that.   And if that's her stance it's bullshit.  So the two of them need to communicate well without playing the money card.  
    This is the key to me. It's not that "all the family members are complaining that we made this decision" it's that they are still in the process of jointly trying to make a decision, and the FI feels differently about hospitality than she does.

    It's not inhospitable to serve a delicious vegetarian meal, but I understand wanting to increase your guests' enjoyment if possible, and her FI seems to care more about that, while she cares more about the principle of not paying to kill things. I'm not sure where the compromise lies.
    That's why I think they need to talk more.   Because what are they going to do in the future?   Will they ever host major holidays?  If he wants a steak for his birthday what will they do?    

    They need to figure out where to compromise but it can't be with her FIL's cash.  
    SP29
  • short+sassyshort+sassy
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    edited December 2017

    I can understand the LW's point, but I side more with the FI.

    The reception is for the guests.  With that said, if this was a matter of NEITHER of them wanting meat at the reception, even though the FI's family are meat eaters, I'd be fine with them going "vegetarian" only.

    But the FI isn't a vegetarian and it's his reception also.  I think it's reasonable for him to want a compromise of mostly veggie foods, but with one meat choice for an entrée.

    Edited to add:  I just noticed the title for this post.  Love the double meaning.  @mrsconn23, you are a master!

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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
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    We have had these questions on TK!  If both people getting married are vegetarians and they are paying for the wedding themselves, a vegetarian wedding they should have.  HOWEVER, if anyone paying wants meat - that needs to be taken into consideration.  And FI is paying and he wants meat.  The LW is so wrong here. 

    I also agree with Banana's point that it seems like the LW wants FI's parents to chip in so that their family can eat meat.  But LW never once says what her parents want or what her family would enjoy.  Much of this letter is me, me, me at my wedding.

    charlotte989875SP29InLoveInQueens
  • I personally side with LW on this one. If she were Buddhist and vegetarian no one would be trying to force her to go against her beliefs. She has been a vegetarian for 20 years, it isn’t like this is a phase she is going through. I would think that her FH is mostly a vegetarian at home, just like Samual L Jackson in Pulp Fiction. Even “meat and potato” types can make it one meal without meat, there are so many other delicious options. She could even offer faux meat options like meatballs and “chicken” pot pies, no one would know the difference.
  • scribe95 said:
    I mean what are these two going to do every week during grocery shopping? Is he not allowed to have meat in the house or ever make meat at home? 
    Yes! He "often" eats vegetarian with her. It doesn't sound like he wants to be a full-time vegetarian like her. I don't see this as much different than getting meat in the weekly shopping or having both for dinner. I think they should have both options. 

  • mrsconn23mrsconn23
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    edited December 2017
    I personally side with LW on this one. If she were Buddhist and vegetarian no one would be trying to force her to go against her beliefs. She has been a vegetarian for 20 years, it isn’t like this is a phase she is going through. I would think that her FH is mostly a vegetarian at home, just like Samual L Jackson in Pulp Fiction. Even “meat and potato” types can make it one meal without meat, there are so many other delicious options. She could even offer faux meat options like meatballs and “chicken” pot pies, no one would know the difference.
    No one is asking her to go against her beliefs.  She can have vegetarian all the live long day.  But seriously her FI is not a vegetarian, so the argument can be made that her money goes towards meat if he buys and eats it.  Also, her FI wants a meat option because he knows that there's a faction of guests that would appreciate it.  He should have a say since it's his wedding. 

    Not the same, but in a 'belief' vein...my aunt and uncle skipped my sister's wedding because it wasn't in a church or performed by a minister.  They had some strange rant about their beliefs and marriage and how it's not a 'real' wedding because it was performed by my sister's friend, whom is Wiccan (not that I think my aunt and uncle know that).  Like, no one was asking my aunt and uncle to change their beliefs and there was no agreement to do so by attending my sister's wedding.  But their response to my sister's choices were as if my sister was making a personal affront to them. 
    OliveOilsMomSP29InLoveInQueens
  • mrsconn23 said:
    I personally side with LW on this one. If she were Buddhist and vegetarian no one would be trying to force her to go against her beliefs. She has been a vegetarian for 20 years, it isn’t like this is a phase she is going through. I would think that her FH is mostly a vegetarian at home, just like Samual L Jackson in Pulp Fiction. Even “meat and potato” types can make it one meal without meat, there are so many other delicious options. She could even offer faux meat options like meatballs and “chicken” pot pies, no one would know the difference.
    No one is asking her to go against her beliefs.  She can have vegetarian all the live long day.  But seriously her FI is not a vegetarian, so the argument can be made that her money goes towards meat if he buys and eats it.  Also, her FI wants a meat option because he knows that there's a faction of guests that would appreciate it.  He should have a say since it's his wedding. 

    Not the same, but in a 'belief' vein...my aunt and uncle skipped my sister's wedding because it wasn't in a church or performed by a minister.  They had some strange rant about their beliefs and marriage and how it's not a 'real' wedding because it was performed by my sister's friend, whom is Wiccan (not that I think my aunt and uncle know that).  Like, no one was asking my aunt and uncle to change their beliefs and there was no agreement to do so by attending my sister's wedding. 
    I understand where you are coming from but I would assume that he has a job and can buy his own food so it is not necessarily “her” money going towards it anyway. From my understanding, it isn’t so much about the money but a moral issue. She just brought up the money because that is a common first question when it comes to wedding conflicts.
    I do feel like it is asking her going against her beliefs. If she were hosting at home she would prepare a vegetarian meal. Why she be forced to host something she finds morally wrong? If she were sober would you advocate that she must serve alcohol? Or pork if she were Muslim? 
    As to your example; it would be more like if your sister were forced to have a Christian ceremony because some fraction of the guest list preferred it. It isn’t her belief but because some other people can’t step out of their comfort zone for a few hours she has to change her lifestyle to please them.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
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    mrsconn23 said:
    I personally side with LW on this one. If she were Buddhist and vegetarian no one would be trying to force her to go against her beliefs. She has been a vegetarian for 20 years, it isn’t like this is a phase she is going through. I would think that her FH is mostly a vegetarian at home, just like Samual L Jackson in Pulp Fiction. Even “meat and potato” types can make it one meal without meat, there are so many other delicious options. She could even offer faux meat options like meatballs and “chicken” pot pies, no one would know the difference.
    No one is asking her to go against her beliefs.  She can have vegetarian all the live long day.  But seriously her FI is not a vegetarian, so the argument can be made that her money goes towards meat if he buys and eats it.  Also, her FI wants a meat option because he knows that there's a faction of guests that would appreciate it.  He should have a say since it's his wedding. 

    Not the same, but in a 'belief' vein...my aunt and uncle skipped my sister's wedding because it wasn't in a church or performed by a minister.  They had some strange rant about their beliefs and marriage and how it's not a 'real' wedding because it was performed by my sister's friend, whom is Wiccan (not that I think my aunt and uncle know that).  Like, no one was asking my aunt and uncle to change their beliefs and there was no agreement to do so by attending my sister's wedding. 
    I understand where you are coming from but I would assume that he has a job and can buy his own food so it is not necessarily “her” money going towards it anyway. From my understanding, it isn’t so much about the money but a moral issue. She just brought up the money because that is a common first question when it comes to wedding conflicts.
    I do feel like it is asking her going against her beliefs. If she were hosting at home she would prepare a vegetarian meal. Why she be forced to host something she finds morally wrong? If she were sober would you advocate that she must serve alcohol? Or pork if she were Muslim? 
    As to your example; it would be more like if your sister were forced to have a Christian ceremony because some fraction of the guest list preferred it. It isn’t her belief but because some other people can’t step out of their comfort zone for a few hours she has to change her lifestyle to please them.


    I was married during Lent on a Friday.  I am Catholic and that means I am to refrain from eating meat that day.  If I wanted everyone to follow my beliefs, I should have had a fully Lenten friendly meal.  I didn't because I know that not everyone is Catholic or even follows the meat-free Fridays of Lent.

    I had the option of a fully Lenten meal for anyone who wanted it.  From the appetizers at cocktail hour through the main entrée.  Anyone who wanted to could refrain from meat.  But I also served meat during the reception.  I allowed people to have the option. 

    Especially since the FI wants it, I think the option of eating meat should be offered at the reception.  No one is saying slice up beef and force feed it to LW, her beliefs can still be observed throughout the reception.  But I think the FIs beliefs of eating meat should also be allowed.

    charlotte989875short+sassyeileenrobInLoveInQueens
  • edited December 2017
    @mrsconn23 I get it. Compromise is key here but this is a very 1s and 0s situations. It doesn’t sound like either one of them wants to compromise honestly. Personally, I think it would be nice if FH supported his future wife and stood up to his family about it. I could see them having meat substitutes in their menu (I often make chili with veggie crumbles, breakfast with “sausage” patties, and they have “chicken” breast out know that you would be able to tell from standard buffet chicken ;) ) Or have meat at the rehearsal dinner but not at the wedding. 

    Edited to fix : autocorrect 
    mrsconn23
  • banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    I personally side with LW on this one. If she were Buddhist and vegetarian no one would be trying to force her to go against her beliefs. She has been a vegetarian for 20 years, it isn’t like this is a phase she is going through. I would think that her FH is mostly a vegetarian at home, just like Samual L Jackson in Pulp Fiction. Even “meat and potato” types can make it one meal without meat, there are so many other delicious options. She could even offer faux meat options like meatballs and “chicken” pot pies, no one would know the difference.
    No one is asking her to go against her beliefs.  She can have vegetarian all the live long day.  But seriously her FI is not a vegetarian, so the argument can be made that her money goes towards meat if he buys and eats it.  Also, her FI wants a meat option because he knows that there's a faction of guests that would appreciate it.  He should have a say since it's his wedding. 

    Not the same, but in a 'belief' vein...my aunt and uncle skipped my sister's wedding because it wasn't in a church or performed by a minister.  They had some strange rant about their beliefs and marriage and how it's not a 'real' wedding because it was performed by my sister's friend, whom is Wiccan (not that I think my aunt and uncle know that).  Like, no one was asking my aunt and uncle to change their beliefs and there was no agreement to do so by attending my sister's wedding. 
    I understand where you are coming from but I would assume that he has a job and can buy his own food so it is not necessarily “her” money going towards it anyway. From my understanding, it isn’t so much about the money but a moral issue. She just brought up the money because that is a common first question when it comes to wedding conflicts.
    I do feel like it is asking her going against her beliefs. If she were hosting at home she would prepare a vegetarian meal. Why she be forced to host something she finds morally wrong? If she were sober would you advocate that she must serve alcohol? Or pork if she were Muslim? 
    As to your example; it would be more like if your sister were forced to have a Christian ceremony because some fraction of the guest list preferred it. It isn’t her belief but because some other people can’t step out of their comfort zone for a few hours she has to change her lifestyle to please them.
    But LW is saying that THEY are paying for the wedding.   So in this case HE is also paying for this and therefore it IS his money going into the hosting. 

    There really isn't enough information to go on here.   We recently attended a wedding of a vegetarian marrying a non vegetarian and both options were available.    He eats vegetarian plenty but also likes meat.  

    Does she ever eat at places that serve meat?    Does he eat meat when with her ever?   This seems like an odd thing to force when it's only half the couple. 
    This.

    Also it kinda sounds like LW is trying to force her choices on her guests. If I was vegetarian, I wouldn't have just veg wedding meal. Would I have more veg vs non-veg options? Yes, likely.
    But what if someone is vegan? Does that mean everyone has to eat vegan?

    There's a wedding coming up and the bride is gluten-free {not by choice, but by allergy} and she's mentioned she'll have more gluten-free options but isn't just taking out other options.
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  • mrsconn23 said:
    Not the same, but in a 'belief' vein...my aunt and uncle skipped my sister's wedding because it wasn't in a church or performed by a minister.  They had some strange rant about their beliefs and marriage and how it's not a 'real' wedding because it was performed by my sister's friend, whom is Wiccan (not that I think my aunt and uncle know that).  Like, no one was asking my aunt and uncle to change their beliefs and there was no agreement to do so by attending my sister's wedding.  But their response to my sister's choices were as if my sister was making a personal affront to them. 
    ha.  Our best man (H's bff) caught onto our handfasting too.  I wanted a handfasting but both our parents are very religious so I still had one but had light undertones.  H's mom is a devote catholic.  Church 6 x a week.  When we saw him a month later he was like "did your mom know it was a wiccan ceremony?" even though we didn't mention it to anyone. 
    HA!  

    They didn't even do hand-fasting or anything.  Sis and BIL had a fairly traditional ceremony, just no Bible stuff...ha.  It was one of the shortest ceremonies ever and that was great, because standing up as a BM can suck in heels.  ;) 
  • I agree with everything V said. 

    My neighbor is newly vegan.  When she hosted cards I fully expected the food to be vegan.  I forgot the part that she's a terrible cook. I'm not against any food except food that's prepared badly.

    VarunaTT
  • 6fsn said:

    I agree with everything V said. 

    My neighbor is newly vegan.  When she hosted cards I fully expected the food to be vegan.  I forgot the part that she's a terrible cook. I'm not against any food except food that's prepared badly.


    You'd think there would be less to go wrong with veggies.  I take it that was not the case, lol.
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  • 6fsn said:

    I agree with everything V said. 

    My neighbor is newly vegan.  When she hosted cards I fully expected the food to be vegan.  I forgot the part that she's a terrible cook. I'm not against any food except food that's prepared badly.


    You'd think there would be less to go wrong with veggies.  I take it that was not the case, lol.
    Vegan cooking can be difficult, depending on what you're doing.  Lots of binders are dairy based and have to be replaced with different methods/flavors.  And unfortunately not all meat substitutes are vegan or have a decent level of taste/texture.  I had fun with it, just b/c it was learning something new re: cooking, but I don't think I'd want to make it a lifestyle.  TBH, I'd probably decline a vegan wedding unless I knew who was cooking.  :D
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
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    mrsconn23 said:
    Prudie says her FI is being 'petulant', but I think it's the LW who's actually wrong here.   

    A wedding is a party.  You are inviting guests to the party.  Therefore, her FI is correct that they should take his family's preferences into consideration.  If that is too much to bear, then don't.have.the.party.  Or offer cocktails, heavy veg apps, and dessert only.  But if you're going to have a full sit-down meal, consider your guests. 

    Furthermore, I hate the whole 'beliefs' argument in this circumstance.  You believe in being a vegetarian for yourself.   If this was a small dinner party, then eggplant lasagna for all.  But with an event such as a wedding and you're entertaining several (50-500) guests, I think you have to set aside some of that and do what's in the best interest of the people you're inviting (especially in this situation, where her FI DOESN'T FOLLOW HER SAME DIET! It's HIS wedding too!).  She can eat the vegetarian option...geeze. 

    DH's cousin's wife is a super strict vegan for the most part and they had meat options at their wedding.  They only had ~25-30 people at their destination wedding (we couldn't go). 
    I agree with this. I had a serious boyfriend prior to DH and he was vegetarian, even going vegan for awhile, and I was pescatarian while with him and for awhile after the breakup. We'd been talking marriage and my sister said, "If you have a vegetarian wedding I'm not going."
    I told her I wouldn't dream of having a vegetarian wedding-- because of the guests. We avoided eating animals but weren't going to remove the right for others to eat them. Eating animals is just very ingrained in our society, so.

    That being said, if this couple decided to go heavy on the vegetarian fare, what they shouldn't do is tell everyone stuff is vegetarian. Calling things veggie or vegan is itself a turnoff no matter how awesome the food is (pumpkin ravioli, anyone?). They could serve a meat dish from a supplier with ethically-sourced meat (free range cows, for example, instead of a more common factory farm). 
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