📋 Get the Wedding Quick Start Guide!

Wedding Menu Controversy: Bride Insists on Vegetarian Food Despite Fiancé's Opposition

When you shop via links on our site, we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. Learn more.

Are you considering adjusting your wedding menu to be vegetarian or vegan-friendly?

guest at indian wedding

They say vegans always take advantage of the opportunity to tell everyone about their food choices. As a vegan, I can confirm that this is true. However, there’s a thick line between eagerly sharing your diet and imposing it on others. A vegetarian, who we will call Rachel, found herself in a tough position after wanting to serve only vegetarian food for her wedding catering.

The Cultural Differences

Indian Wedding
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Rachel comes from a South Indian Hindu background, and her fiancé is white American and Christian. So their wedding will include both cultures. They’re having two ceremonies and a reception dinner.

Rachel and her finance love meat, but her culture does not recommend eating meat at a wedding. South Indian Hindu weddings should fall on a lucky day, and meat is prohibited.

Fiancé’s Worries

South Indian Wedding Food
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Rachel’s fiancé is hesitant about this. He worries that the non-Indian guests will think they’re being cheap by serving only vegetarian food and not providing alcohol. Rachel disagrees, as South Indian culture has many delicious dishes which are served on a banana leaf plate.

They will also serve Western desserts. Her fiancé’s family also enjoys vegetarian Indian food. Including meat would displease Rachel’s family as they don’t eat meat on auspicious days. What would you do?

After sharing her dilemma in an online forum, here are opinions from its members.

Let the Guests Decide

Wedding Buffet
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

South Indians don’t stop the rest of the world from eating meat on auspicious days. Several thread contributors propose that Rachel should have two buffets, one with traditional foods and the other with American dishes. She should place them on opposite sides and let the guests have their pick.

You Are Not Marrying Yourself

Frustrated woman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

You don’t begin a marriage by trying to erase your partner’s needs. Someone states that Rachel needs to remember that the wedding is for her and her fiance. Thus, it should include both cultures. If he wants meat at the wedding, he should have that.

He’s making a compromise by agreeing to a no-alcohol wedding, so Rachel should also yield some. Rachel must evaluate whether she wants to marry into the Western culture if she doesn’t want the culture at her wedding.

The Auspicious Time Is a Window of Time

Temple
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A South Indian Hindu explains that the no meat rule applies only to weddings held in temples or temple halls. A priest officiates such weddings, so the meal served immediately after cannot have meat in their presence. The auspicious time is also about an hour or less. Rachel’s demands seem more like a family preference.

Your Wedding Your Rules

guest at indian wedding
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Just because guests eat vegetarian for a day doesn’t mean a diet is being forced on them. One person replies that guests are invited to partake in whatever you offer. Your wedding is a sacred place and a shared bubble where you invite guests to celebrate.

Food is a reflection of what the couple stands for. Since Rachel’s fiancé seems to enjoy vegetarian food, they should serve that, and everyone else will get on board.

Consider Some American Classics

Mac and cheese
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

According to one American, meat does not define American culture. Rachel should consider adding American comfort foods like mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. These dishes do not have meat and are a great way to include American culture.

Offer Some Utensils

Plate and spoon
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Do you think eating off of a banana leaf comes off as cheap? Somebody advises Rachel to at least offer some utensils as guests may find eating from a banana leaf without a fork challenging. They saw a linked photo of traditional food on a banana leaf, and it seems people eat with their hands.

Let Your Guests in on the Culture

Vegan or vegetarian restaurant dishes top view, hot spicy indian soups, rice and salads in copper bowls. Traditional indian cuisine meal assortment on wood background. Healthy eastern local food
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Guests who understand the food’s cultural significance are less likely to oppose it. A responder suggests making an announcement at the wedding or writing something in the invitation that explains Rachel’s culture.

They should also serve high-quality vegetarian food, which makes it clear they invested time in it. Vegetarian food doesn’t have to taste like cardboard.

The Real Problem Is the Dry Wedding

Man saying no to alcohol
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Never underestimate how much meat and alcohol mean to Americans. An individual guarantees that no one will notice the vegetarian food as they’ll be too busy complaining about having no alcohol.

Rachel should find something that the guests will enjoy and know they’re not trying to have a cheap wedding. Instead, they joke, “A Tim McGraw performance could do.”

Americans Love to Explore

Guest eating food
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Finally, a user who’s had vegetarian food at a wedding indicates that it’s amazing. The couple wanted to support their favorite eating spot, run by an Indian sect, and let people pay what they could. They had the same worries, but everyone enjoyed the food. It was filling and tasty. Some food samples may help in convincing Rachel’s fiancé.

What do you think?

This thread inspired this post.

10 Wedding Options That Seem Cheap but Are Actually Deceptively Expensive

10 Wedding Options That Seem Cheap but Are Actually Deceptively Expensive
Image credit: ruangrit19 via Adobe Stock.

Planning a wedding can quickly become expensive – but some of the most seemingly affordable options could be even more costly than you think.

How to Plan a Wedding for Less Than $5,000

How to Plan a Wedding for Less Than $5,000
Image Credit: Allistair F via Adobe Stock.

Working with an extra tight budget? You can still have a beautiful wedding, no matter the size of your bank account. Don’t miss these tips for planning a wedding for less than $5,000!

Savvy Wedding Hack: Buy a Used Wedding Dress!

Savvy Wedding Hack: Buy a Used Wedding Dress!
Image credit: olegparylyak on Adobe Stock.

These are the best places to buy or sell a used wedding dress online in 2022. Score a deal or recoup some of your costs after the big day!

Curious What Other Couples Spent on Their Wedding? See Real Budget Breakdowns!

Saving Money on a Wedding
Image credit: JDB on Adobe Stock.

Browse real weddings from savvy couples like you to see how far your budget can go! Use the filters below to browse by color, state, budget, or season.

The Best Way to Save on Wedding Flowers

The Best Way to Save on Wedding Flowers
Image credit: Africa Studio on Adobe Stock.

Thinking about DIYing your wedding flowers? Check out these recommended resources to buy bulk flowers online for your wedding!