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Food and Cakes

meal ideas for vegan/vegetarian wedding

I haven't done any research for the best caterers but since we don't want to serve any meat (including fish) at our wedding, we're thinking of having it be vegan and vegetarian. My finance and I are both vegans but we want our guests to feel comfortable and not eat something they're uncomfortable trying.
It's an August wedding and the reception is indoors. I don't want there to be lots of random food like salads, but I think there should be an actual meal. That's easy to do for vegans and carnivores but what do we feed vegetarians?
Pasta would be easy for both, but that's kind of boring.
As for cake, it's gonna be vegan and his mom is planning on making it.

Ideas for meals for vegetarians/vegans?

Re: meal ideas for vegan/vegetarian wedding

  • Well, vegetarians can eat whatever you are serving vegans.  If you want some non-vegan items, what about lasagna.  You could dress it up by making it with bechamel sauce and butternut squash.  You could have Indian food, which has tons of vegan proteins.  Stuffed peppers, grilled vegetable stacks...there are a lot of options.  What do you like to eat?  

    Are you going to try to self-cater or hire a caterer?  I would start looking for caterers that have a lot of vegan options (either that they offer or that they are flexible to make).  Also, you will have to make sure that whatever your venue will allow a homemade cake (I'm assuming your FI's mom is not a licensed baker).  

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Are you totally against the idea of having meat served at your wedding?  I ask because if you aren't totally against it, I'd consider serving it.  The reception is your thank you to your guests, so you should be having what will make them happy, not because you and your FI don't eat it.   I know I'd be ok with pasta or whatever, but my FI and my father aren't big pasta/veggie only eaters.....they need some kind of protein! 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_meal-ideas-for-veganvegetarian-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:23Discussion:1ab29200-0eb7-4b61-b689-f2dcdd07fff5Post:7692c476-aad8-446a-bb0d-ca3a83ca63cb">Re: meal ideas for vegan/vegetarian wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]Are you totally against the idea of having meat served at your wedding?  I ask because if you aren't totally against it, I'd consider serving it.  The reception is your thank you to your guests, so you should be having what will make them happy, not because you and your FI don't eat it.   I know I'd be ok with pasta or whatever, but my FI and my father aren't big pasta/veggie only eaters.....<strong>they need some kind of protein! </strong>
    Posted by JoanE2012[/QUOTE]
    A healthy balanced vegan meal would include protein in the form of beans, certain grains, soy & other products. I'm vegan also, but my DH is not, so we did a 50/50 vegan wedding. We did have a carving station, but everything else was totally vegan, even the cupcakes. We did have a non-vegan ice cream bar at the end. I can see it both ways for you. Since you're both vegan, I can understand wanting it to be 100% vegan. But at the same time, you need to accomodate your guests. That's what being a good host and following etiquette is. Making your guests happy.<div>
    </div><div>You're going to do whatever you want, but I suggest heavy, filling meals. Defnitely pastas, potatoes, beans and such. Like PP asked, are you self-catering this? If not, why not ask your caterer what they can do for you? I was surprised at how well my reception hall was able to accomodate me & was able to make almost every vegetarian dish into a vegan dish. </div>
  • edited June 2012
    I had a vegetarian wedding.

    We wanted a venue that included catering so we wouldn't have to find a separate caterer. We found a great venue, with great food, which was our goal. If you find a place that does great food, their food will be delicious, no matter whether it's vegan or not. Honestly, we didn't tell be it would be a vegetarian wedding, and many people didn't notice until someone mentioned that everything was vegetarian. I would highly recommend this method.

    This is what we did:

    Passed hors d'oeuvres for cocktail hour:

    brie and apple quesadillas with chipotle crema
    tofu satay (vegan)
    fried vegetable bites with red sauce (vegan)
    stuffed mini piquillo peppers with eggplant and feta

    Dinner:

    salad with watermelon, feta and lemon-tarragon vinaigrette
    butternut squash soup
    choice of pasta: mushroom ravioli with sage butter sauce or penne primavera

    Wedding cake: white cake with blackberries and chocolate/vanilla cake with hazelnut mousse

    I went to a wedding where the groom was vegan and the bride was not. They did 2 different entrees (one chicken, one vegan). For cocktail hour, they had tortilla bites with cheese, black beans, salsa, stuff like that. They also had fruit kabobs (vegan) and something else that was vegan.

    ETA: the food we chose were all items or similar to items on the caterer's regular menu.
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  • Like Mery, we found a venue that did catering.  The venue had amazing food, and the chef had previously worked at a vegetarian restaurant and took pride in getting sustainable ingredients.  Our menu was not totally vegetarian, since we had some fish.  For menu planning, we sat down with the chef and went over what we liked, and she made some suggestions for preparations and things that she often made that went over well.  We specified that all the items that could be vegan, were vegan (so no butter on the veggies, things like that).

    Our menu was:
    Cocktail hour:
    - station with crudite and cheese and crackers
    - station with sushi, veggie summer rolls, red lentil hummus, and bruschetta
    - caprese salad skewers
    - shooters of cold fruit soup
    - smoked trout salad with fennel and apple
    - spanakopita
    - fallen goat cheese souffle

    Meal (buffet):
    - gazpacho in a martini glass (plated)
    - salad (plated)
    - salmon
    - halibut
    - porcini mushroom purses
    - spinach and artichoke lasagna w/white sauce
    - roasted potatoes
    - steamed green and yellow beans
    - asparagus platter
    - grilled summer vegetables
    - vegan veggie strudel

  • My brother just had a MOSTLY vegetarian wedding and the food was awesome.  (I will say, some of the older, primarily male guests were not happy about the lack of meat). 

    They had:

    1) shiitake mushroom and rice noodle spring rolls with a soy/mint sauce and a spicy mustard sauce
    2) grilled vegetables that you could top with crumbled feta and a balsamic reduction
    3) seven-cheese elbow noodle pasta dish topped with breadcrumbs and broiled served in individual bowls
    4) a marinated vegetables (artichokes, olives, tomatoes, asparagus, etc) on a bed of green salad
    5) spinach and goat cheese quiche
    6) an incredible artisan cheese, fruit, and seasoned nuts arrangement.

    They rounded everything out with crab cakes and baked salmon with lemon dill sauce for folks who just have to have some sort of meats.  I didn't even get a chance to try those because I was enjoying the vegetarian food so much. 

    At my own wedding, we served plenty of meat options, but for the vegetarians we offered:
    1) three-cheese tortellini pasta
    2) Mediterranean station with falafel, hummus, baba ganuj, orzo pasta made to order with toppings like feta, kalamata olives, sundried tomato, etc, pita
    3) Green salad with blue cheese, walnut, pear, and citrus vinaigrette
    4) Spinach and artichoke dip, artisan cheese display, fruit display.

    I always disagree with the advice that meat must be served to be polite to the guests. It is possible to have incredibly delicious, well-rounded, protein-rich vegetarian menus that reach a variety of palettes.   That said, I love meat and I offered it because I know others love it too, but there's nothing wrong with not offering it. 
  • I'm vegetarian and the rest of my family is vegan (my fiance and his family are not, so our wedding will be more complicated!)

    There are some pasta dishes I really enjoy that I find less boring (vegan, but I don't mind sans cheese):

    Sometimes it's nice to have a ton of sides and then people can pick and choose. 

    What are your favorite dishes to eat at vegan restaurants? I'm not familiar with Chicago, but you could check out the menus online at Blossom or Pure Food & Wine in NYC to get ideas. Their food is BEYOND AMAZING! 
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_meal-ideas-for-veganvegetarian-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:23Discussion:1ab29200-0eb7-4b61-b689-f2dcdd07fff5Post:ec30211a-e58f-46d3-af5f-ffb282c876a3">Re: meal ideas for vegan/vegetarian wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: meal ideas for vegan/vegetarian wedding : A healthy balanced vegan meal would include protein in the form of beans, certain grains, soy & other products. I'm vegan also, but my DH is not, so we did a 50/50 vegan wedding. We did have a carving station, but everything else was totally vegan, even the cupcakes. We did have a non-vegan ice cream bar at the end. I can see it both ways for you. Since you're both vegan, I can understand wanting it to be 100% vegan. But at the same time, you need to accomodate your guests. That's what being a good host and following etiquette is. Making your guests happy. You're going to do whatever you want, but I suggest heavy, filling meals. Defnitely pastas, potatoes, beans and such. Like PP asked, are you self-catering this? If not, why not ask your caterer what they can do for you? I was surprised at how well my reception hall was able to accomodate me & was able to make almost every vegetarian dish into a vegan dish. 
    Posted by rlavach[/QUOTE]

    Sorry, I should have been more specific.  The men in my life like to eat MEAT.  They'd probably leave an all vegetarian reception early and hit the local burger joint.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_meal-ideas-for-veganvegetarian-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:23Discussion:1ab29200-0eb7-4b61-b689-f2dcdd07fff5Post:f02f7011-d427-4fb1-9927-616caf5b15bd">Re: meal ideas for vegan/vegetarian wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]My brother just had a MOSTLY vegetarian wedding and the food was awesome.  (<strong>I will say, some of the older, primarily male guests were not happy about the lack of meat).</strong>  They had: 1) shiitake mushroom and rice noodle spring rolls with a soy/mint sauce and a spicy mustard sauce 2) grilled vegetables that you could top with crumbled feta and a balsamic reduction 3) seven-cheese elbow noodle pasta dish topped with breadcrumbs and broiled served in individual bowls 4) a marinated vegetables (artichokes, olives, tomatoes, asparagus, etc) on a bed of green salad 5) spinach and goat cheese quiche 6) an incredible artisan cheese, fruit, and seasoned nuts arrangement. They rounded everything out with crab cakes and baked salmon with lemon dill sauce for folks who just have to have some sort of meats.  I didn't even get a chance to try those because I was enjoying the vegetarian food so much.  At my own wedding, we served plenty of meat options, but for the vegetarians we offered: 1) three-cheese tortellini pasta 2) Mediterranean station with falafel, hummus, baba ganuj, orzo pasta made to order with toppings like feta, kalamata olives, sundried tomato, etc, pita 3) Green salad with blue cheese, walnut, pear, and citrus vinaigrette 4) Spinach and artichoke dip, artisan cheese display, fruit display. I always disagree with the advice that meat must be served to be polite to the guests. It is possible to have incredibly delicious, well-rounded, protein-rich vegetarian menus that reach a variety of palettes.   That said, I love meat and I offered it because I know others love it too, but there's nothing wrong with not offering it. 
    Posted by NOLAbridealmost[/QUOTE]

    Yup, I know my father wouldn't care for this menu.  He's a traditional meat and potatoes guy. 

    I get wanting to do what you like.  But this is a reception for your guests.  I would at least consider having a carving station.  I would want my guests to leave happy, not hungry. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_meal-ideas-for-veganvegetarian-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:23Discussion:1ab29200-0eb7-4b61-b689-f2dcdd07fff5Post:b4506cff-a215-4af8-8802-1787854507e5">Re: meal ideas for vegan/vegetarian wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: meal ideas for vegan/vegetarian wedding : Yup, I know my father wouldn't care for this menu.  He's a traditional meat and potatoes guy.  I get wanting to do what you like.  But this is a reception for your guests.  I would at least consider having a carving station.  I would want my guests to leave happy, not hungry. 
    Posted by JoanE2012[/QUOTE]



    However, usually when families have vegan children and aren't vegan themselves (my dad is a rancher) they would expect nothing other then a vegan reception. It is one meal out of their whole lives for the ones they love, so make it like you've dreamed. If a sit down meal becomes too difficult, cut the reception to a couple hours and have finger foods. I think it really is completely up to you and your hubby what is served. If he wasn't vegan, this would be a different story. I myself am vegan and have had to leave plenty of weddings hungry because they were "meat and potatoe" kinda people. But that's fine because I understand that's their choice for their wedding.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_meal-ideas-for-veganvegetarian-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:23Discussion:1ab29200-0eb7-4b61-b689-f2dcdd07fff5Post:b4506cff-a215-4af8-8802-1787854507e5">Re: meal ideas for vegan/vegetarian wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: meal ideas for vegan/vegetarian wedding : Yup, I know my father wouldn't care for this menu.  He's a traditional meat and potatoes guy.  I get wanting to do what you like.  But this is a reception for your guests.  I would at least consider having a carving station.  I would want my guests to leave happy, not hungry. 
    Posted by JoanE2012[/QUOTE]


    My guests were plenty happy. Well, my dad grumbled a bit, but he can eat meat the other 365 dinners of the year.

    As long as people make thoughtful choices about their food and provide enough for the time of day, it's fine.

    The problem with vegan/vegetarians offering meat is that it is often against their morals. I was not willing to compromise my beliefs (I was paying) to accomodate people who "like" steak. This is not the same as offering chicken rather than pork, since more people will eat chicken. This would be like someone telling you that you MUST provide your guests with fur coats, or with cigarettes, or with heroin needles, or... think of anything else you might have a moral issue with.

    OP, I was very nervous about pulling it off, but like I said, it's TOTALLY do-able and you can do it in a really fun way.
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  • IMO, you have to separate yourselves and consider who your guests ARE.  If you've got families that are carnivores, you probably should have some form of meat whether you like it or not.  Chances are they'd at least try to have a vegan option for you if the roles were reversed.  That doesn't mean you need to serve 16oz. steaks, but some least objectionable option to you..  But also consider that if you choose something that they just won't eat, that's a lot of money wasted from your pockets.

    If you're dead-set against it, then as much as you may not like pasta, that really is your best "safest" bet with something like a spaghetti squash with portabella mushroom red-sauce where they may not recognize that there isn't the meat but will still be filling/hearty.  Putting something bean and tofu laden in front of a meat eater is going to be money wasted from your pockets, and that isn't what you want to accomplish either.  I'm all for infusing culture, but it's more important to consider who your guests ARE, not who you want them to be. 

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  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    MesmrEwe said:

    IMO, you have to separate yourselves and consider who your guests ARE.  If you've got families that are carnivores, you probably should have some form of meat whether you like it or not.  Chances are they'd at least try to have a vegan option for you if the roles were reversed.  That doesn't mean you need to serve 16oz. steaks, but some least objectionable option to you..  But also consider that if you choose something that they just won't eat, that's a lot of money wasted from your pockets.

    If you're dead-set against it, then as much as you may not like pasta, that really is your best "safest" bet with something like a spaghetti squash with portabella mushroom red-sauce where they may not recognize that there isn't the meat but will still be filling/hearty.  Putting something bean and tofu laden in front of a meat eater is going to be money wasted from your pockets, and that isn't what you want to accomplish either.  I'm all for infusing culture, but it's more important to consider who your guests ARE, not who you want them to be. 

    Nope, not any more than you ought to serve alcohol if you're morally opposed (or just can't afford it) because your friends and family like to drink.



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  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    This is a 2-year old zombie thread. OP is long gone.


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