Moms and Maids

FIL's conflict with menu - need advice!

efgrandefgrand member
Second Anniversary First Comment
edited April 2014 in Moms and Maids
I really need advice on issues I've been having between my FIL's and my family regarding the wedding menu. I was raised Reform Jewish but identify more as culturally Italian, as my mom is Italian. My fiance's family is also Jewish though they are not very religious people and do not really go to temple . We will be having a Jewish wedding ceremony with my rabbi who I grew up with and knows my family very well. Neither my parents nor FIL's keep kosher whatsoever. 

Our ceremony will be held at the reception venue, which is a very Italian place. My parents will be paying the cost of the dinners at the reception. They would like to have shellfish at the cocktail hour and a surf and turf option for the entrees. And honestly, when I went for the tasting, my favorite food that they gave us to try was the surf and turf entree, so that is what I personally would even like to eat at my wedding. My FIL's, however, believe that having shellfish at a "Jewish wedding" is inappropriate and it is creating a lot of tension between the families. My fiance even told me that his parents have threatened to not come to the wedding if there is shellfish there. I am not exactly sure where this is coming from because as I said before, his parents are not religious people and definitely do not keep kosher. The only thing I can think of is that my fiance's grandparents are orthodox Jewish but we would be getting them separate kosher meals anyway. 

The way I see it is that, bottom line, since my parents are paying for the dinner, they should decide the menu. Am I wrong here? Can anyone give me some advice??

As a side note, my FMIL has a very dramatic personality and gets very upset when things don't go "her way". She also gives her opinions when they are unwarranted, and has made various aspects of this wedding planning very stressful. To this day, one month away from our wedding, she is still relentlessly complaining that the ceremony starts too early and wants us to move it later in the day. My fiance has been trying his best to keep the communication mostly between him and her, but she goes out of her way to get other people involved (i.e. having my FFIL call my father to discuss these wedding menu issues). I strongly believe she views this wedding as me "taking away" her son, as he is an only child. Anyone have any advice on how to deal with this situation??

Re: FIL's conflict with menu - need advice!

  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited April 2014
    Have your FI tell his parents that you will provide separate kosher meals for those who require them, but aside from that, if they are not paying for the wedding, they do not get a say in the menu and to drop it.

    Also, if your FMIL tries to involve anyone else, have them tell her it's between her and your FI.  For example, let your father know not to engage your FMIL or anyone else on her behalf.
  • Serve kosher foods to the kosher people. Call your FMIL's bluff.

    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • I would think that you would be able to accommodate any special requirements for food for those who need it (in this case Kosher). I see your FILs point, especially since neither of you are religious and going through a religious ceremony in which right after you are breaking kosher seems ironic and kind of disrespectful. I'm not Jewish, so I can't say how big of a deal this is. 

    I would definitely ensure accommodation for those who want a kosher meal. 
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • I agree to call he bluff. I am always astounded at the parents who threaten not to go to wedding b/c of petty things. Odds are, they are full of shit. And if they actually DON'T go, I would love to be a fly on the wall when they tell people who ask what the reason was and make fools of themselves. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • mysticlmysticl member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I know a lot of Jewish people who while they don't strictly keep kosher do avoid pork and shellfish.  However, none of them would be offended by pork and shellfish being served provided there was other food for them to eat.  

    I would say provide kosher meals for those who want them, have a non surf and turf dinner option for those who don't want surf, and make sure there are other options besides just shellfish at cocktail hour.  Even if you weren't having a single Jewish guest you would want those last two options because shellfish is a allergen food.  
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  • efgrandefgrand member
    Second Anniversary First Comment
    Thanks everyone! We will be sure to provide Kosher meals for those who need :)
  • lilacck28lilacck28 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited June 2014
    This is a little old but... 

    My grandfather HATES shellfish. He makes this face and goes "blegh! bottomfeeders" when he sees them. No one else in my family keeps kosher. We might have one appetizer with some shell fish/ bacon (bacon wrapped scallops) because my FFIL (and everyone else) loves them. But, it took my mom a while to warm up to this. And she LOVES bacon and lobster rolls. 

    We're doing a brunch reception, and probably won't be serving a pile of bacon or sausage with anything either, other than maybe the one passed appetizer that will hopefully be overlooked.  And my fiance loves bacon. So, I see your FILs point. As in, I think it's silly, but the next generation up from us often does not want to rock the boat with grandparents or siblings. 

    It's kind of one of those things: may of us Jews don't keep kosher, and a lot of the ones who do at home still go to restaurants where this flies out the window, but its "not done" to blatantly serve pork and shellfish at a Jewish wedding. Again, silly, but a tradition. You have to decide how important the food is to you, and if it is worth it to ruffle feathers. 
  • Call her bluff for sure. You'll be setting precedent for the future- letting her know she WILL NOT be walking all over you or your marriage.
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    Lutheran marrying her FI in a Jewish wedding (he's Reform). In an oyster-shucking-warehouse-turned-museum. If God can forgive a shiksa like me, you'll be fine.

    Just make sure anyone who requests a kosher meal can have one. 

    Achievement Unlocked: Survived Your Wedding! 
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