(Closed) Reception Food choice might cause guests to not come

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 152
Member
2050 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@FauxBoho:  Agreed on the Butter Chicken! 🙂

Post # 153
Member
259 posts
Helper bee

@stuckinwonderland:  Sorry, I disagree entirely. If a wedding is not about a couple making their vows, then what is it about? If you just want to throw a party, that’s one thing, but at a wedding people are there to support you, not just to eat free food.

Post # 154
Member
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

 

 

So let’s take Indian food out of the equation. Imagine that the bride and groom are avid hunters and wanted to serve only game, like rabbit and moose, for their reception. Knowing that at least 30% of their guests were vegetarians, or had never tried game, would this still be a suitable menu? How about a couple who wanted to serve only macrobiotic foods? Or an all-shellfish menu? Is it ever okay to knowingly serve something that you know will be disliked by 30% of the group?

 

@TopazTurtle:  the wedding itself is about just the couple and their vows. The reception, on the other hand, is about the couple, the newly formed extended family, and the relationships that are being formed and strengthened. You don’t need a crowd at all to get married. But your celebration is meant to be shared with your guests. 

 

Post # 155
Member
259 posts
Helper bee

@fishbone:  I agree, reception more for guests. However, guests are being given all of this by the hosts for free, so really in the end it should always be the hosts’ decision what to serve.

Post # 156
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m one of the girls who loves Indian food — everything from the restaurants in “Curry Hill” to the Whole Foods buffet — and used to work for a predominantly Indian software company and would eat Indian food several times a week. In theory I think your idea to serve only Indian cuisine at your wedding sounds fantastic, but it’s clearly way too polarizing considering how many of your guests would leave hungry and/or unhappy. It is your wedding, but it’s also a celebration for your family and friends. I agree with many commenters that it would be easy to provide more food options while still keeping some of the Indian food you, and 2/3 of your guests, would enjoy.

Another option is to have an Indian buffet (with other universally-friendly options) for your rehearsal dinner, and a more generic wedding reception, perhaps with some Indian appetizers during cocktail hour (like mini samosas) to carry the theme through in a more subtle way.

Post # 157
Member
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@Crigger5:  I’d have what you LOVE! Honestly, most people LOVE indian food once they actually try it and if this is their first time then they’ll always remember your wedding! Make sure to get tandoori chicken, naan, and chicken tikka masala. That’s mild enough flavor wise for people to eat without freaking out. Oh and pulao. 

Post # 158
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Also believe me, as the bride you might not even get the chance to eat much during the reception, but you will definitely want your guests to be well-fed and enjoying themselves!

Post # 159
Member
4605 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I didn’t read the whole thread, and I get that it’s your wedding and you guys love Indian food, but not everyone does. I love Chinese food, but I’m not only serving that kind of food at my wedding because I know others that don’t like it/can’t eat it. I would suggest either adding an American dish that’s more comfy for everyone or making your meal a buffet style with descriptions. That way people who don’t like/can’t eat the spicier stuff will be able to eat as well. 

Post # 160
Member
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@TopazTurtle:  except the guests are largely expected to bring gifts, so it’s not really free for them. I know, I know, no one is required to bring a gift but how many whingefests do we have on this site about so-and-so didnt bring a gift, or so-and-so gave a cheap gift? The host/ess provides the food and drink and the guests provide the gift. 

Plus, many of the guests incur costs such as travel, babysitters, time off from work, etc, that they would not have incurred, had they not had a wedding to go to. While the host/ess doesn’t directly collect these costs, he or she has a duty to factor those in, and ensure the guests enjoy themselves. Which they can’t do if there’s not reasonable food and drink being offered.

FWIW I personally love Indian food, exotic food, weird foods, you name it. But my friends and family are a mixed bag.  My brother will eat anything that doesn’t eat him first. My sister has a lot of health-related dietary issues. I want them both to enjoy my hospitality, any time I welcome them, be it a random movie night or a wedding. The thought of giving them no suitable choice is so opposite to my concept of hospitality!

Post # 161
Member
2437 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@Crigger5:  It is your wedding! As long as you serve a veggie option (if you have non meat eaters) who cares what everyone else thinks! You pick the menu, you’re paying for it. 🙂

Post # 162
Member
259 posts
Helper bee

@fishbone:  Yes, but gifts are not meant to be in exchange for an invite. Gifts are just that, gifts with no strings attached. I don’t think that a guest bringing a gift means that they have any say whatsoever on how you arrange catering. Guests are there to enjoy the day – and those that care about the couple won’t care what foods they’re served.

Post # 163
Member
543 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Crigger5:  i dont think you really HAVE to tell people before the wedding, unless you need a meal choice. But it would be nice to have an alternative dish for people who can’t eat it, have tried it and don’t like it, or know it will make their stomach upset or anything. 

Post # 164
Member
4801 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@TopazTurtle:  Guests are there to enjoy the day – and those that care about the couple won’t care what foods they’re served.

But you could also flip that statement around and say that if you care about someone enough to invite them to an event as important as your wedding, you should also care about about them enough to not serve food that you know 1/3 of them won’t like. It’s being a crappy host no matter what way you slice it. Would you have a dinner party and decide you only wanted to serve steak because it was YOUR party despite 1/3 of your guest list being vegetarians? I hope not! 

Post # 165
Member
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@TopazTurtle:  A guest who feels like they had to choke down dinner won’t enjoy the celebration, no matter how much they love and support the happy couple. A guest who can’t or won’t eat any of the offered food isn’t going to have a nice time. Of course this doesn’t include those with very strict dietary needs who don’t either ensure they’re properly fed before arriving, or speak with the host/ess in advance to make needed arrangements.

you are correct that gifts are not supposed to have strings attached, but the fact that a gift is customary means that “free” meal isn’t exactly free. For most guests, they could stay home and eat pretty close to free, right out of what’s in the fridge. Because they’ve gone to the expense and efforof of attending (including the gift), the host/ess has some degree of duty to ensure the meals he/she selects will satisfy the guests. 

Knowing you’ll have a third of your guests dissatisfied with the offered meal shows poor manners and a general disregard for your guests. It’s also very pound-foolish (the OP said cost was one benefit to her chosen menu), as you’re spending an awful lot of money to host the event but the first thing many folks will remember is how the food was too exotic for their tastes and they spent the evening hungry (or just left).

Post # 166
Member
887 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@MrsBeck:  sorry I hadn’t actually read your first comment, I was responding to:

 

They had beef as an option. Meaning that you were able to eat something else. OP is not serving Indian as an option. She is just serving Indian. There is a difference there.

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