(Closed) Vegetarian Faux Pas? Please Help!

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Is having an all vegetarian reception an etiquette faux pas?

    Yes- Your reception is for your guests-respect their tastes

    Yes- Only if you don't provide one meat option for your guests who dont share your beliefs

    No- It is only one meal;also it is free they shouldn't complain

    No-If you are morally against animal consumption then don't pay for it on your wedding day

  • Post # 62
    3324 posts
    Sugar bee

    There is no rule that says you should violate your moral beliefs to make your guests happy. 

    No one would force a Muslim to serve alcohol and pork, or a Hindu to serve beef as they are against their moral beliefs.

    This is a comparable situation, IMO. 

    Although many on the bee disagree (though etiquette experts are with me on this one), the hosting responsibilities are the same as a dinner party.  You should serve something that you expect that your guests would like, but you don’t have to cater to their every whim.  Just because your guest would prefer steak doesn’t mean you have to serve it to them, you can serve them pasta, or chicken, or rissotto, or whatever you like, that they are able to eat.


    Post # 63
    5147 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I’m of the mindset your reception food should be targetting at our guests, not your own preferences. Your reception is a “thank you for coming to my wedding”.

    If I would have chosen what I wanted, we would have had Ethiopian cuisine. But I knew that would be too “out there” for most of my guests. We went with safe, standard food. (Chicken, veggies, potatoes, salad, roll, etc.)

    If you do choose to do an all-vegetarian reception, make it something your guests would eat, like pasta and different sauces. Don’t go off in left-field and try to serve them tofu if that’s out of their comfort zone. (And please don’t serve “fake meat”, yuck!)

    Post # 64
    2779 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I’m probably going against the grain here, but I feel like you should at least offer a singular meat option to your guests. I like veggies, but I’m a meativor, I need me some meat with my meals. While you are paying for the wedding, the reception is meant to be a big thank-you to your guests for supporting you in your marriage and attending the ceremony. I agree you will never be able to please everyone, but at the very least offering a meat option would prevent all your meat loving guest from feeling like you’re trying to force your beliefs on them.

    Post # 65
    10450 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2014

    As long as you serve mainstream delicious dishes that didn’t need meat in the first place, your guests may not even notice. I’m thinking pasta, pizza/flatbread, etc. I wouldn’t do tofu or meat substitutes, that’s pretty strange for us meat eaters to accept. 

    Post # 66
    159 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I absolutely think you should plan your wedding day to suit YOU, and if that means vegetarian meals, then vegetarian meals it is. Obviously, just serving a salad would probably cause quite a few grumbles, but I get the feeling that anyone posting that you NEED meat has clearly never had great vegetarian cuisine.

    I myself am a meat eater, but I’d be perfectly happy with a fabulous vegetarian meal. Portabella mushrooms, eggplant, risotto cakes, etc. There are so many FILLING and DELICIOUS options.

    Honestly, to those above citing that etiquette dictates you serve what your guests like, I don’t think they necessarily understand etiquette! It’s appropriate for you to offer food to your guests at a dinner reception. End of sentence. As PP stated above, I’d never expect to eat non-kosher food at a Jewish wedding, even though I love pork and I enjoy mixing beef with dairy. I’d not be offended by following their customs at their weddings, and I’d not grumble about it, either. That would be poor form!

    As long as you are providing a meal at your dinner reception, you’ve done your part. That it should be a reflection of you and your moral/ethical beliefs is an added bonus. Go for it.

    Post # 67
    10635 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    I think it really just depends on what you’re serving.  Many vegetarian dishes do contain foods that people cannot eat due to allergies or intolerances.  As long as everyone is able to eat enough to be satiated, I don’t think it’s a problem.

    Post # 68
    816 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo

    People will be fine, as long as you serve a full meal so they’re not hungry. It’s totally possible to do that without meat, therefore meat’s not necessary. We regularly have vegetarian dinners at our house not intentionally but just because whatever we are making happens not to need meat/have meat in it normally. Don’t make a big deal out of it and people probably won’t notice.

    Post # 69
    2776 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    My thoughts on it are this.  This is for your guests so you should have something that they want.  On the other hand you have a strong opposition to it.

    I would provide my guests with meat (and will be) I will also be accommodating the fact that we will need to have both Puerto Rican food and some American food and something for the children to eat. 

    A small portion of my Puerto Rican side is vegan and threw a party for my family that only had Chinese food because it was the easiest thing to serve as both Vegan and meat eating, no one was really happy except fot the vegans.

    As others have mentioned most weddings now a days provide a veggie dish at a wedding but it is sadly to say more often than not an after thought and its usually not great food and its almost sure to not be filling.  People cant really be blamed for this not everyone understands the whole veggie thing.

    So in light of that, I would comprimise you say they are southern.  Have some traditional southern sides and bean dishes. That way your guests will get what they expect without the meat and you and your Fiance will be happy too.  I would however let the guests know ahead of time and include a menu so they know it won’t just be faux meat and tofu.  

    Post # 70
    827 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I don’t think that it’s a problem so long as you have filling vegetarian entrees.

    I’m not sure on your views, but fish could be a compromise.

    Post # 71
    5427 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I am vegan (no animal products, meat, dairy, honey etc…) And my SO is not. So guess what? I am “demanding” a vegan meal for me, while my guests can have steak, or whatever restaurant we decide to have the meal. I am not offended by this at all, but if my SO was vegan, we would prepare a totally vegan meal for everyone! It won’t “kill” to have a meatless meal for one day.

    Post # 72
    11528 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    I enjoy eating meat and usually prefer to have a meat selection with my meals.  However, like  other posters have said, if you and your FI have a moral or ethical aversion to eating or serving meat, I definitely do not think you should have to serve it simply because that is what many or even most of your guests would choose themselves.  As at least one prior poster noted, a carnivore likely could still eat almost everything (allowing for other dietary restrictions and food allergies) on your menu. It’s not as if you would not be providing a reasonable meal for your guests.

    Post # 73
    1732 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I like meat. I would never expect to be served it at the wedding of vegetarians, and I would feel really bad if they had been guilted into serving it. The food stations that you (or someone else maybe?) described upthread sound absolutely mouthwatering. If they have a problem with it, they can order a pepperoni pizza when they get home or stick some beef jerky in their purse.

    Post # 74
    1488 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    View original reply
    @chasesgirl:  I don’t see why you would go home hungry. It’s a vegetarian meal afterall, not vegan, which is far more challenging. There are a ton of breads, pastas, cheeses, grains, legumes, vegetables, sauces, fruits, desserts, etc. that are vegetarian. 

    Post # 75
    561 posts
    Busy bee

    Like a PP mentioned, I don’t see why the rules for the reception would be any different than for hosting a dinner party. You wouldn’t expect someone who is a vegetarian for moral reasons to serve meat at a dinner party for omnivores, so why should this couple be required to have meat at the reception? Likewise, and like a PP mentioned, people don’t expect to be served pork or alcohol at Muslim weddings. These are analogous situations.

    To bring up a situation that’s closer to the OP’s, I’d ask you to consider a Hindu wedding where the couple getting married were vegetarian. I wouldn’t expect to be served meat at that wedding. I guess for some PP’s it’s different, because the couple’s entire family doesn’t subscrbe to vegetarianism, but I think that if the couple is morally opposed to meat consumption, they should not feel obligated to serve meat at their reception.

    Especially if they consume dairy and eggs, it’ll be easy to come up with a menu that normal people could be satisfied with, without serving meat. Pasta with different sauces, quiche, fondue, lasagna, bean salad…etc. I doubt guests will leave without being full.

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