(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 : (46 votes)
    8 %
    Yes- Only if you don't provide one meat option for your guests who dont share your beliefs : (75 votes)
    14 %
    No- It is only one meal;also it is free they shouldn't complain : (190 votes)
    35 %
    No-If you are morally against animal consumption then don't pay for it on your wedding day : (237 votes)
    43 %
  • Post # 92
    1416 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    I personally would not be offended if there wasn’t any meat at a wedding (and I LOVE meat) however I would be irked if all the dishes were meat-substitutes (like tofu made to taste like a chicken dish or w/e) or lasagna with no meat… since those always just taste awful to me, no offense. But if it’s something that’s normally without meat anyway (penne ala vodka, grilled veggie plate, polenta, mushroom risotto, etc), sure as long as it tastes good to people who don’t like meat-substitutes!

    Post # 93
    189 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I would be annoyed but I would get over it, especially since it’s a well known fact that you are vegetarian. As long as you have a good variety of meals I’m sure it’ll be fine. In the end its your wedding and your money and if you do not want to serve meat then don’t serve meat.

    ETA: I am a huge meat lover but do eat vegetarian meals when I like the look of them. I absolutely loathe fake meat and tofu though.

    Post # 94
    9129 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

    As a meateater I would be a bit grumpy (especially if I didn’t find out until the day of the wedding) but I would get over quickly if the vegetarian options were yummy.  I love really spicy Indian food even though many dishes are vegetarian depending on who’s serving it.  I also eat tofu without a problem so long as it’s cooked by somebody who knows what they’re doing.

    As far as how to address it in the invitations, I would list a vegetarian menu if buffet or vegetarian menu options if plated.  If you feel like you need to explain to guests why no meat will be served then include a little card with something nice about eating vegetarian without bashing the meateaters that will be attending.  I like Eglantine’s wording.

    Post # 95
    10635 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    View original reply
    @Mrs. Gremmlin:  My comment earlier was about veggie dishes only is fine, as long as everyone is able to have a suitable amount to eat.

    Many (not all) vegetarians seems to think that because a dish is vegetarian/vegan it is fine for everyone.  Vegetarian dishes often have nuts, peanuts, soy, spices, cheese, eggs, etc. that people cannot eat due to allergies/intolerances or because they aggravate medical conditions.  I find it incredibly rude when vegetarians expect to be accomodated due to their moral/religious/political principals, but then will not accomodate those with medical issues.

    In your earlier post, you didn’t say why the few adults wanted a different meal, and people do not always want to point out their medical issues and prefer to just make a suggestion about a dish that is already being prepared.

    Sorry for my earlier post if it was just an issue of people not wanting a dish simply because it was vegan!

    Post # 96
    2192 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I stopped reading but as a non-meat eater I applaud you on standing up for your beliefs.  I wanted a veg reception but DH is a carnivore and that would not fly.

    People need to realize that veg meal is not just salad.  As long as you serve a well prepared meal there will be no complaints out there!!  Some of the best and most satisfying meals I have had have been VEGAN.  Who would of thought that could happen?!  Serve what you would like and forget the naysayers.  There is always one bad apple in the bunch all to ready to whine and complain!

    Post # 97
    9948 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    TO – bellapiece: You said,

    I’ve been so confused on this… has etiquette not caught up to modern sensibilities ?

    YES it has… this is why you now see Weddings where there are Vegetarian Options for Guests, vs the days when there would be NO CHOICES, just the one meal served to everyone.

    I’m so worried that we’re going to come off as insensitive hosts… but we’ve been vegetarians for almost a decade!  Unlike most of our loved ones’ weddings where we couldn’t eat due to meat and / or animal stock, they will still be able to eat at our reception.  But our Parents are really adamant that this is completely unallowed as far as Wedding Etiquette goes.

    Could certainly happen, afterall TWO WRONGS don’t make a right.  I am sorry that your relatives we’re sensitive to YOUR NEEDS… as THEIR GUESTS.  I am sure you didn’t enjoy being left out by them.  Really quite RUDE in this day and age.

    This is what I’m afraid of!  I mean we’re having a small wedding so our non-veggie friends and family have known us as vegetarians since we were kiddos.  But my biggest fear is that by serving no meat they might think we’re judging them and I would hate that.  I think they have the right to eat whatever they want but it is our money buying the product on our wedding night… do you think we’re going to come off as judgemental etiquette wise?

    This is where your idea goes off the rails.  You clearly are imposing YOUR views on your Guests (the whole “our money” argument here, looks more political than anything else).  Being a GOOD HOST means one is sensitive to the needs of one’s guests, period.  By only offering Vegetarian Dishes for those that you clearly know are meat eaters, and prefer things that way… is inconsiderate.  May be an old fashioned idea in your current social circle, but it is what it is.

    On the otherhand (my Etiquette Snob hat off now)… I totally see your POV… and agree that it seems wierd to be a hypocrite with what it is you life values, and how you live your life-day-to-day… just to put it all aside for one day, your Wedding Day.

    And the truth is NO ONE is going to starve if there is a good variety of foods to choose from at your Wedding Reception (unlike the situation where your relatives didn’t offer ANY alternatives at all).

    And of course, you could probably fool a lot of Guests into not noticing the absense of meat if you were to offer a decent Pasta Dish as your main course (ie Vegetarian Lasagna rocks IMO).

    Although no meal offering is really ideal, when you host a large event, there will always be “the few” who aren’t satisfied (I certainly know some real meat & potato folks who won’t eat pasta at all)… but it could probably be a “get by” solution for the majority of folks. 

    IF however the Etiquette issue is still “looming”… if your vision is to do “Stations”… the other alternative is to have a few dishes that can be prepared with or without meats added in… such as a Stir-Fry or Pasta etc

    Hope this helps,


    Post # 98
    4753 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Can you not provide a medium? Like free run humanely killed chicken dish?

    Post # 99
    500 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    I feel really sad for all the people who think being provided with a vegetarian meal for one night at your wedding is an annoyance, an inconvenience, or a breach of etiquette.

    As long as the food is plentiful, warm, and well-seasoned, there is no way this would be an etiquette faux pas.

    Post # 100
    2775 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    I’m a meat eater, and I think you should stay true to your moral and ethical beliefs and go ahead with your vegetarian reception.  It’s one meal.  Your guests will not starve.  The idea that it’s not a complete meal without meat is silly and closed-minded; there are plenty of hearty and substantial meals that do not include meat (or meat substitutes).  It’s one meal.  Serve what you want.

    Post # 101
    1040 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    It’s your wedding.  Serve what you want.  As PPs mentioned, hosts should serve what they feel comfortable with – what satisfies their palates, their budgets, their religion, whatever.  I would 100% respect your decision.  

    And as a flexitarian, I like to think that perhaps people would learn that you don’t need meat to feel full. 

    Post # 104
    5667 posts
    Bee Keeper

    If you have enough choices of veggie food, go for it. It’s your wedding.

    Post # 106
    4654 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    It’s really not bad. Not inconsiderate, not inconvenient. No one will collapse from a lack of meat for one meal, though I have some advice.

    I say this as someone who loves salads and tofu and mushroom burgers and all those cliche vegetarian foods, and went to an all-vegan wedding a few years ago and loved that. I’d honestly PERSONALLY rather prefer a meal that was a show of how creative and awesome healthy vegetarian food can be, and feel free to incorporate that, but it’s not the way to satisfy/trick closed-minded omnivores. My advice is this:

    1. Don’t tell people it’s a vegetarian meal. Don’t put it in the invite, or on your site, just don’t mention it at all to anyone. Your little secret.

    2. Pick a lot of “naturally vegetarian” foods like veggie lasagna or vegetarian penne ala vodka, mac and cheese, eggplant parmesan, garlic bread… heavy, unhealthy stuff with lots of carbs and fat and salt.

    If you do that and don’t pick foods that make people think “vegetarian stereotype” (salads and tofu) I bet nobody will even notice there’s no meat. They may even assume there was meat where there wasn’t any.


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