Post # 1
I’m needing a little guidance from you guys as I’m getting upset trying to keep everyone happy for my wedding. To give a little background info I’m getting married next year. I’m from the UK but getting married in France because our family is spread worldwide and we wanted it to be more of a holiday as we never see each other it also worked out better value for what we get. We are on a VERY strict budget and there will be about 40 guests.
I’m currently trying to sort out a caterer for a sit down meal with four courses, however for such a small event we have a lot of specific dietary requirements. Amongst wanting our dream menu for us (we are real foodies, non veggies, another reason why we wanted to marry in France!) we have seven vegetarians, two vegans, six children and three fussy eaters (which will probably have adult size of the children’s meal).
From research done so far it’s going to cost us quite a bit extra to cater for everyone and a couple of the vegetarians have said they wouldn’t be happy eating vegan meals. I know the veggies on Maid/Matron of Honor family will be very upset if given vegan as they are dairy lovers. I’ve struggled to find a caterer who will also do a vegan dish for me, although maybe i’m looking in the wrong places.
People are travelling from all over the world, most people are getting a weeks free accommodation in France on us (the vegan couple and a vegetarian couple being an exception as they aren’t family and we can’t fit them in the chateau).
Can anyone give me advice? I need to ensure everyone is catered for. If you were vegan would you be upset if you didn’t have the same amount of set meals? I’ve even thought about making dishes myself for the vegan friends the night before (like chopping up veggies and sweet potatoes to roast in oil and asking the caterer to just put in oven and serve), but Maid/Matron of Honor has flat out said no and if that’s the case they can’t come. It’s not just the meals, its the desserts, cake and favours all have dairy in.
Sorry for such a long message I just wanted to get others opinions as I’d be devastated if anyone felt left out but we are working on such a strict budget an this is one thing we have saved up for as food is a big thing for us, it’s turning into a nightmare!
Can anyone give me their opinions on what the would do?
Post # 3
I would just serve vegan and get the vegetarians to suck it up, sorry. It’s one thing to cater for people’s ethical and religious beliefs, and I’m all in favour of that, but why should you feel the need to enable fussy eaters? Don’t tear yourself up over it… you’ll never please everyone. I would just offer a meat/fish option, and a vegan option, and be done with it.
Post # 4
I’m a vegan and as I’m given enough food to feel full, I’m happy. I would never expect deserts, appetizers, etc. we are used to not having as many options at events, please don’t worry!
Post # 5
I’m a vegetarian, and I say your vegetarian guests can suck it up and eat the vegan meal. I don’t even understand why they’re giving you a hard time about it. That’s super obnoxious. And vegan meals definitely do not need to be complicated, I’m actually annoyed for you that they’re whining about not getting dairy. Seriously, they can deal.
As for the caterer, I don’t know why you’re having a hard time. Vegan meals really aren’t complicated. I’d say google around for some recipes and give them to the caterer for ideas. I know there have been threads here asking what people’s favorite vegetarian/vegan meals were at a wedding. Maybe you can help inspire your caterer that way.
Post # 6
Hmmm…this is a tricky situation and I am honestly not sure what I would do apart from talk to your vegan and vegetarian guests and explain how tricky it is to find meals suitable for them. The vegans should hopefully understand as I imagine it cannot be easy for them to eat out and about.
Here is a dish that I personally like and Im not vegetarian or vegan but I think it will cover both.
Courgette and broccoli tagine with cous cous.
broccoli, courgette, tinned tomatoes/passata, lemon juice and cous cous. I don’t think any of those products are derived from animals!
as for the dessert, I don’t think you should compromise on having cake (the vegans don’t have to eat it) but maybe offer an alternative. Ask them for suggestions and then ask your caterer which one they can do.
Post # 7
I’m pescetarian (I eat fish/seafood), and I’d be perfectly fine with eating a vegan meal. Your vegetarian guests are being dramatic. They can survive without dairy for ONE night, my goodness.
I agree with PP above about keeping cake and providing an alternative dairy-free dessert if possible. Even if it’s just fruit or something, I’d hope they would appreciate the effort.
Post # 8
Ahhh I have to cater for the fussy eater as they are my direct family! I’ve already told them they will have to have a larger version of the children’s meal or deal with the food that we are having. I think they will have to have a main and dessert and maybe bread as a starter and not have the full courses.
I don’t think it’s an option making all veggies eat vegan, a number of Maid/Matron of Honor direct family are veggies and he would be upset if I asked his family to compromise, as many of them are paying several thousands of pounds to fly their families from Australasia and America, I can understand why he wants to look after them over two of my friends he doesn’t really know.
I think I’m coming to the conclusion that I’ll have to ask the caterers if they can cook a dish of something like curried roast veg and cashews and maybe a side salad I can prepare night before if they refuse/we can’t afford another option. If my Mum and Sister have to compromise with a children’s meal I’m hoping my Vegan friends won’t too left out not having the full suite of courses.
Post # 9
Thanks everyone for your suggestions by the way! The problem I’m finding is the caterers we have spoken to use a lot of butter, cream in all their menus (which we both adore and why French food is our favourite)
They also have set menus and both have said we can only mix and match between menus and not pick and choose dishes. Also it’s a relatively remote area in France so we are limited in the caterers we can use without asking them to travel hundreds of miles.
Post # 10
@Shell222: i’m not sure why you are discussing your menu so intently with your guests. yes, i understand you want them to be happy. but you are hosting the party. i don’t tell people what to serve when i am a guest.
for my wedding, we are giving people 3 options (filet mignon, crabcake, and vegetarian). Fiance and I picked this menu because we liked it and if the guests don’t, well they will have to eat more dessert if they are still hungry after the cocktail hour.
if you only want to do 1 meal for vegan/vegetarian, then you have to do a vegan meal.
if you RSVP ask if they have any dietary restrictions, accommodate those but don’t make each person a separate meal.
Post # 11
+1 to pretty much everything above.
I’m vegan, and I certainly would never expect to eat dessert at a non-veg wedding. Although it’s nice when there’s some fruit available to make it less awkward when everyone’s eating cake, it’s not necessary. I would expect a decently filling meal, though (as in, not just a couple lettuce leaves), but I’m not picky and I’ve been happy to eat bread with olive oil and vinegar at big events.
Nor would I care about the favours. I’d be happy giving them to someone else.
As for your vegetarians, that is very rude! They can go for a meal without dairy, and should not decline to do so if it makes it easier on you. I wouldn’t decline a vegan meal that was, say, gluten-free, even though I love foods with gluten.
Post # 12
It’s not necessarily that we have had discussion with each and every person, as it’s an intimate wedding I know what people’s eating habits are already, 90% of people attending are family or close friends. It just so happened that Maid/Matron of Honor had a conversation with his sisters who are veggie and they have asked for dairy, Maid/Matron of Honor is putting his family first says he doesn’t want to cater for my vegan friends because he doesn’t know them, his sisters and veggie friends are more important to him. I’m in the mind that if I want to invite them, although they are relativey new friends, as my guests, I need to cater for them accordingly (so he is part of the problem really as much as it pains me to say it!).
The other main problem is that I’m struggling to find a caterer who does any vegan dishes in the French region we are holding the wedding, one has said outright they won’t cut out dairy as it’s a staple in French cuisine, the other i’m waiting to hear back from, hence me having to suggest preparing the food myself the night before. The caterers I’ve dealt with were both annoyed/insulted I asked them to cut Foie Gras from the menu, for my own personal reasons. So I think it may be unlikely I will get a vegan option, although they do have veggie options all ladened with dairy.
I think I’ll have to have open and honest conversations with my vegan friends and say I want them to be there, I want to cater for them but there won’t be as many options. I’ll make sure they are well fed with bread- oil and balsamic, nibbles, some kind of vegan main dish of roasted vegetables and cous cous and a fruit salad and vegan ice cream for dessert. Favours I was going to do macaroons which I think have eggs in so I’ll buy vegan chocolates. I hope this will be enough!
Thanks for your opinions guys, it’s good to hear thoughts from all sides.
Post # 13
@Shell222: Just read your update, you’re going beyond what most vegans expect, and that is so nice! The meal sounds great.
Post # 14
@Shell222: My opinion will likely be unpopular, but I think you need to cater for both vegetarians and vegans.
I thought we had a couple of vegans coming to ours (turns out they’re actually pescatarian, so thank you Future Mother-In-Law for worrying me unnecessarily!) and I did have a moment of panic. However, I started researching vegan options and would have ensured they were properly catered for throughout the day, from the canapes to the wedding breakfast to the evening buffet. I would then still have provided vegetarian and pescatarian options for the one pescatarian who was coming. We also have a coeliac coming, and again, he will be properly catered for.
Personally, I would not serve the vegetarians vegan food, though I would give them the option of choosing the vegan option so they have an extra option. But I don’t think it’s fair to make them have the vegan option if they aren’t vegan, as they are completely different. I’ve recently gone pescatarian and have realised vegan food is MUCH more restrictive than vegetarian; there are WAY more things you can eat as a vegetarian than as a vegan.
The only thing I woulnd’t necessarily cater for would be the cake; though you could maybe do vegan cup-cakes as an option so they aren’t left out.
ETA: just seen your update; that sounds perfect 🙂
Post # 15
I’m a pescetarian as well and I would be fine with a vegan meal. As long as I can get something non-meat, I’m happy.
Post # 16
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Shell222: Serve vegan and have a cheesy/dairy based sauce on the side for the vegetarians to add to the dish.