So you’ve given up meat and now are trying to plan a delicious vegetarian wedding. You’ve got pressure from your meat eating mother-in-law to ditch the veggie patties and go all in on In-And-Out Burger for the main course. Your grandfather just wants fried chicken and your future husband is just a little scared about what his conservative aunts and uncles are going to think about the soy chicken slider options.
No worries! Something New Media has seen it all – and filmed it! We’re here to tell you that you don’t need to choose between a vegetarian wedding reception and happy carnivores.
Here’s 7 Ways to Plan a Vegetarian Wedding Guests Will Salivate Over
- Make Salad Bars Your Friend: Before you roll your eyes at the idea of a salad bar at a wedding reception, consider how many options you could include. With everything on the list from boiled eggs and colorful tomatoes to farm fresh lettuce and a variety of lip smacking dressings, salad bars are a fun way to add a whole bunch of options to fit a variety of tastes.
If the salad bar itself isn’t an option due to Covid 19, there’s no reason you can’t offer up to 3 delicious salads in advance and let people choose from them when they RSVP. Salads are the new steaks and your health minded guests will likely enjoy a change from the typical chicken and mashed potatoes option.
- Incorporate the Vegetables Into Your Décor: While there’s nothing like fresh flowers as a centerpiece, turning veggies into beautiful table displays is a lovely option as well. If it’s Fall, check out Pinterest and turn your squashes into beautiful bowls to hold candles or roses. Corn husks with simplistic brown rope and daisies are ideal for barnyard settings. And there’s nothing like a bowl of fresh berries on everyone’s plate as they walk into the reception to infuse feelings of freshness and wellbeing.
- Go with Classics: While you might enjoy a soy fish stick dinner at home, this probably isn’t your best bet for your wedding reception. Instead of trying to pretend a veggie meat taco is the same as a traditional carne asada, don’t try to replicate traditional food.
Instead, work with your vegetarian strengths and go for some classics that everyone loves. Pea soup in a dainty cup with bread and bruschetta makes a lovely appetizer. Pumpkin soup or corn chowder in bread bowls is always a party pleasure. And for the doubters in your family who “can’t believe you’re planning a vegetarian wedding reception” consider incorporating fancy French fries into the menu. (Who can complain about potatoes, especially if they are drizzled with garlic and chives?)
- Try a New Dish: So classics are one lovely choice, but you can also go in the opposite direction and, God forbid, introduce folk to some new foods altogether. Grilled tofu with teriyaki sauce is an outstanding alternative to chicken. Falafels with yogurt sauces? Um, hello, amazing. Minced cauliflower with tikka masala sauce and a side of pita? Even your McDonald’s addict cousin might be swayed to the dark (green) side. There’s just so much color and palate-pleasing vegetarian dishes to choose from, so don’t hold back. Find a caterer that makes meals so delicious you’ll want seconds before you’re done with your first bite. (Plus, your enthusiasm for another portion is also a great future guarantee that your wedding guests will at least enjoy their first meal.)
- Consider a Theme Wedding: If you’re unsure that your vegetarian meal choice will hold out on its own, consider weaving it into the theme of your wedding. Are you a fan of Bollywood? Why not break out the Indian food along with some beautiful Indian carpets, music and traditional Indian wedding lights? And don’t forget to turn on the music that goes with your theme. It’s kind of hard to consider eating fried chicken or steak burritos when the flute intro from Kal Ho Na Ho streams over the speakers.
- Spring Into Spring Rolls: Yes, you heard this right. You don’t have to have an Asian Inspired wedding to enjoy these delicious finger foods. Whether wrapped in rice paper and served cold, or deep fried with cabbage and served with sweet and sour sauce, spring rolls are just plain fun and soooo good.
What makes these nuggets of tastiness such a crowd pleaser is that they’re just plain fun to eat. And the sauces that accompany them can range from creamy and sweet to tangy and spicy. There’s so much variety to choose from and there’s no end to what ingredients can be stuffed inside.
- Did Someone Say Pizza? Now before you tell us that pizza is so very unclassy for a wedding, let us remind you that we’re not suggesting you hire Dominos for the main event (though you could if that’s your gig. #SomethingNewMediaDon’tJudge.) What we are saying, however, is that pizza is kind of like an open bar: It’s a go-to equalizer that everyone is secretly relieved exists and calms everybody right down.
Even if your guests are too traditional to try your favorite pesto and sour dough cracker appetizer, they won’t be complaining about the hot and piping cheese pizza. And lest you think we’re suggesting you serve it in big triangles a la roller skating rink style, consider serving them in tiny slices flat bread style or fancy bite sized round nuggets. Pizza goes amazing with red wine and craft beer. Throw in some lantern lights and no one will ever know you’re not celebrating in an outdoor Italian plaza. (Especially if it’s still Covid 19 and you’re dining outside!)
Bonus Tip: It’s YOUR Wedding
So we get that you want to make everyone happy. Perhaps you’re getting financial assistance planning the wedding and you feel bad putting your foot down on the veggie options.
At Something New Media, we get it, but here’s the deal: It’s your wedding! If you don’t put your foot down on your values for your wedding, are you going to put your foot down when it comes to having your stinky brother-in-law over for Taco Tuesday? You know what the correct answer is, so consider this bit of advice: Planning a vegetarian isn’t just about your health or about you being stubborn. Planning a vegetarian wedding, despite some naysayers, is about healthy boundary setting that is showing your guests that what you stand for matters.
Not everyone is going to like your choice to have cheese quesadillas instead of top sirloin. But here’s a newsflash: You might want to name your future baby girl Willow while someone else thinks that name should be reserved for plants. “Why can’t you just name her something traditional like Jennifer or Judy!” your cousin Marge might balk. With all due respect, it’s not Marge’s baby, so it’s none of her concern.
It’s the same with the food. Start practicing now by being kind, but firm, on your choice of entrée and appetizers when it comes to planning your wedding. And while it’s true that some say “toe-may-toe” and others say “toe-maw-toe,” in this case, it’s all tomatoes all the time and your guests had better “ketchup” to your plan.
Okay, that last joke? It was a little cheesy. But your grilled Paninis might be also. And guess what? They’re going to be so tasty no one’s gonna be complaining.
Good luck planning your vegetarian wedding! We support you!
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