Community: Forum: Vegetarian Discussion

Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

I'm getting married in a few weeks and while I am super excited to be marrying the lad of my life, there is a small issue that keeps rearing its ugly head: the wedding menu. I've been vegetarian for 13 years. Plenty of time for everyone around me to get used to it. But as we were planning, a startling number of people (my parents included) started remarking on how they would never want to go to a vegetarian wedding and that it's unfair of me to pressure my guests into eating like I do. After all, don't I always get a vegetarian option??

My answer was yes, I get a vegetarian option. That option is ALWAYS an after thought. It's usually white flour pasta which I don't eat anyway. Pair that with the fact that I can eat almost nothing at the cocktail hour, and you've got one hungry guest.

I find it hurtful that people including my family, are saying this. Why can't they come to the wedding for the real reason? The love that my fiancé and I have for each other. I never go to a wedding expecting any of my food preferences to be represented. I go to celebrate the couple.

Does anyone have any advice on how to respond to these things? I've been sticking to my guns and saying that there will be plenty of amazing things for them to eat, and then I change the subject. Is there a way to make them stop voicing this very rude opinion?

Responses (18)

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    Posted by RJS at 07/25/15 00:42:30

    That's tricky. Is your fiancé veggie too and what do they think about it?

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 07/25/15 04:24:25

    It's rude and thoughtless of the people who use their food choices to disrespect you and your choices.

    Reminds me of folks who have no problem not smoking in movie theatres for two hours, but absolutely cannot go twenty minutes without nicotine at all other waking times.

    If I were a meat-eater and was invited to a vegetarian wedding, I would simply eat elsewhere before or after...but still go to the wedding reception.

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    Posted by Poundie at 07/25/15 05:56:23

    Your friends and family have the option of eating vegetarian food, whereas vegetarians do not have the option of eating meat. I heard these (and more ridiculous) arguments for most of my life; I simply ignored them. When your guests go to other weddings, and people serve halibut or chicken but they prefer trout or steak, they live with it. You are not forcing anybody to do anything; you offer them good food (better than the type they usually get at weddings), and they can eat it or not.

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    Posted by ellie4animals4ever at 07/25/15 06:23:59

    It's your wedding. The people who argue with your choices aren't worth inviting. It's not like their going to die from eating a Vegetarian meal, they've come to see you get married, not for the food!

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    Posted by CMSDE at 07/25/15 16:40:20

    We had a vegetarian wedding reception (lo, these many years ago), and all I can say is, people are weird about weddings. I can't say I came up with a great response, but I usually said something like, "It's impossible to choose a menu that pleases everyone. I'm sure anyone who doesn't like the food is smart enough to stop for a sandwich on the way home." My hope is that that at least showed the situation from my perspective, even if it failed to change theirs.

    As far as I know, no one refused to come because of the menu. Some people didn't like the food, but the only person who made more than a passing comment is someone who, I've learned over the years, has an unhealthy relationship with food. On the other hand, one of my aunts, not a vegetarian, made a point on her deathbed to tell me how much she liked the food at my wedding. (Weird, but true.) And not long ago, somebody else told me that his family had gotten to the reception early and ended up eating an entire carrot cake while waiting in the car. Were they even hungry enough to eat our food?

    As long as you've made a reasonable effort to choose a menu with a broad appeal--vegetarian is one thing, but, I don't know, brussels sprouts in everything might be going too far--I think you're doing the right thing. Change the subject and expect adults to handle their food preferences on their own. Rude people aren't rude because of what they eat, so your menu can't do anything for it.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 07/26/15 04:26:04

    One of the best threads of comments among many here on HappyCow.

    Would make a nice chapter in a book...

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    Posted by anahidscv at 07/27/15 10:05:14

    Please stick to your guns. Remember one thing that, this is YOUR day and not your guests. If they want to eat animal flesh, then they can stop at a drive through before the wedding. Also, there are countless choices, and delicious vegetarian options available for everyone to enjoy. If we were only left to eat meat, that would be very limited and boring. Good for you and congratulations.

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    Posted by heloisepe at 07/27/15 19:46:06

    Congratulations on your wedding!
    From my point of vue, it is a great opportunity to present vegeterian food to a lot of people, especially those who have bad feelings about it.

    Today they probably have a misconception of what a vegeterian meal look like and they might end up to really like it and change their mind about this diet - as when you bring your delicious home-made hummus or vegan-quiche to a party and you end up not being able to eat it because everyone loved it before you could taste it.

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    Posted by Moehritz at 07/28/15 03:43:54

    First of all, congratulations!
    I find it really sad that your wedding guests have such a misconception about vegetarian food. I know hardly a vegetarian or vegan who would complain to the bride and groom that they are not serving a veggie option. We usually just stick to the salad and enjoy the wedding anyway.
    But while it is easy to say "just do whatever you want, it is your big day", I completely understand that you want it to be a great day for everyone. However, I want to encourage you to stick to your choice.
    My husband and I got married last year. As I grew up in a small village (where vegetarianism is practically non-existent, if not considered some kind of awful disease) and all my family still lives there, we decided that we wanted to get married there, as I wanted them to be able to attend. I have been a vegetarian for 15 years now and my husband became one about 3 years ago, so for us, it was always out of the question to serve meat or fish on what was supposed to be the most beautiful day of our lives. We knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but what we experienced during the planning process was very disheartening. Our relatives were anything but thrilled about the idea and practically all the restaurants we approached were openly making fun of the idea. Even some vegetarian friends told us that they wouldn’t be able to “do that to their families” as if not eating meat for one evening was some kind of severe punishment. Long story short, we finally found a restaurant who was willing to create a vegetarian buffet just weeks before our wedding and the food turned out to be absolutely amazing. Every single guest told us how great everything tasted and that they hadn’t eaten anything similarly delicious on a wedding before. I would like to encourage you to just go for it, and in all likelihood, your guests will be blown away by how good vegetarian food can taste.

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    Posted by AndyT at 07/28/15 20:37:59

    Hello Ash0482, congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

    I hear this a lot in other vegan and vegetarian forums as well. The sheer cheek of people who are invited by you, complaining why you do not break your ethics to accomodate their wishes.

    Stay strong, and have a great wedding that hopefully will prove to many doubters that vegan food can be delicious!

    Best regards,
    Andy

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    Posted by VeganIsMyMiddlename at 07/30/15 15:53:31

    I totally understand what you're saying. There is some logic in the argument that you get accommodated for your diet, so why not accommodate meat eaters?

    The answer is simple, to me. It reminds me of a woman at a restaurant who said she would never eat vegan food. The person she said it to replied incredulously, "You never eat french fries?" The woman, seemingly baffled, asked, "French fries are vegan?!?"

    The fact is, no one "needs" to eat meat. You have made a choice not to eat meat. I guarantee every meat eater at your wedding has, on many occasions, eating only veg'n food...whether that was a time where they had just a salad, or french fries with ketchup and a coke, ate an apple as a snack, etc. It seems ridiculous to suggest they can't go one (delicious, vegetarian) meal without dead animal flesh. It's hypocritical.

    I'm vegan and frequently go without food at events, on flights, and on and on. I (coughing) manage to (trembling) survive. (I recently took 6 international flights in 10 days. Didn't eat a thing on any of them, and actually found I felt great throughout the flight, and the rest of the day, compared to flights where I've eaten the vegan meal ...esp. long-haul flights).

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 07/31/15 04:13:41

    VeganisMyMiddlename-

    I of course agree with your sentiment.

    But two things...

    It has been quite common for French fries to be cooked in animal fat for many years. McDonald's claims it stopped that practice a while back. Would a wise person trust them?

    There are millions of people who "need" to eat meat because they don't have a choice...people that live in the far north, people in war zones, political and economic refugees, and subsistence farmers who have lost their water or land to big agriculture and the bottled water companies.

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    Posted by anahidscv at 07/31/15 08:24:13

    Ahimsa32a

    Maybe I am not understanding the fact and I agree that people DO have a choice no eat meat or grains/vegetables. Eating meat is a choice, its expensive and it takes the life of living being away. Even the poorest villages, they have a choice, as simple as finding rice, beans, barley and etc. That is a choice. Some of the poorest countries or towns that eat less meat have been known to have better health than the Western world. People can grow their own, and there is always a way. I have visited poor villages, and the highlight of people's day has been to eat the meat on Sundays, as a form of luxury and having it only once a week. I have been in war zones and seen people having their own vegetables and grains and feeding themselves. Besides, this wedding is not taking place in a small village that there is war going on. These guests are the spoiled ones who are acting up and having a tantrum about getting things their way, without any consideration and respect to the bride and the groom.

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    Posted by VeganIsMyMiddlename at 08/01/15 18:42:00

    Ahimsa32fa...

    I don't even know what to say to your comment directed at me.

    Okay... Taken entirely out of context....solely in order for you to mention Mcdonald's use of animal fat to cook their fries, rather than getting the point of the overheard conversation I referenced, I would mention that pretty much only Mcdonald's cooks fries in beef fat. I eat fries both at home and at countless vendors in many countries, and they're vegan. That is the norm. Okay... Mcdonald's is a very large company, but by no means the only source for the french fries the average person eats.

    Also, my comment, "no one 'needs' to eat meat" is a scientific fact, rather than a political statement. "Meat" is not "required" for normal, human physiological processes.

    Now, since I have a great deal of expertise in the traditional Inuit diet to which I suspect you're referring, I will simply say that the choice to live somewhere where plants are not plentiful, has led to an extremely unique human diet. Traditionally-living Inuit are only able to survive, not because of "meat", as much as the consumption of immediately-fresh organ tissue; before vitamins have a chance to deteriorate. Humans become ill and die relatively quickly on a "meat"-only diet. Despite the traditional Inuit's knowledge of the importance of fresh organ consumption, they commonly suffer from a number of ailments, and have a shorter life expectancy than the average Canadian.

    One source puts the tally at 48,000 gallons of water to produce 1kg of beef, for example. Typical slaughter animals consume an awful lot of water that could otherwise go to crops and humans.

    Beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds are far more plentiful, and less-harmful to consume.

    None of your remarks, however, have a single thing to do with guests at a wedding. Those people don't "need" to eat meat, and most of them eat vegan food all the time, even if they don't realize it. That was the point I was making. I hope this explanation helps you understand, and educates you.

    Have a great day, Ahimsa32fa.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by VeganIsMyMiddlename at 08/01/15 19:16:31

    Correction: *43,000 litres

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 08/02/15 14:13:04

    I posted a response this morning, but it has not appeared.

    We can argue semantics, - the "need" to eat meat when you have options is one thing. The "need" to eat SOMETHING when you're experiencing starvation is something else.

    I stand by my statement about people in abject poverty. There are estimated to be at least a billion people on earth who do not know where there next meal will come from. They have access to NO food. I've been promoting vegetarian diets for forty years and vegan for thirty...teaching, appearing on radio and TV and writing books. But I wouldn't fault any of those billion folks if someone offered them some form of animal product and they accepted.

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    Posted by JMBrooks at 12/28/15 03:22:42

    There are so many things that come into consideration when planning a wedding like dress, guests, cake, food and many other. Wedding food is something that people remember most for long time. Wedding tasting is an important part of wedding process. Well, I also prefer eating more veggies but on my friend's recommendation we are going to have kosher catering boca raton from "theaddisonofbocaraton.com/glatt-kosher-events" .

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    Posted by ReneeNButtercup at 12/30/15 15:36:37

    create a amazing Vegi/Vegan menu you don't necessarily have to serve meat substitutes or everything loaded up with Tofu. Just provide normal food options with no meat. Don't mention the food to anybody and if they don't like it they can do what non meat eaters have been doing at weddings since the dawn of time - go the their favorite spot for a bite after the reception. You know we all do it after a holiday or function where we have no control.

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