Post # 1
I am coming to you all for suggestions and advice on my current predicament. My fiance and I both grew up in Conservative homes with neither of us being particularly observant at this point in our lives.
We are being married on a Sunday evening during the summer by a Rabbi at an event space in NYC.
Our venue comes with an amazing caterer who is able to do Kosher style (I have even discussed not using chicken broth in the fish dish or vegetables and pork and shrimp would be obvious no-no’s). The problem is that his family has about 20 cousins that are very religious and would not eat the food unless it is Glatt Kosher. My fiance and I want to bring in 20 sealed meals on real plates and with real silverware that will meet their needs while providing the rest of the guests with an option of fish, beef, or vegetarian. However, his parents want us to make the entire event Kosher, foregoing our caterer and bringing in a Kosher one. Assuming cost is not the issue (they have said they would cover the incremental cost), do we change everything to accomodate 10% of the party or bring in separate meals and try to have the best of both worlds?
Post # 3
Have you tried the glatt kosher food? I hate to generalize, but honestly, frequently the brought-in, shrink-wrapped kosher food is just not as tasty. I think this all depends on how upset the parents would be if only some of the meals were glatt kosher – if you think it wouldn’t alienate the whole side of the family, I’d keep most of the meals with the caterer you know will be good! Many glatt-kosher eaters (though again, not sure about your family situation) especially if they’re on the young side, are used to this kind of split and won’t be left out.
Post # 4
Oh, and also, is the rabbi staying for dinner? If so, it might be more awkward to be serving the majority of the guests kosher style instead of “true” kosher!!
Post # 5
I’m a liberal Reform Jew who used to work for a Jewish non-profit. I would personally go with your caterer. It might also be worth a conversation with his very observant family members to see how they feel. They might be more comfortable with a sealed meal, or might be inclined to surprise you and eat the kosher style meal.
(I ran a conference once where we had 6 people respond that they could not eat kosher style, and needed Glatt Kosher. I paid an extra $50/person and 5 of the 6 people refused to eat their special meals because they were fine with kosher-style. I’m still so frustrated, but it’s taught me that some people who are strict kosher are sometimes more flexible than you think!)
Post # 6
I am unsure about the Rabbi staying since there was a recent death in his family and I am not sure whether he will take the 1 yr restriction on attending weddings or not which I think is more traditionally reserved for shiva of a parent.
During our first meeting he mentioned that it would be nice if the food he said the hamotzi over was kosher but he did not seem to be pushing it. (Of course he challah will be)
I have not personally tried the glatt kosher food because I do not eat meat but I have heard a number of people who keep kosher rave about the food of some of these kosher caterers though I know it is not as good as the caterer who comes with the venue.
Post # 7
Can you just ask the people who will be eating the meals? If it’s just a small group of family members you can ask their preference. Most of the Orthodox my Fiance and I know expect to have a different meal than everyone else at the non-Orthodox events they attend and don’t feel slighted by it in the least. You can be accomodating without sacrificing food that excites you for yourself and your other guests. We’re in a similar situation and will be bringing in kosher food for our few guests who require it…
Post # 8
Remember, it’s not just the dinner meal itself. I assume you’ll be having a cocktail hour, and what about the wedding cake, dessert? And the plates, glasses, etc. have to be kosher. If you are inviting family but then they’ll be excluded from taking part of much of the food until meal time because nothing is kosher, that’s not proper from a family or etquette stand point.
While it might seem like much, if money isn’t an issue, you really should have the entire affair kosher. Otherwise, tell your guests who keep kosher and they can decide whether or not to attend. But having separate meals like that puts them in sort of another state not on par with the rest of your guests.
There are enough good places in the city to get quality kosher food. My wedding will literally have a hand ful of folks but for one night, again since money isn’t an issue, the sacrifice should be make – especially since this is family.
Also, while we use the term, there’s no such thing as kosher-style and that won’t work with guests that keep kosher. Either way, discuss the issue with these members and see how willing they are and go from there. Personally, as someone who keeps kosher, depending on the family member, I’d either go but not stay very long (because how much fun am I going to have when I cannot really eat anything) or not come at all.
Post # 9
- Wedding: March 2018 - Ritz Carlton, Marina Del Rey
I totally empathize with your predicament. We had a number of Lubavitch relatives and Orthodox friends who required Glatt Kosher meals. We ended up just asking the hotel to bring in Glatt Kosher meals for them (shrink wrapped, etc.), along with Glatt Kosher hor d’oeuvres and desserts. But if cost were not an issue (and the Glatt Kosher options aren’t terrible), I would have gone for a fully kosher wedding. I think the answer depends on how upset your fiance’s family would be if you didn’t take them up on their offer.
Good luck! Let us know what you decide to do.
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
I would talk to his parents to see how important it really is to them… my inclination would be to go with your original caterer because the food would probably taste better! But if the kosher caterer is *really* good, then it could be okay. Ich, would the cake then have to be kosher too?
Post # 11
@ Spaniel: oy, Im with you, kosher cake is gross. 😉
Post # 12
I agree with the PPs who said make the whole thing kosher IF cost isn’t an issue. That is what we are doing. If you are worried about the cake and money is not an object, Ron Ben Israel does do kosher and I cannot imagine him putting his name behind anything that isn’t amazing. Also prestige caterers is an amazing glatt kosher caterer in NYC that is the kosher caterer for places like the Plaza and Cipriani and Capitale so I think they are pretty ‘normal’ if that is what you are concerned about. (which I completely understand as my Fiance had the same fears)
Post # 13
I have to agree with thebriz. There is no such thing as ‘kosher-style’, unfortunately. Same goes for the logic of serving non-Kosher certified vegetarian food to people who keep Kosher as kashrut is more complex than that.