- 6 years ago
- Wedding: June 2012
I’m so frustrated!
FMIL & Fiance’s entire family are all originally from Eastern Europe and immigrated here in a big group about 30 years ago. They are all extreamly close and consider themselves family even though they are technically a community. They make up about 100 of our 200 person guest list. 50 remaining guests are my family and 50 are FI and I’s split friends.
I am 2nd generation basic American – not religious, certainly not jewish like FI and his family. Just pretty basic American family.
Thank god fiance and I are planning and paying for our entire wedding because I couldn’t even begin to imagine the fights we would have between these two very different groups of people.
Up until this point it’s been generally very easy and people are happy with all our choices. EXCEPT for FMIL when it comes to catering. FI and I are not kosher, FMIL and her family are not kosher. Basically the rest of their community is what i call “Kosher for Show” – right off the bat we were told by FMIL that the wedding MUST be Kosher even though our friends, my family and behind closed door’s her family aren’t really kosher. I was OK with this.
9 months go by and it’s time to sort out the catering details. We picked the best kosher caterer in NYC (Foremost/Ram) and were super happy with the tasting. We decided to do an hour long cocktail hour right before the reception (@ The Pierre Hotel) and we would have 6 stations, 10 passed Hor Dourves and a huge bar. Cocktail tables scattered through out.
FMIL was super unhappy. “Our men, will NOT stand and eat” we were told. So to compromise I added 15 tables with 4 chairs each to another room where the Eastern European men who could not stand and eat, could go sit and eat at their leisure and enjoy the stations.
Then came the reception catering issue. “Everyone will talk about the wedding and complain if you do not have food on the table for them when they go in the room” she said. “When our men are drinking the Vodka they need to have the bread and the salads on the table to eat, otherwise it is crappy” she insisted.
NOW THIS IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE! You may not be aware, because I wasn’t 6 yrs ago but Russian / Eastern European style catering basically looks like this…
And that’s not even the main entree or appetizers! It’s essentially NIBBLERS pre set on tables so that people who can’t be bothered to wait for their appetizer or entree can have a nibble at salads, fish etc.
I have a huge problem with this!
1. I think pre set food at a wedding is somewhat concerning… how long has it been there?
2. The wedding is at The Pierre for gods sake! We’re paying $380 A PLATE for our guests and she’s upset because we won’t put bowls of pre set salad on the table for them to eat when they first walk in the room?!
3. The guests will be coming from an HOUR LONG cocktail hour with 6 stations and 10 passed plates – are they really STILL going to be hungry?! We’ll be serving an app and entree during the dinner and will reveal a venetian dessert bar towards the end of the night. I want people to actually dance – not stuff their face like the next day is famine.
4. There is no way I’m giving up centerpiece space for a dish of pickled onions….. Read my Lips. NOT HAPPENING.
5. Fiance and I don’t want food on the tables! That should be reason enough.
I’ve held my ground thus far for the past 14 months of planning. Throughout her crying fits, throughout her yelling that FI’s father never would have allowed this (he’s passed she’s a widow and we basically do everything for her – she doesn’t drive either) and throughout her “threats” that the entire community is going to talk about how bad it was and she will be embarassed – I’ve held firm.
This wedding is going to be gorgeous. We’ve spared no expense and perhaps gone a bit mad with it all. I’ve been a part of their community for 6 years now and I’ve been to countless weddings and there really hasn’t been one right in NYC that’s this “black tie”.
I’m certain that for an event of this caliber pickeled vegetables and a tuna salad don’t belong on the guest’s tables just in case they want to nosh. Not to mention my parent’s and family think it’s something that is not done.
In a normal situation I would have FI talk to his mother about this. But 5 yrs ago when her husband died she started treating her son like her replacement husband, so now FI has very little tolerence for when she complains or calls him “a bad son” for us not coming to see her in Queens on both Saturday AND Sunday every week. Because of his impatience with her I’ve really stepped in and become a daughter to her because I’m much better at communicating with her and I have the patience to reason with her during her “tantrums”.
Part of me want’s to just give in and put SOME small dishes on the table (of my choice) just to shut her up and avoid having to hear every day for the rest of my life that “the catering at your wedding was horrible”. And then another part of me want’s to stand my ground and not give in as a way to teach her a lesson that throwing a tantrum doesn’t work.
Which do you think I should do – allow the pre set food or no?