Post # 1
Long story short: For cultural reasons, FI’s parents’ guests (Group A) and my parent’s guests (Group B) have very different tastes in food. Group A has many vegetarians and even the meat-eaters only eat chicken – no beef or pork. Group B eats anything, but there are a small portion who think that if it’s not meat, it’s not food. Group A is about 40% of the guests; Group B is about 60%. For simplicity purposes, “non-veg” means anything with beef or pork; “veg” is the opposite and includes chicken.
The main course has something for everyone – beef, chicken, or vegetarian. The appetizers, late night snacks, and rehearsal dinner are causing the drama. I suggested 60% veg, 40% non-veg. My logic was that meat-eaters would eat veg, but not vice-versa, so you would need more veg.
My parents have pushed back SO much on this that I have pretty much given up. We now have a 30% veg, 70% non-veg split. I have two worries about this – first that we will run out of veg food and not have anything for Group A to eat, and second I feel frustrated by my parents’ inability to understand anything outside of their own world/culture. It hurts my feelings that they are being so oblivious to my FI’s family’s needs.
Am I being unreasonable in my request for my parents to compromise? Am I worrying about nothing?
Post # 3
You aren’t being unreasonable! You are being considerate of your guests needs! As a veggie girl, I can tell you there are NEVER enough veg appetizers and even if the quantity is good, there is often only ONE option…so when you know such a large group needs veg food, it just makes good sense.
Can the compromise be 50/50? That seems the easiest way to meet in the middle…
Post # 4
You make a good argument. When you say 60% veg /40% non veg, can you give us an idea of what the menu items are?
I get what you’re saying though. The meat eaters are likley to grab the turkey legs and corn on the cob. Whereas the vegetarians are just going to grab corn on the cob. (OK why I made it sound like a Renaissance Fair is beyond me.)
Post # 5
You are being completely reasonable. I eat meat including chicken, beef, and pork, but I love non-meat things, so I would probably be MORE likely to pick up a veg appetizer over a meat one.
Post # 6
If your parents’ side eats everything, then maybe chicken can be the compromise? It seems like the happy place for everyone… Could you do like 50% chicken, 25% total veg, 25% beef/pork?
Honestly, while it sucks that your parents are being sort of difficult on the subject, if they’re paying in any way, they kind’ve have a right to influence how the food goes. On the other hand, if they’re NOT paying, I say do what you want to do! In the end, so long as there’s something for everyone to eat during dinner at the reception I imagine it should be okay. I think people with dietary restrictions are sort of used to having to pick and choose and be careful about what they eat, so hopefully your Future In-Laws shouldn’t be too offended.
Another thought would be to maybe get the two sides together a few times pre-wedding, if possible? Your parents might be more willing to compromise if they have faces and stories to put with the requests, as opposed to it just being faceless “those other people” sort of situation… Does that make any sense?
Post # 7
Your parents are in the wrong. Make sure there’s enough food for the vegetarians. If the vegetarian food is tasty, group B may grab more than expected and then the people with no choice are really out of luck. If the breakdown is 40% vegetarian (or no red meat), there should be at least 40% vegetarian (or non-red meat) food.
If someone is just picky and only likes eating meals with red meat, they can’t expect that every single event they attend will be catered to their tastes. I mean, I want mushrooms at every meal and I don’t get that. Boo. But I can deal.
Post # 8
@Tanya123 – Wow, this renaissance fair wedding sounds awesome! 😉
Appetizers: swedish meatballs, crab wontons, chicken kabobs, spinach & feta triangles, tomato basi brushcetta, veg egg rolls (ok, this one is 50/50, so not bad I suppose)
Late night snack: hot dogs, pepperoni pizza, cheese pizza (this is the problem area)
Rehearsal dinner: Can’t remember specifics, but my issue with this was that FI’s parents picked an equally split menu, but then my parents requested more meat AFTER refusing more veg at the wedding!
Post # 9
Why the need for meat in everything? I hate it (as a veg) when everything that looks delicious on a tray has meat in it somewhere 🙁
For the rehearsal dinner, can you do compromises with meat on the side? Like pasta with chicken skewers people can mix in on their own or something?
Remember that any time you bow completely to the demands of your family, you are kind of ignoring your new one…
Post # 10
I agree with you, that it’s better to have more veg sides or appetizers than non-veg b/c non-vegs will eat both but the vegs won’t. Plus, you already have meat entrees–how much more meat is really necessary?
Post # 11
I say just add a bit more cheese pizza to the late night snacks and ignore the request for more than a 50/50 split at the Rehearsal Dinner (which seems perfectly fair to me) and be done with it. The appetizers seem to be split fine already.
If your family are meat-eaters like I am, many vegetarian things won’t appeal to them anyway (I wouldn’t eat any of the following: spinach & feta triangles, tomato basi brushcetta, veg egg rolls) so they likely won’t be eating as much of the food geared towards your FI’s family as you’d think.
Post # 12
To sway your parents, I would categorize the food that involves chicken as “non-veg” and then recalibrate your choices by adding in more veg choices involving actual vegetables. It would sound the same on paper, but in practice involve more things that everyone would eat. Sorry they are being crazy about this!
Post # 13
You are certainly not being too sensitive! It is really really (and I mean really) difficult to cater to the needs of two very different families. Just make sure that in trying to, you don’t lose who YOU and YOUR FIANCE are, you know? It is your day, not theirs. Honestly, my fiancee and I are both vegetarians, and I’m not serving a single chicken, meat, fish, etc. option!
Post # 14
@Mrs.KMM: that is exactly what i was gonna say – i doubt that if your family is THAT much of meat eaters they wont be eating the veggie stuff as much. I steer clear of stuff that even looks like it might contain tofu or something of that nature.
i would definately just have cheese pizza and hot dogs though. no need for pepperoni. most people dont even like pepperoni.
Post # 15
Point out that the veg items usually cost less, so maybe you could spend 30/70 and wind up with the proportion that you wanted.
Post # 16
I eat everything but have the same issue as a few PPs: Seriously why do your parents want meat in all the appetizers? I like to eat meat sometimes but come on, enough is enough. Are you going to put a defibrillator in the bathroom with your toiletries basket? If someone only wants to eat meat in every dish, they can do that at home. Gross!