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Food and Cakes

Do we need vegetarian option?

Hi all!

First post, been engaged for a week, been doing lots of preliminary research on caterers and venues.

Question:

Leaning strongly toward buffet options.

Fiance and myself don't have any family that are vegetarians. As for friends- we can't seem to have any that we can think of. Of course there are guest, etc.

We want to accommodate everyone, but would really prefer to offer all meet if no one will even opt for the veggie.

I know we are early stage in planning, but is it weird to ask our friends and family if any are vegetarian or would need menu accommodations now to help us in planning? Before we sent out invites, since it will be buffet they don't have to check off a meal option I'm assuming. We have our list basically nailed down to about 100, half family / half friends.




Re: Do we need vegetarian option?

  • I am having an Italian buffet. When we talked to the caterer, she suggested that we do something simple like penne and a marinara sauce. We will also be having salad, so those are our vegetarian options. Its always better to be safe than sorry.
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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    JacqAttaq said:
    Hi all!

    First post, been engaged for a week, been doing lots of preliminary research on caterers and venues.

    Question:

    Leaning strongly toward buffet options.

    Fiance and myself don't have any family that are vegetarians. As for friends- we can't seem to have any that we can think of. Of course there are guest, etc.

    We want to accommodate everyone, but would really prefer to offer all meet if no one will even opt for the veggie.

    I know we are early stage in planning, but is it weird to ask our friends and family if any are vegetarian or would need menu accommodations now to help us in planning? Before we sent out invites, since it will be buffet they don't have to check off a meal option I'm assuming. We have our list basically nailed down to about 100, half family / half friends.




    If you can have a pasta option that is vegetarian, that would be best.  Could you imagine being a vegetarian and all you get to eat are some scoops of mashed potatoes and veggie?  That wouldn't be very good!  When you speak to potential caterers, one thing you could ask is that if you do a Buffet service, how would they accommodate any vegetarians.  They might advise to pick a pasta or they might also say they can prepare a separate vegetarian entrée.  In the latter, you would probably need to have a vegetarian option on your RSVPs.

    I had a sit down service during a Friday of Lent, which means most of my Catholic family and friends would need to stay away from meat.  So I made sure that every course of our meal would have been Lenten friendly.  So the cocktail hour had some non-meat apps, soup was a seafood one, salad was not a cobb or chef, and one of the entrée choices was seafood as well. 

    Knottie1447816756
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Having a nice vegetarian option is always a good idea.  Even meat eaters may want the veggie option instead of the meat option.

    And on your RSVP cards have a place so people can note their dietary restrictions/allergies (ie. vegan, vegetarian, nuts, gluten, etc, etc)

    Knottie1447816756InLoveInQueens
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited November 2015
    Even though I eat meat (former vegetarian), I frequently pick the veg*n meal if it sounds better.  And even if you know everyone in your family, do you know the dietary preferences for all of your friends and potentially coworkers who may be invited?  And their significant others?  If you extend plus ones to single guests?  And what about people who make dietary changes between now and then?  I have one friend who just out of the blue (to us at least) announced he was going vegetarian (he's one of the last people I would think to do so).  I have another friend who significantly altered their diet for health reasons recently.  Besides, without additional dietary restrictions to consider, pretty much all people can eat and enjoy a vegetarian meal.

    Do something that is a satisfying meal on its own and can be served with a protein on the side - like a creamy polenta or grilled polenta cakes with roasted vegetables, a pasta primavera, penne with marinara, or risotto.  Then you can serve grilled chicken or pork or meatballs on the side.
    Knottie1447816756lc07InLoveInQueens
  • I had 2 vegetarians at my 210 person wedding and we did a buffet. After an hour of hor dureves we had: summer salad, 1 beef option, 1 chicken option, penne with marinara and buffalo mozzerella, potatoes, asparagus, rolls/bread. 

    MANY people took the penne, penne and beef, penne and chicken... I'm glad I had a vegetarian option!


    InLoveInQueens
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    A good vegetarian option, even if no one among your guests actually lives a vegetarian lifestyle, isn't a bad idea.  You never know-anyone among your guests might just prefer it over the meat/dairy/fish/etc. options.  It also has the potential to help out anyone who has other dietary restrictions.
  • JacqAttaq said:
    Hi all!

    First post, been engaged for a week, been doing lots of preliminary research on caterers and venues.

    Question:

    Leaning strongly toward buffet options.

    Fiance and myself don't have any family that we know are vegetarians or on diets that restrict meat intake to manage chronic illness. As for friends- we can't seem to have any that we can think of but we can't know all their dietary needs, or even if any of them are on a "diet of the week" that cuts out meats. Of course there are guest, etc. who we couldn't even ask until after RSVPs are in.

    We want to accommodate everyone, but would really prefer to offer all meet if no one will even opt for the veggie.

    I know we are early stage in planning, but is it weird to ask our friends and family if any are vegetarian or would need menu accommodations now to help us in planning? Before we sent out invites, since it will be buffet they don't have to check off a meal option I'm assuming. We have our list basically nailed down to about 100, half family / half friends.




    FTFY.

    You really can't know every guest's dietary restriction. Meat and veggies generally help the gluten free people (as long as you don't bread it or anything), but unless you're going to poll all your guests, their SO's and whatever +1's your truly single guests may be allotted before deciding on a menu, please give a vegetarian option.

  • edited November 2015
  • JacqAttaq said:
    Hi all!

    First post, been engaged for a week, been doing lots of preliminary research on caterers and venues.

    Question:

    Leaning strongly toward buffet options.

    Fiance and myself don't have any family that we know are vegetarians or on diets that restrict meat intake to manage chronic illness. As for friends- we can't seem to have any that we can think of but we can't know all their dietary needs, or even if any of them are on a "diet of the week" that cuts out meats. Of course there are guest, etc. who we couldn't even ask until after RSVPs are in.

    We want to accommodate everyone, but would really prefer to offer all meet if no one will even opt for the veggie.

    I know we are early stage in planning, but is it weird to ask our friends and family if any are vegetarian or would need menu accommodations now to help us in planning? Before we sent out invites, since it will be buffet they don't have to check off a meal option I'm assuming. We have our list basically nailed down to about 100, half family / half friends.




    FTFY.

    You really can't know every guest's dietary restriction. Meat and veggies generally help the gluten free people (as long as you don't bread it or anything), but unless you're going to poll all your guests, their SO's and whatever +1's your truly single guests may be allotted before deciding on a menu, please give a vegetarian option.

    Yes, I understand, I have a chronic illness with my own very bizarre restrictions. Thanks for "fixing" that for me. I apologize my question wasn't asked correctly.
  • we are having a plated meal, with 2 meat selections. That being said, we are offering the vegetarian dish upon request with our RSVP cards. Its best to at least offer it even if you don't think there will be anyone who wants it. Agree with PP about only getting potatoes and other veggies. Definitely ask the caterers you meet with about it upfront!
    Knottie1447816756
  • You know your guests.  A group of 100 usually means you know everyone pretty well.  Those with food restrictions who need special dishes ordered will let you know.  This is why choosing something like "tossed salad" and making sure the caterer puts the dressing(s) and croutons off the side and having foods that don't co-mingle (i.e. rice/veggies separate from the meat instead of in the same serving pan) will help you cover more people than you realize who have any issues.  At the end of the day, anyone with any dietary restrictions/requests is responsible for contacting you to arrange for this.  IMO, keep your plans for a buffet, just ask your caterer what they recommend doing. 


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  • If ANYONE is Veggie or special dietary (my brother can't have dairy) I will have a meal for them. 

     Not just sides. Definitely will put vegetarian as an option, as well as a write-in space for anything else (dairy, vegan, gluten, tyramine, etc)

    Just wondered if it's something I should ask now, but I assume most caterers are happy to adapt to a few certain requests.

    Thanks!
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    JackAttak said:
    If ANYONE is Veggie or special dietary (my brother can't have dairy) I will have a meal for them. 

     Not just sides. Definitely will put vegetarian as an option, as well as a write-in space for anything else (dairy, vegan, gluten, tyramine, etc)

    Just wondered if it's something I should ask now, but I assume most caterers are happy to adapt to a few certain requests.

    Thanks!
    It wouldn't make sense to ask your guests prior to invites/RSVPs but it would be smart to ask your caterer what your options are before you book the venue/caterer in case for some reason they cannot/are not willing to accommodate certain dietary restrictions.
    Knottie1447816756MesmrEwe
  • I agree, I wouldn't ask your guests now (but I would include a spot on your RSVP card for any dietary restrictions), but I would ask any potential caterers how they handle various dietary restrictions.

    I think a vegetarian option is always a good idea. 
  • A vegetarian option is never a bad idea. Some people who eat meat prefer to eat a lighter meal at a wedding sometimes, all that dancing can make a heavy stomach feel like crap, haha. I am a vegetarian and so are 2 or 3 in my party and about 5-6 people overall including guests. I think we are doing an all-meat buffet but they are going to make a special vegetarian meal separate for the vegetarians.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    A vegetarian option is never a bad idea. Some people who eat meat prefer to eat a lighter meal at a wedding sometimes, all that dancing can make a heavy stomach feel like crap, haha. I am a vegetarian and so are 2 or 3 in my party and about 5-6 people overall including guests. I think we are doing an all-meat buffet but they are going to make a special vegetarian meal separate for the vegetarians.
    Why not incorporate that vegetarian dish into the buffet?  If I sat down with my meal, saw someone eating something different, I'd be going back up to try and find it!
  • We put on our RSVP card "Please let us know if you have any special dietary needs and we will do our best to accommodate."

    This left the door open for any vegetarians, or anyone with food allergies to let us know in advance and we were able to plan accordingly. If no one says anything and you don't want to do a vegetarian dish, you know you will be ok.

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