Wedding Etiquette Forum

it's my wedding right...?

So some things keep coming up while planning where my mom says, "We're putting it on for you, it's going to be this way" The most recent problem is that my fiance and I don't want there to be meat at the reception. We have recently become vegetarian and feel the food options (and rest of the day for that matter) should reflect who we are. My mom thinks that if there is no meat people will be offended and that they will think we're not feeding them enough or being cheap. I have TONS of food planned, it just doesn't involve meat~ I even avoided meat substitutes so no one gets freaked out... How do I address this problem and the others that have come up? I know she wants to put on a nice day for me, my fiance, and our guests, but shouldn't we have the ultimate say...? Thanks!
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Re: it's my wedding right...?

  • It really depends on what your menu is. Share please?
  • My husband is a vegetarian, but we had meat at the wedding. You should most definitely, without question, serve meat. You will have endless complaints and it will come off as rude if you do not.
  • Why don't you offer a vegetarian option and a meat option? I think if you make it purely vegetarian only, there are going to be a lot of unhappy people.
  • Um.  How about I start with the question:  Who's paying?And then move on to this:  As someone who eats meat, I intend to accomodate my vegetarian guests by offering food that they can eat - and not just a salad.  I do this because I love them and I want them to be comfortable and happy at my wedding, not because I need to make a statement about who I am via the food I serve.My ex husband is a hunter.  Meat is a huge part of who he is, but he didn't shoot a deer, drag it into the reception and ask how people wanted their steak.

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
  • I'm with Nebb & Sarah. What is your menu? I would have some type of meat. Just because you don't eat it doesn't mean everyone else doesn't either. The reception is about your guests. With little touches of you thrown in.

  • Well, I guess we were due for another "NO MEAT EVER!" post.  It's been awhile.I'm with your mom.  There are a lot of things I refuse to eat for moral/personal taste reasons, but I would make them available to my guests if need be because I know they like them.  Nobody's cramming meat down your throat, you don't need to use your wedding to make a stand.  A wedding reception is to thank your guests, not to force your way of life on others.
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  • The reception is a thank you to your guests for coming to your wedding. You should serve food that you're sure your guests will like. Since the two of you are vegetarians, you could make your menu extremely veggie-friendly. But you should still offer meat if that's what most people eat. Example: I would probably be happy to try your veggie dishes, but my DH would go hungry... Then he'd complain and we'd leave early so he could go eat a steak.
  • The reception is a thank you to your guests and as your GUESTS you should make sure that they are happy and enjoying themselves. Yes, people can eat a veggie option, will people be happy with it, no, most won't. We had two veggie options and two meat options, you should consider the same.
  • I'm not vegetarian, but provided a meatless option (and even a gluten-free option) because I thought it would be more gracious as the host of the party to accommodate all of our guests.  Can your menu be adjusted to provide a little more variety?
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  • Im still waiting on a menu here lady, its hard to form an opinion on your "tons" of food, without seeing what youre having.
  • How would you feel if you were a guest in someone else's home and they served only meat because that's all they eat? Pretty crappy right? Just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean others don't and it IS rude to not accomodate your guests. Offer meat - you and your FI don't have to come anywhere near it. And if your mom is paying, which it sounds like she is, she calls the shots.
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  • If by "putting it on" you mean that your mother is paying for it, then she gets final say, Not you. The reception is for the guests, not for you. You should provide food that they will enjoy. If they expect meat, that means you need to serve meat.
  • I'm doing a vegetarian reception. Many vegetarians don't. I think I can make it so that there's food people will want to eat (normal food, not tofu) and so it reflects my values. FI is an omnivore, but he's totally on board with this. The most important part, though, is that I'm paying for it myself. I don't want my money going towards something I don't believe in.I agree that people can do without meat for one meal, as long as it's still a very good one, but if it's your mom's money, you don't have as solid a basis to stand on. Maybe compromise - 1 meat dish, one nice vegetarian dish. Vegetarian apps for cocktail hour and a vegetarian first course.
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  • I thought you were a vegetarian because of a meat allergy, now it's something you don't believe in?

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
  • Im still waiting on a menu here lady, its hard to form an opinion on your "tons" of food, without seeing what youre having.Or any type of response for that matter. Yoo hoo, Caly!
  • I'm going to play my usual role in the minority opinion here, and say that there's nothing wrong with having a vegetarian wedding. My brother and his wife had a vegetarian wedding, and nobody died, threw food, complained, or anything like that. The food was absolutely scrumptious, and I didn't miss the meat even though I usually eat meat with every meal.Of course, it may have helped that my brother got married in Berkeley, CA and invited a lot of granola-type people.If you do it right and have delicious things, it should be fine.
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  • I don't think your wedding is a time to push your lifestyle on others...it is your choice to be vegetarian but you should make sure your  guests are comfortable and happy and for some of them that may mean meat! If meat eaters can offer a veg. choice than you should be able to offer a meat choice... Just my opinion...
  • I agree with everyone who is saying it depends on what food you are serving. I feel like it is kind of the same thing as serving super exotic food to a meat and potatos kind of crowd. Sure they could try it, but they would probably prefer something they were more used to. So I don't think that it's necessarily wrong, but probably not the most crowd pleasing thing to do. But if your mom is paying, this is not an issue I would choose to take a stand on.
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  • I'll add this. Tim and I don't drink. At all. We don't enjoy being around when other people are drinking too much and so often don't go to bars with friends. Even though we don't drink at all and don't think it is necessary to drink or have alcohol, we provided wine and beer for our guests so that they would be happy and enjoy themselves.
  • why does food need to reflect you? are you serving glass?
  • If I were a vegetarian for moral/value reasons, I would absolutely have a vegetarian reception. And it stuns me every time when people say that meat has to be served at a reception. There are so many filling, appetizing, and interesting alternatives to meat that I can't imagine anyone would even notice if it's done well. I don't expect people who object to alcohol for moral reasons to serve it, I don't expect people w ho are kosher to serve butter to go along with bread if they're serving a meat dish, I don't expect a Hindu couple to serve beef, I don't expect a Muslim couple to serve pork, and on and on and on. I'd be far more shocked to find meat at the wedding of someone who I knew was a vegetarian than to not see it.
  • No guest is going to complain to your face that they are angry you had only vegetarian food.  But trust me, they will talk about it later, no matter how great you think your vegetariam meal is, most people want meat for dinner.And most guests don't remember all the little details at a wedding but they do remember what they ate, especially if they didn't like it or couldn't get something they liked.I personally am a BIG, HUGE even carnivore thanks to an anemia problem that can't be fixed with iron pills and would be out of sorts if there was no meat at a wedding.  Think how TO'd you'd be with no vegetarian option at a wedding, take care of those at your wedding who eat meat.
  • thanks for the posts:) the biggest reason we (more my fiance) didnt want meat is that he doesnt eat meat because of animal rights in commercial companies and farms, He feels like providing meat for 150 people defeats the point of him not eating meat. The options are totally 'normal'foods... no tofurky or anything. We're doing stations- Pasta (baked ziti and pasta alfredo, maybe a 3rd) Salads- potato, lettuce, 3bean and sides- mased potatoes, steamed veggies, dinner rolls, and a couple others. I totally dont think we should have everything be like spaghetti with 'meat' balls or stirfry with 'chicken' but I dont think the options we have picked out make it seem like we're forcing them to eat vegetarian foods... i dont even really think most people would notice...
  • I thought you were a vegetarian because of a meat allergy, now it's something you don't believe in?It started off that way (I won't die if I eat it, it just doesn't agree with me, at all) but I found out more information the deeper I got into the vegetarian community. I believe everyone has their reason for being vegetarian when they start out, and after a while you find more and more reasons. Some people do it because they love animals, then they find out about environmental factors and find them hard to disagree with, etc.
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  • My FI would have to leave your reception.  Nothing you've offered there is an acceptable meal for a diabetic.Or anyone with celiacs.

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
  • I also think it's fine.  I would never expect anyone to compromise their morals to give me anything.  If I was a guest and learned that someone went against what they believed on my behalf, I'd feel terrible.That said, if your mom is paying or you are going to get tarred & feathered for having a vegetarian meal, then just serve a second option--maybe fish.  It's still meat, but it's less...um, bloody & violent?  Something like that.  Just make the vegetarian stuff the main focus of the dinner.  
  • As someone who grew up on a farm and has seen animals raised, I question a lot of the information being provided by vegetarian groups.But I've always known where my food comes from.  I've even petted my food in the field.

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
  • C&C, you have to see that posters are repsonding to your post.  Is there some particular reason you asked a question almost 25 minutes ago and you no longer care?
  • I love that my FI would be able to eat salad and steamed veggies at that wedding. That's friggin hilarious.

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
  • the biggest reason we (more my fiance) didnt want meat is that he doesnt eat meat because of animal rights in commercial companies and farms, He feels like providing meat for 150 people defeats the point of him not eating meat.If commercially farmed meat is your concern, any caterer worth their salt would be able to address this and work with a local organic farmer with humane practices.
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