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Vegetarian brides!

Hi All,

I just got engaged last weekend, but husband-to-be and I are already starting with lots of initial planning.

I am finding a lot of venues we are looking at don't seem to offer a vegetarian option or if they do... it is a sort of thrown together stir-fry that doesn't seem all that appetizing to me.

Anyone have experience with this? I imagine if we went to a more expensive location, the food selection might be larger/better. But, we are trying to stay within a $10-$15,000 budget. Do you find that venues are willing to accomodate a vegetarian bride, even if it isn't listed in their wedding packages?

I have gone to so many weddings and events in my life where the veggie options were either non-existant or not very appetizing. I'd like my wedding to be different as I plan to EAT! Wink
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Re: Vegetarian brides!

  • We didn't have a problem.  We served vegetarian food and fish.  Our venue basically would make whatever we wanted, and we looked at a few others like that.  I agree with mery that if the venue has good food and is willing to work with you, rather than being tied to their packages, it shouldn't be too hard.  

    You might consider posting on your local board (on the left) to see if people can steer you toward specific venues and/or caterers.  

  • random4180random4180
    500 Comments
    member
    edited April 2012
    I have an outside caterer with our venue and he's doing a partially vegan menu and for less than $40 pp (practically unheard of in NYC!) I feel really lucky to have found him but it required a LOT of research and back and forth between vendors. Considering your budget, if you haven't found a venue yet, I'd definitely look into ones that allow outside caterers. It gives you more options, in my opinion, which can't hurt when you're on a budget and have a less traditional diet.
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  • edited May 2012
    Even if the venues you look at don't list veggi options, they probably have them available. Ask if they would be willing to do a veggie friendly menu within your budget. I'm not a vegitarian, neither is Fi, but since we live in SoCal, we will have a fair number of guests who are. We are planning a lunch/brunch menu, so as long as people aren't stricktly vegan, it won't be too difficult. I will still be checking about vegan options, because I know there will be a couple of people there...But if the venues you like aren't willing to work with you (which, if they're any good at all, they will), start looking for a BYO catering location. I'm curious what the places you have seen so far have offered, and if they're options most people would like, but you don't? Unless the food is of really poor quality in general, most places vegetarian options are what those locations have found most vegetarians like. It may not be as fabulous as you would make at home, but it should be generally paletable and acceptable. If this is the case, and maybe you're being just a little picky (which is fine, my Fi's list of will eat foods is shorter than his list of won't eat foods most of the time), maybe the location could make a special plate for you? I saw an episode of 4 Weddings where all the guests had normal dinners, and the bride had a plate of chicken fingers and fries...Whatever course you take, it is your (collective, you and fi) day, and you should be happy with your food choices.
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  • we had a mostly vegetarian wedding.  we both are vegetarians and didn't want to have all that meat served at our wedding.

    i agree with what PP said...even if it's not on the menu, most places can come up with other veggie options.  You can probably create your own menu with a caterer.  If it's a venue with its own kitchen, as long as you know the food is high quality, you can be confident they can come up with good veggie options.

    the chef at the hotel where we got married was so excited that we wanted *real* veggie options, not just a lame stack of roasted veggies.

    we ended up offering guests a choice of eggplant parm, veggie lasagna, and veggie burritos.  all three were awesome.  for the cocktail hour, we had veggie egg rolls, mushroom quiches, puff pastries with cheese, etc.  we also had an antipasto station, but it was all the veggies, not the meat.

    we did have a carving station, mostly to shut up the people who thought they couldn't live without meat for a night, but also because it allowed the guests who kept kosher to avoid the meat.  

    everyone talked about how awesome the food at our wedding was.  no one complained about the lack of meat.

    just bring some ideas to your meetings with venues/caterers and you'll find one who can meet your needs!
  • My sister, who's my MOH is a vegetarian. That was the first thing I asked my venues was if they could accomendate her. Everyone of them said yes. She eats eggs and dairy but I have to be careful that there's no terrioki sauce because that's technically beef stock.
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  • edited May 2012
    Hello,

    I'm a fellow vegetarian and I've been scouting out Boston area venues (but settled on a few in New Hampshire) and came across one that has vegetarian options.  The Algonquin Club is in Boston and has a menu that I downloaded and found quite apetizing.  Their chef is interested in making the menu memorable and pleasing.  Check them out Smile.


    ~Renee

    In Response to Vegetarian brides!:
    Hi All, I just got engaged last weekend, but husband-to-be and I are already starting with lots of initial planning. I am finding a lot of venues we are looking at don't seem to offer a vegetarian option or if they do... it is a sort of thrown together stir-fry that doesn't seem all that appetizing to me. Anyone have experience with this? I imagine if we went to a more expensive location, the food selection might be larger/better. But, we are trying to stay within a $10-$15,000 budget. Do you find that venues are willing to accomodate a vegetarian bride, even if it isn't listed in their wedding packages? I have gone to so many weddings and events in my life where the veggie options were either non-existant or not very appetizing. I'd like my wedding to be different as I plan to EAT!
    Posted by Graceseashell
  • I am a vegetarian and that is one of the first things I said that I wanted a vegetarian menu.  And most places would work around that.  Also, since my fiance has a tree nut and peanut allergies they cannot have any food that contains either of those things and every place said they would provided a menu to cater to both.  Some just had basics like eggplant parm, but some other places we talked to went out of their way to help us out.
  • I am not a vegetarian, but many of my family and friends are or are vegan.

    My sister and MOH is vegan, so it was a top priority.

    Funny enough, we ended up going with On the Border.  They have been BEYOND helpful and have altered a few of their sides to make them vegan for us.

    They also have gluten-free options as well, which is great! 

    Also, their pricing isn't super high, either!  We are doing a fajita buffet.  It's a little different, but should be fun.  They are providing meat, veggies, rice, beans, guac & toppings, and chips.  Each rice and beans option has one vegan and one non-vegan option.  It has worked out really well.

    Ideally, we would have had a local place cater or just something that wasn't a chain, but their flexibility, kindness, and price was just right for us.  We are excited to taste it all in just a few months!

    Hope that helps or jump starts some other ideas for you!
  • While we are not a vegetarian nor are we expecting any of our guests to require a vegetarian meal, our venue offers several vegetarian plates, that go above and beyond stir fry (though they do offer a seasonable stir fry as well). There are several fish options and the vegetarian specifc meals include veggie lasagna, spinach & artichoke ravioli, and a seared tofu. Our menu consists of chicken and beef, however they will make a custom plate for anyone who requests a vegetarian plate...with no extra charge for just the individually requested veggie plates. Also, FI really loved the salmon...and so they are making one salmon plate just for him, also at no additional charge. They said its our day, and since we are "dressed funny" (comedic way of saying easy to identify from the rest of the guests) they can easily tell who that plate is for.

    Our venue is extremely accomodating and will even make recipes that we supply. During the cocktail hour they will be serving my mother's bbq meatballs instead of their house meatballs.

    Good luck!
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  • If there is a dish that is easily converted ( like pastas), try that. ANy caterer or chef can just leave meat out of something.

    n Response to Vegetarian brides!:
    Hi All, I just got engaged last weekend, but husband-to-be and I are already starting with lots of initial planning. I am finding a lot of venues we are looking at don't seem to offer a vegetarian option or if they do... it is a sort of thrown together stir-fry that doesn't seem all that appetizing to me. Anyone have experience with this? I imagine if we went to a more expensive location, the food selection might be larger/better. But, we are trying to stay within a $10-$15,000 budget. Do you find that venues are willing to accomodate a vegetarian bride, even if it isn't listed in their wedding packages? I have gone to so many weddings and events in my life where the veggie options were either non-existant or not very appetizing. I'd like my wedding to be different as I plan to EAT!
    Posted by Graceseashell
  • We are not vegatarian but our venue also offers both vegetarian and vegan options for appetizers and meals.  I would think that most reputable venues and caterers would be able to accomodate a vegetarian menu well within your budget, maybe they just need some ideas.  Here are the vegetarian offerings at our venue

    Appetizer choices
    Black bean and corn salad in phyllo cups
    mini crispy cones with sundried tomato and goat cheese mousse
    sweet potato fries with citrus aioli
    mushrooms stuffed with spinach and boursin cheese
    mini shells with rosemary jalepeno rosemary sauce
    Sippable Soups: Gazpacho, Apple butternut bisque, roasted tomato bisque, peach champagne

    Pasta course can be served with choice of Tomato basil, sundried tomatoe and garlic alfredo, regular alfredo, vodka sauces

    Vegetarian Dinners
    Baked spinach lasagna
    wild mushroom risotto
    cheese, spinach, mushroom or sweet potato ravioli

    Vegan Dinners
    Acorn squash stuffed with rice pilaf, cranberries, pecans and roasted vegetables
    Soba noodles with shitake mushrooms, pea shoots, carrots and asian sauce with sesame seeds. 

    Hope that helps and good luck!




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  • Both my fiance and I are vegetarians. Our wedding has a VERY tight bugdet (less than $4,000...but it's small town Iowa, so its a lot cheaper), and a VERY big guest list. Since where I'm from, a veggie burger is a hamburger with vegetables on it, we knew a vegetarian menu would probably be scoffed at with all sorts of fun terms from guests, since most of them are hog or cow farmers. We decided to go with a dessert reception, instead. That way, we don't have to pay for meat, and we don't have to worry about any snide comments regarding our diet choices. I heard plenty of them growing up! Besides, I'm from the ice cream capitol of the world...sweets will be more popular with my crowd than any kind of dinner. :)
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  • On the provided menu suggestions the only vegetarian option my caterer mentioned was a white veggie lasagna (not my idea of what I wanted to eat on my wedding day), but when I asked them if there were other options, they said that my imagination is the limit. A lot of places are willing to be flexible if you just ask!
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  • Do you have to use the onsite caterer or can you bring in an outside caterer? My fiancee and I are both more or less vegetarians and we were thinking of doing indian food for our wedding. That way the whole meal is vegatarian, but still tasty.
  • In Response to Re: Vegetarian brides!:
    We are not vegatarian but our venue also offers both vegetarian and vegan options for appetizers and meals.  I would think that most reputable venues and caterers would be able to accomodate a vegetarian menu well within your budget, maybe they just need some ideas.  Here are the vegetarian offerings at our venue Appetizer choices Black bean and corn salad in phyllo cups mini crispy cones with sundried tomato and goat cheese mousse sweet potato fries with citrus aioli mushrooms stuffed with spinach and boursin cheese mini shells with rosemary jalepeno rosemary sauce Sippable Soups: Gazpacho, Apple butternut bisque, roasted tomato bisque, peach champagne Pasta course can be served with choice of Tomato basil, sundried tomatoe and garlic alfredo, regular alfredo, vodka sauces Vegetarian Dinners Baked spinach lasagna wild mushroom risotto cheese, spinach, mushroom or sweet potato ravioli Vegan Dinners Acorn squash stuffed with rice pilaf, cranberries, pecans and roasted vegetables Soba noodles with shitake mushrooms, pea shoots, carrots and asian sauce with sesame seeds.  Hope that helps and good luck!
    Posted by coconut shrimp
    That sounds amazing! Where are you getting married?!

    I wish all venues were a little more flexible with their menus too. I really don't like when you go to a wedding and the "vegetarian option" is basically a couple of string beans and carrots tossed on a plate.
  • edited June 2012
    In Response to Re: Vegetarian brides!:
    In Response to Re: Vegetarian brides! : That sounds amazing! Where are you getting married?! I wish all venues were a little more flexible with their menus too. I really don't like when you go to a wedding and the "vegetarian option" is basically a couple of string beans and carrots tossed on a plate.
    Posted by MangoSong
    Our venue is The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam, CT.  They also manage The Society Room in Hartford and Belle Terrace in Avon, CT.  All three venues are known for being very accomodating and will allow you to design a menu of your choice if you don't like what they offer but I agree that they have a lot of vegetarian options already available.
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  • My FI is a vegeterian (bordering on vegan) and that was the first thing we asked all the venues when we were looking. It was really important to him, as well, that our other guests would be able to have a good vegeterian option available if they wanted it!

    Although our venue's menu didn't explicity list any vegeterian options, they basically told us they are happy to accomodate a wonderful meal for him and any other guests (I explicitly said the last thing I want is for my groom to eat pasta with butter on our wedding day, which is what usually ends up being the vegeterian option at a lot of events).

    In my experience from meeting venues, as long as you want to put the effort in to work with them on a good dish, they are happy to accommodate. I think a lot of the events that have sub-par veggie options are usually because the hosts don't really consider that dietary restriction because they don't live it. I hope everything works out for you!
  • Hi I m also a Vegetarian bride and my venue is the Farmot in down town San Jose. I d look at large chain nice hotels like that who cater to many different types of people. They are going to have a whole taste menu specifically for me.

    I hope that helps
    In Response to Vegetarian brides!:
    Hi All, I just got engaged last weekend, but husband-to-be and I are already starting with lots of initial planning. I am finding a lot of venues we are looking at don't seem to offer a vegetarian option or if they do... it is a sort of thrown together stir-fry that doesn't seem all that appetizing to me. Anyone have experience with this? I imagine if we went to a more expensive location, the food selection might be larger/better. But, we are trying to stay within a $10-$15,000 budget. Do you find that venues are willing to accomodate a vegetarian bride, even if it isn't listed in their wedding packages? I have gone to so many weddings and events in my life where the veggie options were either non-existant or not very appetizing. I'd like my wedding to be different as I plan to EAT!
    Posted by Graceseashell
  • Im greatful I'm living in an age where vegetarian food options are not hard to come by, and even vegan is becoming more popular.

    If I could my entire wedding would be vegetarian/vegan, but sadly the grooms family is not gonna accept this.
    I will have a vegan menue available and write on the invitation "brides recommendation" to hopefully inspire more people to try it when they chose their food option. My wedding will have a good-cause theme to is with signature collection for animal rights, donation box for a local shelter, and my favor is money donated to PETA
    https://secure.peta.org/site/Donation2?df_id=5080&5080.donation=form1
    I encourage everybody to to this ;)

    I'm sure you will eayily find a vendor with vegetarian food options, as it's nowadays nothing unusual anymore
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  • I just realized that I'm having a vegetarian wedding.  That wasn't our intention, and we both eat, and love meat.  However, it's a kosher wedding, so we had to choose between meat at dinner, or dairy desserts.  Ice cream won. 
    My brother is vegan, so I made sure that the caterers I met with were all aware of that, and offered something substantial that he could eat.  None of them had any issue with creating a vegan-friendly dairy meal.  Granted, they're kosher caterers, so if they had trouble creating a dairy meal, they wouldnt' be in business.  I'd suggest looking into kosher caterers, but the price is generally ridiculous.  However, maybe check a few websites for menus to get ideas to bring to other caterers.
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  • My mom as well as several good friends are vegetarian, so we have requested a special item for them from our yet-to-be-decided caterer. I'm wanting some kind of ravioli...maybe portabella mushroom or butternut squash or something in a cream sauce. I think I might even get this for myself since I'm not a huge meat eater. They didn't have any of these on the menu, but we asked and they said it's something they could try....which is a good thing in theory, but hopefully it turns out! haha

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  • I am also a vegetarian and while we were looking places were more than willing to accommodate my needs. Plus, they offered more than just a stir fry. I would definitely be asking and sharing that you were hoping for something more than that. I found that venues were more than willing to help! Good luck! And congrats!!
  • Wow I am realizing just how incredibly lucky I am. I am not a vegetarian, but if I were I would not have had a problem.  When I met with the chef doing my catering, he said, "Anything you want.  If I can find it, you can have it."  And his mom (!) is making an extra, traditional plum cake for us, on the house because she wants to make it.

    I guess that's the benefit of living your whole life in a small, friendly town.

    The best advice I could think of for you has already bee given: try to find things that meat can simply be left out of, if your caterer is not being flexible with their menu options.  Or try to find a nicer, more accomodating caterer.
  • If your venue allows outside catering, you might try Wholefoods.  The have tons of veggie and vegan friendly options, and are very careful about cross-contamination with meats.

    Other specialty markets that serve food in-house may cater, and can be less expensive than traditional catering. Good luck.
  • Hi! I'm also a vegetarian bride. I have a vegetarian groom and about 30% vegetarian guests. I looked at venues, but even with them addinf extra options for us veggies, I still wasn't satisfied. I found none of the options to be appetizing and no vegan entrees offered at all.

    We are lucky enough to have a huge property in the family to get married on, so I abandoned the idea of a catering hall alltogether! We hired a former exectuive chef turned caterer who is making all of our veggie wedding dreams come true, while still having options for meat-eaters. We are having appetizer options like Thai grilled tofu and pineapple skewers, vegetable 'purses', Indian Samosas, and even a fully vegetarian Mediterranean station for cocktail hour. I'm not 100% sure what our entrees will be, but I'm sure they will turn out fabulously! We are even having a vegan dessert option for our vegan friends and family!

    That being said, you may want to consider venues that allow you to bring in your own caterer, and then find a veggie-friendly one. It may be a little more work, but in the end you'll have a lot more freedom to choose what you want to serve. Good luck!!


    In Response to Vegetarian brides!:
    Hi All, I just got engaged last weekend, but husband-to-be and I are already starting with lots of initial planning. I am finding a lot of venues we are looking at don't seem to offer a vegetarian option or if they do... it is a sort of thrown together stir-fry that doesn't seem all that appetizing to me. Anyone have experience with this? I imagine if we went to a more expensive location, the food selection might be larger/better. But, we are trying to stay within a $10-$15,000 budget. Do you find that venues are willing to accomodate a vegetarian bride, even if it isn't listed in their wedding packages? I have gone to so many weddings and events in my life where the veggie options were either non-existant or not very appetizing. I'd like my wedding to be different as I plan to EAT!
    Posted by Graceseashell
  • Good to know!  This was one of my concerns too- Fiance and majority of his family are vegetarian and as we were looking at venues we noticed  the lack of veg menu options.  I don't want to have to pick a venue soley on their menu so glad to hear others have had success working around this.  Thanks for the good advice!
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  • We are trying to have a vegan wedding.  We found that a lot of the hotels where the wedding would be kept telling us they would make anything we wanted, but they didn't provide any sample menus or confirm any of the options on the sample menu I provided them.  They wanted us to book the venue and then figure out the food later, which I wasn't comfortable with given our restrictions.

    We were able to book a beach house in the area that has a huge lawn where we can have the reception and any caterer we want.  But I am still having a hard time finding one in our budget : (

    We had finally booked a small indian restaurant to do it and then found out this weekend he didn't think his business would survive until then.  So now I'm starting over again : (
  • It's tough being a veggie bride isn't it.  :)  Honestly though as everyone has said if every venue I talked to offered Vegetarian options, even if they didn't list it in the brochure or on-line.  Bottum line is they want your buisness and if they can't feed the bride, well, they aren't going it are they!  My fiance and I are getting married in Vegas, but the hotel has been nice enough to accomdate my requests for vegetarian and vegan entrees, and they even put in my contract I wanted no red sauce (he red sauce, white dress, messy eater are not a good combo!) and we're doing the whole wedding and reception for around 5K.

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