Etiquette Hell

Wedding Bliss and Blues => Receptions => Topic started by: Katana_Geldar on December 30, 2015, 05:18:14 PM

Title: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on December 30, 2015, 05:18:14 PM
I read this article and it got me thinking about the menus at weddings. While it is a day for the couple (somehow mostly the bride) and they are paying for it, how much do you expect guests to go along with your own lifestyle choices? Particularly if you know that most of them, including close friends and family, don't share your views on food etc.

Because as much as I think that a couple decides what to do with their wedding, I still think it's part of being hosts to feed your guests with something they will mostly eat. This is of course if a meal is on offer, some weddings don't have them. And if most of the guests don't eat the food, then your wedding will be remembered as where most of the guests went hungry. Or ordered pizza in the parking lot (yes, that did happen!!!).

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/diet/wellness-blogger-jessica-sepel-has-extremely-nutritious-nuptials/news-story/a0e1416b1e117709abc16d5106dc48a9

What do you think? I'm a bit torn on this because as much as I think a couple should determine what goes on at their wedding, it seems terribly selfish to serve a meal if you KNOW most of the guests won't eat it.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: HannahGrace on December 30, 2015, 05:25:38 PM
I don't see what's controversial about grilled fish and various veggies? Sounds like a lovely meal to me.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: gollymolly2 on December 30, 2015, 05:27:05 PM
Eh, any meal basically reflects the hosts' "lifestyle choices." I think as long as the hosts provide food that is adequate for the setting (e.g., don't serve snacks during a meal time) and that the hosts believe the guests will be able to eat (e.g., don't do an all-meat buffet if most of your attendees are vegetarian), then it's fine.

The hosts don't have to provide each guest with their ideal meal. If some of the guests at the wedding described in this article don't like fish, papaya salad, roasted vegetables, and fruit (which is what was served) ... So what? They can eat something else before/after the wedding.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Zizi-K on December 30, 2015, 05:28:51 PM
Same here. It sounds like a tasty meal -- not a heavy or indulgent one, which I realize some people have come to expect at weddings. But I would also expect their guests to largely be of a similar mindset, so given that the guests know the couple I doubt anyone was surprised.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Cali.in.UK on December 30, 2015, 05:43:04 PM
I don't think this menu was that bad. I was expecting only raw-food or bugs or something worse. I know that people tend to complain when there is no alcohol at a wedding but if the couple are health-food bloggers then it is not surprising that their menu would reflect that.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: rose red on December 30, 2015, 06:17:57 PM
Her menus sound good to me and I don't find anything controversial about it. Healthy yes. Controversial no.

Reading the topic title, I too was expecting weirdness like....I don't know....an oxygen bar or something like that. What's wrong with fish, veggies, muffins, and fruit? I eat those often. If they didn't draw attention to their message, you'd think it's just a normal meal, especially since it looks like a beach/seaside wedding.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: EllenS on December 30, 2015, 06:25:23 PM
The menu sounds kind of bland but not offensive. But to the principle behind the question - if it really were a question of serving things you knew lots of the guests would not eat - if, for example, half the family kept Kosher and you wrapped everything in bacon, or if a significant number of the older relatives are heart patients and everything was super-salty, or if you were serving creatures that many of your guests do not recognize as food, or if you know there are vegetarians and there are no veg. options, etc - well then that's just poor hosting.

A good host makes sure that the guests can eat things that won't make them sick or violate their moral beliefs. Beyond that, if it's just a question of taste, I don't think a slightly eccentric menu is rude.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: kherbert05 on December 30, 2015, 06:39:24 PM
I agree with the others that the menu was no more rude than my cousins having BBQ at their wedding. A bit different than the norm for my family, but fit the couple and the location. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: MrsJWine on December 30, 2015, 07:00:19 PM
Simply having a reception that follows your own food preferences isn't rude. But I think it's important to have options if you're serving something like fish. A lot of people can't stand fish; I can't even think about eating it without gagging, and most people I know who don't like fish really, really hate it to a similar degree. I would smile and eat my vegetables (and probably my husband's, too), but be absolutely starving by the end of that reception. It's hard to tell from the article, though, if the only filling/protein-rich food was fish, or that was just one example of a dish they had at the reception.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Dazi on December 30, 2015, 07:08:17 PM
Personally, I'd be thrilled to be invited to that wedding reception. There's food that I can actually eat and I love fish. I thought it was going to be something really off the wall.

My only thought was that they needed one or two alternate protein dishes. First, a lot of people hate the smell/taste of fish. Second, fish is an absurdly common food allergy.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Luci on December 30, 2015, 07:23:50 PM
We went to a wedding that was kosher vegetarian . It was really good with cheese and herbs but the major complaint was the tiny portions. We didnt expect farmer's or lumberman's meal, but we did expect to have enough energy for dancing. There was a Burger King bag on the table in the lounge.

That was rude, we thought. The choice of food was not.

I do agree with the posters who said people who hate fish really hate it, and allergies to fish are really common. In that respect, I do think it was rude not to have another protein offering. Our DD would prefer a vegetarian meal to pescatarian.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: blue2000 on December 30, 2015, 08:54:18 PM
I don't have a problem with her wedding menu, even if I wouldn't personally eat it. But from the sounds of it, this was a four-day destination wedding and she served similar things for all the meals.
Quote
prior to the nuptials she treated ladies to a heath spa and a raw vegan meal for lunch.

Quote
Guests were served sugar-free bliss balls and banana-date-walnut muffins from her recipe book, The Healthy Life, for breakfast while away for the four days.

They were also served steamed veggies for dinner, fresh fruit for dessert and had access to a vitamin juice station.

I hope she warned people, and had alternative restaurants they could go to instead. Contrary to her beliefs on "clean eating" making her guests feel their best, sudden radical changes in diet can actually make you feel pretty lousy until your body gets used to them.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: EllenS on December 30, 2015, 08:58:36 PM
I don't have a problem with her wedding menu, even if I wouldn't personally eat it. But from the sounds of it, this was a four-day destination wedding and she served similar things for all the meals.
Quote
prior to the nuptials she treated ladies to a heath spa and a raw vegan meal for lunch.

Quote
Guests were served sugar-free bliss balls and banana-date-walnut muffins from her recipe book, The Healthy Life, for breakfast while away for the four days.

They were also served steamed veggies for dinner, fresh fruit for dessert and had access to a vitamin juice station.

I hope she warned people, and had alternative restaurants they could go to instead. Contrary to her beliefs on "clean eating" making her guests feel their best, sudden radical changes in diet can actually make you feel pretty lousy until your body gets used to them.

Well, I should hope any multi-day celebration is not a "captive audience" situation where the guests have no option to move about freely, take their meals where they like, etc. Anyone can put up with one meal that is not to their taste. But for a host to try to dictate what their guests can and can't eat for four days? That would be ludicrously controlling. I didn't get the sense that was going on here. I hope not.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: mmswm on December 30, 2015, 09:26:19 PM
I'd have probably come up with an excuse to leave as soon as I reasonably could over the fish thing, assuming there wasn't another protein option.  Just the smell is enough to make me feel ill, but trying to fill up on fruit and muffins (and all that fruit sugar!), with no satiating protein available would have been more than my stomach could handle.  I agree with the others about how fish is a very divisive food.  Many people who hate it are like me, and so many others have allergies. 

Additionally, what if any of her guests were diabetics with fish allergies/aversions?  They'd have been carted off in a diabetic coma.  That's certainly not healthy.

In short, the menu itself isn't too bad at first glance, but it wasn't well thought out and if there weren't additional protein options, then she wasn't being a very good host.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Yvaine on December 30, 2015, 09:55:07 PM
I think the main rudeness to this would be if she preached to her guests about why she chose these foods and how they were superior to whatever they would normally eat. If she didn't do that, I think it's fine.

I would agree though that a sudden shift in eating habits, especially if this went on for several days, might not have everyone feeling their best as she hoped; a lot of health food is high-fiber, for example, and she could have people spending much more time in the portajohn than she expected!  ;D
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: TeamBhakta on December 30, 2015, 10:02:30 PM
I don't have a problem with the menu. Although I have a bone to pick with her saying:
"but I hope that having a ‘healthy’ wedding showsof  people that healthy living can be so simple"

I don't know if she's referring to her own guests, or to her cookbook audience. But as a wedding guest, I would dislike the idea that the host thinks they need to teach adult me "the right way" to eat and "how not to be bloated." Also, I'm not getting up at sunrise just because the bride wants to exercise  ::)
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: EllenS on December 30, 2015, 10:47:10 PM
I don't have a problem with the menu. Although I have a bone to pick with her saying:
"but I hope that having a ‘healthy’ wedding showsof  people that healthy living can be so simple"

I don't know if she's referring to her own guests, or to her cookbook audience. But as a wedding guest, I would dislike the idea that the host thinks they need to teach adult me "the right way" to eat and "how not to be bloated." Also, I'm not getting up at sunrise just because the bride wants to exercise  ::)

Yes, well the whole "wedding as stunt to sell my book" is a different issue.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on December 30, 2015, 11:03:13 PM
There is no way I would be getting up at dawn for yoga as I read somewhere else. When I'm on holiday, I'm on holiday. And I sleep in. ;)
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Jones on December 31, 2015, 07:41:22 AM
Umm, her causes of bloat and my causes are apparently different. Please don't feed me any brussel sprouts. I could deal with the described menu for one meal, but 4 days (as I interpret the article) you will see an over sugared (I love fruit) over fibered hangry side of me. Trust me I have tried that diet before....


...And I used to be allergic to seafood. Have apparently grown out of a childhood allergy...still hate the smell.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Carotte on December 31, 2015, 08:22:37 AM
I don't feel like fish is a controversial food, I might not like it very much like a lot of people, and I wouldn't activelly choose it, but it's not like I've never encountered fish before in my life.
A vegetarian or vegan wouldn't be controversial either, you don't need animal protein at every single meal.
A bug diner, an undangered-species diner, now that would be disputable (I might not eat at either of those, but I'd rather see an ant rissoto than a filet of whale in my plate!).

What I see some posters focusing on here is the problem of something a) actually filling and well balanced and b) that would take concern with allergies, but that's not really the point now is it? I mean, you can have the same problem with a steak diner: some people cannot or will not eat meat, some plain don't like meat, just a steak in his juice would repulse some people, having only a steak and mashed cheesy potatoes would be a dietary nightmare for some and so on.

It's not really about the category of what is in the plate, it's about if it's a well thought out meal.
There's also quite a difference between pushing a livestyle on someone and inviting someone to try something different once, 4 days of meals and activities under the "only green and yellow food that are sown in april" is even acceptable if guests can opt in/out and have other options.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: z_squared82 on December 31, 2015, 09:27:31 AM
While not a meal I would enjoy, I fail to see how it's controversial.

With that title, I thought the happy couple was going to be serving horse. Or seal.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: ladyknight1 on December 31, 2015, 10:08:00 AM
I don't have a problem with her wedding menu, even if I wouldn't personally eat it. But from the sounds of it, this was a four-day destination wedding and she served similar things for all the meals.
Quote
prior to the nuptials she treated ladies to a heath spa and a raw vegan meal for lunch.

Quote
Guests were served sugar-free bliss balls and banana-date-walnut muffins from her recipe book, The Healthy Life, for breakfast while away for the four days.

They were also served steamed veggies for dinner, fresh fruit for dessert and had access to a vitamin juice station.

I hope she warned people, and had alternative restaurants they could go to instead. Contrary to her beliefs on "clean eating" making her guests feel their best, sudden radical changes in diet can actually make you feel pretty lousy until your body gets used to them.

According to the article, this was the only food available to the guests at the destination wedding resort for four days. I, for one, would not have been happy or content with her health food regimen, as it is contraindicated for anyone with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. I love fish, and vegetables, but need other proteins for four days of meals.

In another article, it lists foods available to the guests and wedding party.
Quote
'For lunch there was a raw vegan menu, featuring tofu "fish" cakes, rice paper rolls, fresh fruit and natural teas.'


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3372845/Jessica-Sepel-s-clean-wedding-sees-guests-doing-sunrise-yoga-dine-wholesome-gluten-sugar-free-menu-toast-organic-wine.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3372845/Jessica-Sepel-s-clean-wedding-sees-guests-doing-sunrise-yoga-dine-wholesome-gluten-sugar-free-menu-toast-organic-wine.html)
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: HannahGrace on December 31, 2015, 10:24:55 AM
I mean, it is a 4 day destination wedding - many people would choose not to attend for a variety of reasons.  But I would not classify the food as "controversial."
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on December 31, 2015, 12:21:11 PM
According to the article, this was the only food available to the guests at the destination wedding resort for four days. I, for one, would not have been happy or content with her health food regimen, as it is contraindicated for anyone with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. I love fish, and vegetables, but need other proteins for four days of meals.

Could you please clarify which article and where it says that? I just read through both the article you linked to and re-read the article from the OP, and I couldn't find any mention that there was no other food available to guests at the resort. Even if they didn't like the meals provided by the hosts, I saw no indication that they were required to attend every single hosted meal over the four days or that the resort had no restaurants or room service available with other foods.

Even for the meals provided by the couple themselves, I couldn't even find anywhere that they specified the full menu for a single meal. Every description I saw of specific food items had qualifiers like "a range of dishes, including..." or "savoury and sweet options each morning for breakfast, including..." or "a menu filled with whole foods such as..." which imply that other unspecified items were offered, or "a raw vegan menu, featuring..." which similarly doesn't specify that the "featured" items were the entirety of the meal. Your linked article also mentioned "healthy buffets," suggesting that guests were free to pick and choose what and how much they wanted from the offered items.

ETA: The OP article does include the sentences "A TOWERING cake, rich foods and lots of wine, beer and champagne — those are the things we have come to expect at a wedding. Not if you’re health junkie Jessica Sepel, who denied guests these indulgent treats during her nutritious nuptials in Thailand on Sunday." [The all caps are the article's formatting, not mine.] But even this vague hook doesn't say that guests were "denied" anything except specifically cake, "rich food," and "lots of" alcoholic beverages. I'm not aware of any etiquette requirement to serve any of these things at either a wedding or a hosted vacation. Hosts should try to provide good, satisfying food, but that requires the food to be "rich" or to include specific items like cake and alcohol.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: shhh its me on December 31, 2015, 12:48:39 PM
I mean, it is a 4 day destination wedding - many people would choose not to attend for a variety of reasons.  But I would not classify the food as "controversial."

I don't think it was controversial at all.  Depending how available other food was I think it could have been really poor hosting. I don't think the host are obligated to buy everyone their choice of foods.  I do think host are obligated to be really careful if they create a situation in which people have no choices/extremely limited choices over several meals. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: rose red on December 31, 2015, 12:52:19 PM
I find it hard to believe it's the only food available. I can see that's the only food paid for by the HC, but as for availability? I'm sure they have restaurants and room service the guests can pay for themselves. Also, the HC must know their guests and the guests must know them and know what they were getting into since the articles says the guests "absolutely loved it and described them as 'excited'." They even provided (organic) wine.

Like many have said, the main dish may not be to your taste, but they are not rude. Substitute healthy for vegetarian or Kosher or Italian or Chinese or Indian. Many people don't like one or more of those but nobody would call it "controversial."
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: nuit93 on December 31, 2015, 01:04:33 PM
Sounds delicious, actually.

I just hope they had some kind of plan in mind for people who couldn't eat fish or the other options provided.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: blue2000 on December 31, 2015, 01:28:59 PM
According to the article, this was the only food available to the guests at the destination wedding resort for four days. I, for one, would not have been happy or content with her health food regimen, as it is contraindicated for anyone with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. I love fish, and vegetables, but need other proteins for four days of meals.

Could you please clarify which article and where it says that? I just read through both the article you linked to and re-read the article from the OP, and I couldn't find any mention that there was no other food available to guests at the resort. Even if they didn't like the meals provided by the hosts, I saw no indication that they were required to attend every single hosted meal over the four days or that the resort had no restaurants or room service available with other foods.

Even for the meals provided by the couple themselves, I couldn't even find anywhere that they specified the full menu for a single meal. Every description I saw of specific food items had qualifiers like "a range of dishes, including..." or "savoury and sweet options each morning for breakfast, including..." or "a menu filled with whole foods such as..." which imply that other unspecified items were offered, or "a raw vegan menu, featuring..." which similarly doesn't specify that the "featured" items were the entirety of the meal. Your linked article also mentioned "healthy buffets," suggesting that guests were free to pick and choose what and how much they wanted from the offered items.

ETA: The OP article does include the sentences "A TOWERING cake, rich foods and lots of wine, beer and champagne — those are the things we have come to expect at a wedding. Not if you’re health junkie Jessica Sepel, who denied guests these indulgent treats during her nutritious nuptials in Thailand on Sunday." [The all caps are the article's formatting, not mine.] But even this vague hook doesn't say that guests were "denied" anything except specifically cake, "rich food," and "lots of" alcoholic beverages. I'm not aware of any etiquette requirement to serve any of these things at either a wedding or a hosted vacation. Hosts should try to provide good, satisfying food, but that requires the food to be "rich" or to include specific items like cake and alcohol.

A "raw vegan lunch" is a raw vegan lunch, no matter what the bride lists for the dishes or which ones the guests end up eating. A retreat with a "healthy menu" that lists fish and steamed veggies as the main choices is not going to contain a cheeseburger. And health retreats similar to this are almost always self-contained - there would be nothing other than the planned choices for food or activities on site. They do that on purpose, so you are not tempted by unhealthy food.

But it is still possible that the guests could go offsite and eat at the resort. At least I'm hoping. Just reading the menus is making me hungry for cheeseburgers. :P
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: mmswm on December 31, 2015, 01:39:22 PM
After reading a few of the articles about this particular wedding, I have to be honest and say that I would have RSVP'd no based on the planned food offerings.  While  it's entirely within the bride's prerogative to choose what she wants to serve, it's also my prerogative to say no.  My dietary needs would not be met and I'm not about to subject myself to that kind of discomfort for four days (I would be able to be polite for a standard reception).  I think this is where the difference is.  The bride has these people held captive for several days.  If she's not taking into account individual food issues, health concerns and even simple likes and dislikes for that great of a time period, she's not being a good host and therefore rude. I can pretend not to be "all that hungry" in order to avoid cross contamination from obvious food allergens for one meal (as I also think that catering to every person's specific needs is likely impossible, and sometimes I'm just the odd man out).  I can't do that for four days.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on December 31, 2015, 02:05:41 PM
I find it hard to believe it's the only food available. I can see that's the only food paid for by the HC, but as for availability? I'm sure they have restaurants and room service the guests can pay for themselves. Also, the HC must know their guests and the guests must know them and know what they were getting into since the articles says the guests "absolutely loved it and described them as 'excited'." They even provided (organic) wine.

Like many have said, the main dish may not be to your taste, but they are not rude. Substitute healthy for vegetarian or Kosher or Italian or Chinese or Indian. Many people don't like one or more of those but nobody would call it "controversial."
It's in Thailand at a health retreat. I imagine getting room service may be difficult and the retreat may not be in a good area for restaurants.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: rose red on December 31, 2015, 02:09:10 PM
I find it hard to believe it's the only food available. I can see that's the only food paid for by the HC, but as for availability? I'm sure they have restaurants and room service the guests can pay for themselves. Also, the HC must know their guests and the guests must know them and know what they were getting into since the articles says the guests "absolutely loved it and described them as 'excited'." They even provided (organic) wine.

Like many have said, the main dish may not be to your taste, but they are not rude. Substitute healthy for vegetarian or Kosher or Italian or Chinese or Indian. Many people don't like one or more of those but nobody would call it "controversial."
It's in Thailand at a health retreat. I imagine getting room service may be difficult and the retreat may not be in a good area for restaurants.

OK. Then the guests know they were traveling to a health retreat (I'm sure the HC didn't keep the name of the place a secret) and know what they were getting into, and can decline if they feel the food is lacking.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: menley on December 31, 2015, 02:11:16 PM
My husband and I wouldn't be able to eat the food, but I imagine that we wouldn't accept a multi-day destination wedding invitation to begin with!

I don't think the couple is necessarily rude for choosing such a menu at a location where other food isn't readily available, but I do think it's inconsiderate. Especially as the bride talks about it being for health reasons and to show the guests that they can eat healthily - many of the foods she lists are specifically restricted from my diet due to their impact on my digestive system, as discussed with a trained nutritionist and my gastroenterologist, so I would find that both amusing and condescending in equal measure.

I think it's important that hosts recognize that food and dietary needs vary significantly from person to person, and plan accordingly. Does that mean hosts have to offer a wide range of foods to suit every potential medical condition or allergen? Of course not. But does it mean that they should consider whether guests have options beyond their offerings? I think so.

If there is truly limited access to food other than the resort's style of eating (which seems likely, based on the general concept of the wedding the bride has outlined), then I do think that's poor planning and quite inconsiderate of others.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: mmswm on December 31, 2015, 02:17:51 PM
My husband and I wouldn't be able to eat the food, but I imagine that we wouldn't accept a multi-day destination wedding invitation to begin with!

I don't think the couple is necessarily rude for choosing such a menu at a location where other food isn't readily available, but I do think it's inconsiderate. Especially as the bride talks about it being for health reasons and to show the guests that they can eat healthily - many of the foods she lists are specifically restricted from my diet due to their impact on my digestive system, as discussed with a trained nutritionist and my gastroenterologist, so I would find that both amusing and condescending in equal measure.

I think it's important that hosts recognize that food and dietary needs vary significantly from person to person, and plan accordingly. Does that mean hosts have to offer a wide range of foods to suit every potential medical condition or allergen? Of course not. But does it mean that they should consider whether guests have options beyond their offerings? I think so.

If there is truly limited access to food other than the resort's style of eating (which seems likely, based on the general concept of the wedding the bride has outlined), then I do think that's poor planning and quite inconsiderate of others.

I think you said this much more eloquently than I did.  I was trying to say essentially the same thing, but with the added bit about there being a difference between one meal and four days worth of meals.  I think that if a host is going to do something like that, she has a greater responsibility to ensure that her guests needs are being met.  I can imagine several scenarios which could lead to hurt feelings and cooling of friendships because the bride put her lifestyle above the needs of her friends if she had any friends who had to choose between celebrating her wedding and being able to take care of themselves.  Maybe she didn't have any friends who fell into that category, but if she did, I can't imagine that would have been a pleasant decision for the friend.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: rose red on December 31, 2015, 02:22:02 PM
Why are we assuming she wouldn't take care of friends if they have food issues?
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: mmswm on December 31, 2015, 02:30:03 PM
Why are we assuming she wouldn't take care of friends if they have food issues?

Because she hosted a 4 day retreat at a facility of the type that's known for being "all-inclusive", and difficult to go off-menu.  Additionally, the condescending tone she used to describe her way of eating as "clean" and "healthy", and her shameless self-promotion of her book all lead me to believe that she's a true believer in her "one true way", and those types don't usually acknowledge that their "healthy" is somebody else's "deadly".

This particular person might be different, but based on my experience, I'm not inclined to think so. 

And again, let me reiterate: She's perfectly within her rights to have the wedding she wants, but her friends are also perfectly within their rights to RSVP no, as would be the choice I'd have made if I ever received that type of invitation.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: HannahGrace on December 31, 2015, 02:37:43 PM
Why are we assuming she wouldn't take care of friends if they have food issues?

Because she hosted a 4 day retreat at a facility of the type that's known for being "all-inclusive", and difficult to go off-menu.  Additionally, the condescending tone she used to describe her way of eating as "clean" and "healthy", and her shameless self-promotion of her book all lead me to believe that she's a true believer in her "one true way", and those types don't usually acknowledge that their "healthy" is somebody else's "deadly".

This particular person might be different, but based on my experience, I'm not inclined to think so. 

And again, let me reiterate: She's perfectly within her rights to have the wedding she wants, but her friends are also perfectly within their rights to RSVP no, as would be the choice I'd have made if I ever received that type of invitation.

How do we know there weren't other options and it was "difficult to go off menu"?  Based on the photos, the reception was at the Conrad resort which is a general 5-star resort type of hotel.  They went to a health spa on the other side of the island for massages but I think that sounds pretty nice as well.  In any case, I maintain that this is not a "controversial" food choice.  Destination weddings in general can be difficult for guests, but I don't see this couple's choice of food as being so bizarre.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: gollymolly2 on December 31, 2015, 05:03:07 PM
Why are we assuming she wouldn't take care of friends if they have food issues?

Because she hosted a 4 day retreat at a facility of the type that's known for being "all-inclusive", and difficult to go off-menu.  Additionally, the condescending tone she used to describe her way of eating as "clean" and "healthy", and her shameless self-promotion of her book all lead me to believe that she's a true believer in her "one true way", and those types don't usually acknowledge that their "healthy" is somebody else's "deadly".

This particular person might be different, but based on my experience, I'm not inclined to think so. 

And again, let me reiterate: She's perfectly within her rights to have the wedding she wants, but her friends are also perfectly within their rights to RSVP no, as would be the choice I'd have made if I ever received that type of invitation.

You've got a lot of assumptions in there.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: sammycat on December 31, 2015, 08:45:36 PM
After reading a few of the articles about this particular wedding, I have to be honest and say that I would have RSVP'd no based on the planned food offerings.  While  it's entirely within the bride's prerogative to choose what she wants to serve, it's also my prerogative to say no.  My dietary needs would not be met and I'm not about to subject myself to that kind of discomfort for four days (I would be able to be polite for a standard reception).  I think this is where the difference is.  The bride has these people held captive for several days.  If she's not taking into account individual food issues, health concerns and even simple likes and dislikes for that great of a time period, she's not being a good host and therefore rude. I can pretend not to be "all that hungry" in order to avoid cross contamination from obvious food allergens for one meal (as I also think that catering to every person's specific needs is likely impossible, and sometimes I'm just the odd man out).  I can't do that for four days.

Pod. I'd have RSVPed 'no' based on both the diet and multi day wedding programme.

I don't have any particular food allergies (though I do have my suspicions about a particular intolerance), but this overall menu sounds like a bit of a nightmare.  I like fish, so for that one meal I'd be fine. But the rest of the offerings for the four days are not appealing to me at all.

If the bride's choices as mentioned throughout the article were all that were available for the four days, I'd be starving and feel extremely unwell from the sudden change in diet; I'd probably also lose a great deal of weight. I can't think how that could be called good hosting in any universe.

The thing that bothered me most about the article as the bride's sanctimonious attitude that came across as basically saying her choices were the only way to eat, and anyone who disagreed obviously didn't take their heath seriously. I couldn't disagree more. But then I can't really get on board with someone who thinks people should devote four days (plus travel, airfare etc) to her wedding anyway.

As for the fish specifically, as has been shown here, it's a hit and miss choice. But that could be also be said for another other wedding staple such as chicken or beef.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 31, 2015, 09:10:43 PM
If we take a more general, "normal" situation (as opposed to a four-day retreat), I find myself a bit torn as well. A few years ago a friend attended a wedding/reception which was held at a French bistro (in the US) which the HC loved. According to my friend, they served plenty of food and it was very good, but it was all "fancy" stuff, like prosciutto and brie instead of ham and cheese. The bride's family of origin (parents, several siblings) do not like "fancy" food--they are steak-and-potatoes people. They mostly wouldn't even try the reception food and stopped off at McDonald's afterwards (beforehand too, I think). The bride's father was particularly grouchy because he was the one who paid for the reception (not sure at what point he was told about the food).

So, was it rude for the bride to prioritize food she preferred (and the venue--of course a restaurant would serve its own food), knowing her family would not eat it? Does her father paying for the food mean she had any additional obligation to provide something he would eat? Her family's preference seems to be mainly an issue of pickiness/unwillingness to try new things, not the result of any medical conditions/sensitivities, so should it not carry as much weight? (Like my dad has never been one to try new foods, but at his age now, he's concerned that eating a new food will not sit well with him, and make him ill, which I think is reasonable. But the family here was much younger.)
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: lakey on December 31, 2015, 11:20:53 PM
I don't think there's anything wrong with a couple providing food that fits their lifestyle, as long as the food is good and has reasonable portions. For instance, I'm not a vegetarian, but there are vegetarian dishes that are very satisfying. In the case of this health food bride, the menu didn't seem controversial to me. It sounded good. I love well prepared fish. They might consider an alternation entree  for people who don't eat fish.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: TeamBhakta on January 01, 2016, 09:45:49 AM
Also, the HC must know their guests and the guests must know them and know what they were getting into since the articles says the guests "absolutely loved it and described them as 'excited'."

Everyone says that about their wedding, though. Most wedding guests are going to politely tell you (general you) "Oh yes, your (whatever gimmick / surprise) sounds exciting. I'm sure everyone will love it...Thank you for inviting us. Everything was lovely, we had a good time, your wedding was the most fun ever, etc," regardless of it being true or not. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Allyson on January 01, 2016, 11:39:55 AM

What I see some posters focusing on here is the problem of something a) actually filling and well balanced and b) that would take concern with allergies, but that's not really the point now is it? I mean, you can have the same problem with a steak diner: some people cannot or will not eat meat, some plain don't like meat, just a steak in his juice would repulse some people, having only a steak and mashed cheesy potatoes would be a dietary nightmare for some and so on.


I agree! Putting aside the question of the 4 day retreat, because we don't really know if guests were able to get other things/knew about it etc, and just the wedding, this menu sounds totally fine. If there's not a vegetarian option/option for someone allergic to fish, yes that is a problem but would be equally so at a traditional "steak or chicken" reception.

I think it is fine for couples to have options that take into account their lifestyle as long as they are accommodating within the bounds of their moral/religious beliefs, ie I would not expect a vegetarian couple to add meat, or a Mormon couple to add alcohol, because some guests request it. But it would be rude to not have a vegetarian/soft drink option if you knew that your guests didn't eat meat/drink booze.

Just about every wedding I've been to has had different types of food from each other, and I look forward to trying new things there; I figure if I ever really hated the entire menu that would be really unfortunate, but not the hosts' fault. I could eat later; one inadequate meal won't kill me, and if it will, that's on me to make sure that doesn't happen! As for a situation like Lynn's example of fancy food when the family is known not to like it? Maybe they could've tried adding more options everyone would eat, but it might not have been possible without totally changing the tenor of the dinner which perhaps would've been disappointing to other guests/themselves! Sometimes you can't please everyone...
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: mstigerlily on January 01, 2016, 02:26:20 PM
My personal line on this is that if the food suits/pleases/satisfies the vast majority (as in 75%-ish), then it is okay. If it only is palatable to less than half the guests, other choices need to be offered.

Examples:

At vegan wedding, if the food chosen is tasty enough to suit most guests (hummus and pasta are almost always popular) then it is not rude or inconsiderate. If they are only serving sprouts, tofu, and tvp, I'd vote inconsiderate but not necessarily rude.

At a wedding between an Indian bride and groom where the guest list is largely made up of relatives and other people of the same or similar traditions, all Indian food at the reception is not rude but the guest who makes a fuss about it is  (and should give me their plate! mmmm)

A wedding where the bride and groom insist on serving meat as the entree but the family of the bride (who is paying for the meal) is strictly vegan? rude. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: SiotehCat on January 01, 2016, 03:58:06 PM
I'm a vegetarian. If this wedding were for a close friend of mine or a close member of my family, I would attend.  Fish and veggies? I'll eat the veggies. It's not a big deal. It's only four days and won't kill me.

I don't think the food described in the article is controversial. I think that if someone requires certain food, then they shouldn't put themselves in a position where they aren't in control of what's served.

No menu can make everybody happy. Personally, I hadn't heard of so many different food restrictions until I came here. People that can't eat "fancy food"?
 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: FauxFoodist on January 01, 2016, 05:37:21 PM
Not controversial at all, the menu.  It looked bland and boring but not evidence of any controversy.  I'd be surprised if any wedding of significant size had guests who were 100% thrilled about every bit of the wedding menu (if I had to eat only those things for four days, I might've been a bit unhappy and I happen to love fish).  ToxicSis actually posted on my and DH's FB wedding page awful things regarding our menu (I deleted them -- that and other offenses are why I don't have anything to do with ToxicSis anymore).  There was nothing wrong with our menu; she just is a bit of an SS who wholeheartedly believes only what she deems acceptable is the right choice (so we were wrong for not having a 100% vegan and organic menu).
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: gellchom on January 01, 2016, 11:36:54 PM
I agree with most of the posters: this menu wasn't "controversial," and the only rudeness, if you can even call it that, not just obnoxiousness, would be making a point of sending a message or "this superior diet is the way you should be eating" to the guests.

Four days is one matter, but the OP asked in general a very good question about where choices reflecting personal preferences become poor hospitality, if not rudeness. 

I think we can all agree that it is not rude or poor hospitality not to provide every possible choice that a guest might want.

And I think we would agree that although it might not be "rude," it's not very hospitable to provide inadequate amounts of food, absolutely tasteless food, or something that the hosts know that only very few of their guests would be comfortable eating (say, in the US, an all-insect or dog menu).

And of course it is rude to invite people you know are allergic to something and have it pervade the menu, or do something like, I don't know, host an interfaith meal for Christians, Jews, and Muslims and serve pork as the main course, or passive-aggressively serve only things to your in-laws that you know they can't stand.  Things like that, not to mention a situation in which some of those guests are paying for the reception, as in the bride's parents someone posted about, and the HC chose food they knew the parents didn't like -- not cool, IMO.

But I don't think that was the OP's question; I think it was just about general hosting for large groups.  How "general," for lack of a better word, do you need to be to be a good host?  Or must you provide choices?

I disagree that simply serving a vegetarian or fish meal without another option is "rude" even though many people dislike or are allergic to fish or don't feel fed without meat or whatever.  How many would you even need to have?  If you are serving fish, you can add a beef or chicken choice, but that's no good for vegetarians, kosher, and halal (assuming ordinary meat) people; choose cheese ravioli and it's no good for the lactose-intolerant and gluten-sensitive; and so on.  It won't kill anyone to just eat sides for one meal.  A guest can often ask a server discreetly to make up a vegetable plate or if there is a pasta plate available, which there often is, or just eat the things they can eat.  We'd all love to have exactly what we would order off a menu, but we aren't in a restaurant (and one of our own choosing at that); just as if you were being hosted at a dinner party in their home, the hosts serve what they are serving, hoping their guests will enjoy it, and that's perfectly polite. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on January 01, 2016, 11:59:39 PM
That doesn't work with how Australians do weddings. It's normally alternate drop of two dishes. For dietary requirements you talk to the couple to get a special meal.

Here's a story I was told once where a controversial menu collided head on with a bridezilla. A vegan bridezilla. And please note there were only five vegans in attendance, including the bride.

So, we decided not to eat beforehand and to see how the food turned out. It wasn't great, and a significant number of people also discovered that too.

Wedding was fine, nice ceremony and went well. It was at 2pm, reception started at 6pm.

People arrived, there was finger food which was quite nice. Dips, corn chips, normal chips, organic vegan mini pizzas and burgers. Happily scoffed some of those, as did many others in anticipation of the meal ahead.

Funnily, the waitress said to us "I suggest you eat now, the food to come is pretty bad".

Entree was a japanese style seaweed soup with tofu cubes. It was nice, I left the tofu.

Mains was bad. It was a soy and chickpea pattie/meat style offering with vegetables and pasta. Veges and pasta was OK, bit bland. The meat substitute was downright horrid, a few glances around and everyone had the same disgusted look on their faces.

A few kids were crying because they didnt like the food... the catering company offered to make the kids something from the kitchem to which the bride starting shrieking about no animal slaughter at her wedding.

Desert was a soy bean custard/creme with soy ice cream and a vegan chocolate pudding. Wasn't too bad but again pretty bland.

Wedding cake was a fruit cake with icing, also dry and floury.

After the meal and speeches, people started mingling, saying how poor the main meal was and how hungry they were still. So we put in $5 a head and ordered pizza, which was delivered to the car park. There were 30 pizzas ordered, and about 45-50 people and kids eating in the carpark.

Bride found out, started screaming at "the barbarians" and then took off in a sulk. The groom also came out, apologised and paid for the pizza. He said he was sorry we had a vegan only meal and he had tried to convince her otherwise.

An hour later the bride was back in the reception, still pouty but seemingly over it. We had hit the bar since and had a good rest of the night.]

I suspect the food could have been much better if it had more flavour – the catering company probably didnt have a lot of experience in full vegan meals for 100, it was pretty dry and bland. Gotta say, the mini pizzas and vege burgers were nice :)


Even if you do want a certain style of food at your wedding, your guests still want to eat!
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Benni on January 02, 2016, 12:02:55 AM
Being gluten free, I am one of those people with a special needs diet.  I have learned that I, and only I, am responsible for what I eat.  So the menu for this wedding would not bother me.  I would have packed enough granola bars and other foods and/or contacted the kitchen and notified them of my special diet so I would never go hungry.  Besides, I can go four days on a vegan menu and it would not hurt me one bit (as long as it was a GF vegan menu.)

Would I like this, not really.  Is it rude, not really.  The only rudeness I see is if the bride and groom pushed their lifestyle on their guests by pestering them and verbally pushing the guests to agree that the HC's menu was the best ever and that the HC's lifestyle choices were the only good choices to make.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on January 02, 2016, 08:10:17 AM
That doesn't work with how Australians do weddings. It's normally alternate drop of two dishes. For dietary requirements you talk to the couple to get a special meal.

Here's a story I was told once where a controversial menu collided head on with a bridezilla. A vegan bridezilla. And please note there were only five vegans in attendance, including the bride.

So, we decided not to eat beforehand and to see how the food turned out. It wasn't great, and a significant number of people also discovered that too.

Wedding was fine, nice ceremony and went well. It was at 2pm, reception started at 6pm.

People arrived, there was finger food which was quite nice. Dips, corn chips, normal chips, organic vegan mini pizzas and burgers. Happily scoffed some of those, as did many others in anticipation of the meal ahead.

Funnily, the waitress said to us "I suggest you eat now, the food to come is pretty bad".

Entree was a japanese style seaweed soup with tofu cubes. It was nice, I left the tofu.

Mains was bad. It was a soy and chickpea pattie/meat style offering with vegetables and pasta. Veges and pasta was OK, bit bland. The meat substitute was downright horrid, a few glances around and everyone had the same disgusted look on their faces.

A few kids were crying because they didnt like the food... the catering company offered to make the kids something from the kitchem to which the bride starting shrieking about no animal slaughter at her wedding.

Desert was a soy bean custard/creme with soy ice cream and a vegan chocolate pudding. Wasn't too bad but again pretty bland.

Wedding cake was a fruit cake with icing, also dry and floury.

After the meal and speeches, people started mingling, saying how poor the main meal was and how hungry they were still. So we put in $5 a head and ordered pizza, which was delivered to the car park. There were 30 pizzas ordered, and about 45-50 people and kids eating in the carpark.

Bride found out, started screaming at "the barbarians" and then took off in a sulk. The groom also came out, apologised and paid for the pizza. He said he was sorry we had a vegan only meal and he had tried to convince her otherwise.

An hour later the bride was back in the reception, still pouty but seemingly over it. We had hit the bar since and had a good rest of the night.]

I suspect the food could have been much better if it had more flavour – the catering company probably didnt have a lot of experience in full vegan meals for 100, it was pretty dry and bland. Gotta say, the mini pizzas and vege burgers were nice :)


Even if you do want a certain style of food at your wedding, your guests still want to eat!

So the guests knew the couple was vegan. At the wedding, they were served "nice," substantial finger food, a "nice" soup, OK but bland sides and dessert. The *only* thing on the entire menu deemed "bad" was the soy/chickpea patty. And 45-50 people thought the appropriate response was to gripe about the hosts' hospitality at the reception and order pizza in the parking lot to rub their nose in the fact that the guests hated their food? The bride handled it badly, but I agree with her sentiment--the guests were behaving like boors.  :(

Adults should be able to handle a meal with one item they hate without throwing tantrums about how hungry they are, and stop for food on the way home (away from the hosts and their event) if they really need to.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Carotte on January 02, 2016, 08:50:21 AM
That doesn't work with how Australians do weddings. It's normally alternate drop of two dishes. For dietary requirements you talk to the couple to get a special meal.

Here's a story I was told once where a controversial menu collided head on with a bridezilla. A vegan bridezilla. And please note there were only five vegans in attendance, including the bride.

[snip]

How is that a controversial menu? So ok the food wasn't the best in the world, but it wasn't inherent to being vegan, it was inherent to being badly prepared.
When you hear about dry rubbery tasteless chicken or over cooked steaks or tiny portions, you don't blame the HC dietary choices, you blame the catering, same here.


Kind of in the subject but when I hear about unsubstantial food portions sometimes I wonder how it actually compares to the WHO/FDA guidelines, just because some people are used to their entire daily intake (or x3 that) recommendation in one meal doesn't mean it's what they should expect/it's rude if it's not the case.
Yes, it's good hosting to adapt to your guests and all, but sometimes they see rudeness where there is none.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: #borecore on January 02, 2016, 09:00:39 AM
Both of Katana's stories are rude for reasons unrelated to the dietary choices of the couple. The first is rude because of the bride proselytizing. The second is rude because the guests created drama.

I had a cousin whose catering for his wedding was a gross buffet that catered to any dietary choice you can imagine. Was his catering rude because it was universally regarded as greasy, flavorless and close to disgusting? No. It was just a few poor decisions.

My wedding was vegetarian, and vegan-friendly. People ate heaps and heaps and we still had leftovers. People complimented our excellent food.   Were we rude because we had food we and our 1/3 veg guests could eat, and meat-eaters could enjoy? No. I would not have felt bad if I found out people bought burgers in the gap between dinner and dancing at an offsite restaurant, but I would have been annoyed if they got it delivered to the reception!
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: gollymolly2 on January 02, 2016, 02:32:27 PM
That doesn't work with how Australians do weddings. It's normally alternate drop of two dishes. For dietary requirements you talk to the couple to get a special meal.

Here's a story I was told once where a controversial menu collided head on with a bridezilla. A vegan bridezilla. And please note there were only five vegans in attendance, including the bride.

So, we decided not to eat beforehand and to see how the food turned out. It wasn't great, and a significant number of people also discovered that too.

Wedding was fine, nice ceremony and went well. It was at 2pm, reception started at 6pm.

People arrived, there was finger food which was quite nice. Dips, corn chips, normal chips, organic vegan mini pizzas and burgers. Happily scoffed some of those, as did many others in anticipation of the meal ahead.

Funnily, the waitress said to us "I suggest you eat now, the food to come is pretty bad".

Entree was a japanese style seaweed soup with tofu cubes. It was nice, I left the tofu.

Mains was bad. It was a soy and chickpea pattie/meat style offering with vegetables and pasta. Veges and pasta was OK, bit bland. The meat substitute was downright horrid, a few glances around and everyone had the same disgusted look on their faces.

A few kids were crying because they didnt like the food... the catering company offered to make the kids something from the kitchem to which the bride starting shrieking about no animal slaughter at her wedding.

Desert was a soy bean custard/creme with soy ice cream and a vegan chocolate pudding. Wasn't too bad but again pretty bland.

Wedding cake was a fruit cake with icing, also dry and floury.

After the meal and speeches, people started mingling, saying how poor the main meal was and how hungry they were still. So we put in $5 a head and ordered pizza, which was delivered to the car park. There were 30 pizzas ordered, and about 45-50 people and kids eating in the carpark.

Bride found out, started screaming at "the barbarians" and then took off in a sulk. The groom also came out, apologised and paid for the pizza. He said he was sorry we had a vegan only meal and he had tried to convince her otherwise.

An hour later the bride was back in the reception, still pouty but seemingly over it. We had hit the bar since and had a good rest of the night.]

I suspect the food could have been much better if it had more flavour – the catering company probably didnt have a lot of experience in full vegan meals for 100, it was pretty dry and bland. Gotta say, the mini pizzas and vege burgers were nice :)


Even if you do want a certain style of food at your wedding, your guests still want to eat!

So the guests knew the couple was vegan. At the wedding, they were served "nice," substantial finger food, a "nice" soup, OK but bland sides and dessert. The *only* thing on the entire menu deemed "bad" was the soy/chickpea patty. And 45-50 people thought the appropriate response was to gripe about the hosts' hospitality at the reception and order pizza in the parking lot to rub their nose in the fact that the guests hated their food? The bride handled it badly, but I agree with her sentiment--the guests were behaving like boors.  :(

Adults should be able to handle a meal with one item they hate without throwing tantrums about how hungry they are, and stop for food on the way home (away from the hosts and their event) if they really need to.

Yeah, totally. The guests were unbelievably rude.

If food tastes bad, the correct response is to ... get over it. Can people really not deal with eating one meal that doesn't taste great?
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: gellchom on January 03, 2016, 12:46:44 AM
That doesn't work with how Australians do weddings. It's normally alternate drop of two dishes. For dietary requirements you talk to the couple to get a special meal.

Here's a story I was told once where a controversial menu collided head on with a bridezilla. A vegan bridezilla. And please note there were only five vegans in attendance, including the bride.

So, we decided not to eat beforehand and to see how the food turned out. It wasn't great, and a significant number of people also discovered that too.

Wedding was fine, nice ceremony and went well. It was at 2pm, reception started at 6pm.

People arrived, there was finger food which was quite nice. Dips, corn chips, normal chips, organic vegan mini pizzas and burgers. Happily scoffed some of those, as did many others in anticipation of the meal ahead.

Funnily, the waitress said to us "I suggest you eat now, the food to come is pretty bad".

Entree was a japanese style seaweed soup with tofu cubes. It was nice, I left the tofu.

Mains was bad. It was a soy and chickpea pattie/meat style offering with vegetables and pasta. Veges and pasta was OK, bit bland. The meat substitute was downright horrid, a few glances around and everyone had the same disgusted look on their faces.

A few kids were crying because they didnt like the food... the catering company offered to make the kids something from the kitchem to which the bride starting shrieking about no animal slaughter at her wedding.

Desert was a soy bean custard/creme with soy ice cream and a vegan chocolate pudding. Wasn't too bad but again pretty bland.

Wedding cake was a fruit cake with icing, also dry and floury.

After the meal and speeches, people started mingling, saying how poor the main meal was and how hungry they were still. So we put in $5 a head and ordered pizza, which was delivered to the car park. There were 30 pizzas ordered, and about 45-50 people and kids eating in the carpark.

Bride found out, started screaming at "the barbarians" and then took off in a sulk. The groom also came out, apologised and paid for the pizza. He said he was sorry we had a vegan only meal and he had tried to convince her otherwise.

An hour later the bride was back in the reception, still pouty but seemingly over it. We had hit the bar since and had a good rest of the night.]

I suspect the food could have been much better if it had more flavour – the catering company probably didnt have a lot of experience in full vegan meals for 100, it was pretty dry and bland. Gotta say, the mini pizzas and vege burgers were nice :)


Even if you do want a certain style of food at your wedding, your guests still want to eat!

So the guests knew the couple was vegan. At the wedding, they were served "nice," substantial finger food, a "nice" soup, OK but bland sides and dessert. The *only* thing on the entire menu deemed "bad" was the soy/chickpea patty. And 45-50 people thought the appropriate response was to gripe about the hosts' hospitality at the reception and order pizza in the parking lot to rub their nose in the fact that the guests hated their food? The bride handled it badly, but I agree with her sentiment--the guests were behaving like boors.  :(

Adults should be able to handle a meal with one item they hate without throwing tantrums about how hungry they are, and stop for food on the way home (away from the hosts and their event) if they really need to.

Yeah, totally. The guests were unbelievably rude.

If food tastes bad, the correct response is to ... get over it. Can people really not deal with eating one meal that doesn't taste great?

I agree 100%.  What rude, ungrateful, obnoxious guests.  And they probably thought it was cute.  I'm sure the bride wishes she had reacted differently, but I can understand her being that badly upset.  Do these people order a pizza to their host's driveway if they don't like some of the food at a dinner party?  Sheesh. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: FauxFoodist on January 03, 2016, 01:37:57 AM
That doesn't work with how Australians do weddings. It's normally alternate drop of two dishes. For dietary requirements you talk to the couple to get a special meal.

Here's a story I was told once where a controversial menu collided head on with a bridezilla. A vegan bridezilla. And please note there were only five vegans in attendance, including the bride.

So, we decided not to eat beforehand and to see how the food turned out. It wasn't great, and a significant number of people also discovered that too.

Wedding was fine, nice ceremony and went well. It was at 2pm, reception started at 6pm.

People arrived, there was finger food which was quite nice. Dips, corn chips, normal chips, organic vegan mini pizzas and burgers. Happily scoffed some of those, as did many others in anticipation of the meal ahead.

Funnily, the waitress said to us "I suggest you eat now, the food to come is pretty bad".

Entree was a japanese style seaweed soup with tofu cubes. It was nice, I left the tofu.

Mains was bad. It was a soy and chickpea pattie/meat style offering with vegetables and pasta. Veges and pasta was OK, bit bland. The meat substitute was downright horrid, a few glances around and everyone had the same disgusted look on their faces.

A few kids were crying because they didnt like the food... the catering company offered to make the kids something from the kitchem to which the bride starting shrieking about no animal slaughter at her wedding.

Desert was a soy bean custard/creme with soy ice cream and a vegan chocolate pudding. Wasn't too bad but again pretty bland.

Wedding cake was a fruit cake with icing, also dry and floury.

After the meal and speeches, people started mingling, saying how poor the main meal was and how hungry they were still. So we put in $5 a head and ordered pizza, which was delivered to the car park. There were 30 pizzas ordered, and about 45-50 people and kids eating in the carpark.

Bride found out, started screaming at "the barbarians" and then took off in a sulk. The groom also came out, apologised and paid for the pizza. He said he was sorry we had a vegan only meal and he had tried to convince her otherwise.

An hour later the bride was back in the reception, still pouty but seemingly over it. We had hit the bar since and had a good rest of the night.]

I suspect the food could have been much better if it had more flavour – the catering company probably didnt have a lot of experience in full vegan meals for 100, it was pretty dry and bland. Gotta say, the mini pizzas and vege burgers were nice :)


Even if you do want a certain style of food at your wedding, your guests still want to eat!

So the guests knew the couple was vegan. At the wedding, they were served "nice," substantial finger food, a "nice" soup, OK but bland sides and dessert. The *only* thing on the entire menu deemed "bad" was the soy/chickpea patty. And 45-50 people thought the appropriate response was to gripe about the hosts' hospitality at the reception and order pizza in the parking lot to rub their nose in the fact that the guests hated their food? The bride handled it badly, but I agree with her sentiment--the guests were behaving like boors.  :(

Adults should be able to handle a meal with one item they hate without throwing tantrums about how hungry they are, and stop for food on the way home (away from the hosts and their event) if they really need to.

Yeah, totally. The guests were unbelievably rude.

If food tastes bad, the correct response is to ... get over it. Can people really not deal with eating one meal that doesn't taste great?

Years ago, I attended a Christmas dinner party of a friend and his DH.  Friend wanted to replicate the dinner parties he grew up with that his parents threw so he invited us all with the idea that they'd be throwing this glamorous dinner party and that DH would make his fabulous spaghetti (so I was told as I'd never tasted it and thought serving spaghetti at a dinner party wasn't really glamorous but whatever).  Anyway, I was going to the party to see Friend and DH and socialize with other friends so I really wasn't very concerned about the food before I got there.  Well, got there and found out DH didn't want to work that hard to make dinner so we were served microwaved frozen lasagnes.  They were atrocious.  They were the worst party food, if not the worst food ever, that I'd been served by anyone.  They were also burnt.  There also really wasn't enough.  It was also the only food we were provided, and we weren't even served (we had to go to the microwave and get it out of the cardboard container ourselves.  All of us were gracious and ate a little of this burnt food and had a lovely time in spite of the bad food.  On my way home, I stopped at a fast-food drive-through and picked up some dinner but never told my hosts their hospitality was anything less than acceptable.

So, yeah, people should be able to deal with one bad meal and get over it.  It's not about them.  If I were the bride, I don't know if I would've wanted anything to do with those wedding guests after my wedding day.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Drunken Housewife on January 03, 2016, 05:27:52 AM
Being at a wedding is not the same as going to a Michelin starred restaurant. You aren't there to have an amazing meal. 

Children crying because they don't like their food should be whisked away until they have calmed down.  As a mother, I always carried some emergency snacks in my bag when mine were small (including when we went to weddings), so in those circumstances I'd have pulled out my snacks. 

In the case of the vegan wedding, the guests should NOT have gone out to the parking lot to eat pizzas.  That seems very passive aggressive.  Obviously the bride will have her feelings hurt.  The caterer did a poor job -- but a wedding could be vegan and amazing.  For example, I have eaten a few times at this pricey vegan restaurant, and the food is amazing:  http://www.citizenfoxsf.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Dinner_11.16.pdf  A few months ago I went to a party with a catered vegan spread, and I went back for seconds.  It was really good food, and I am a picky eater.  My daughter and I loved the food.

At my wedding, we served a vegetarian buffet, and every bit of the food was devoured.  I didn't hear any complaints.  I hope never to need another wedding, but if I were ever in the position of holding another one, I'd get Citizen Fox to cater it with a vegan buffet, and I'm sure everyone would get a good meal.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Cherry91 on January 03, 2016, 06:14:52 AM
On one side, the bride's comments do seem rather patronising and condescending, with all the stuff about "eating right", when as several people have said, one person's right is another's oh so wrong.

On the other hand, in this case, the original article says that the bride took to her new diet while recovering from an ED, so I can sort of understand wanting to stick to "safe" foods on what will almost certainly be a stressful day. I also feel the original article is a touch biased, with it's intro reminding the reader what most happy couples (heavy implication) should be serving.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on January 03, 2016, 04:16:02 PM
That doesn't work with how Australians do weddings. It's normally alternate drop of two dishes. For dietary requirements you talk to the couple to get a special meal.

Here's a story I was told once where a controversial menu collided head on with a bridezilla. A vegan bridezilla. And please note there were only five vegans in attendance, including the bride.

So, we decided not to eat beforehand and to see how the food turned out. It wasn't great, and a significant number of people also discovered that too.

Wedding was fine, nice ceremony and went well. It was at 2pm, reception started at 6pm.

People arrived, there was finger food which was quite nice. Dips, corn chips, normal chips, organic vegan mini pizzas and burgers. Happily scoffed some of those, as did many others in anticipation of the meal ahead.

Funnily, the waitress said to us "I suggest you eat now, the food to come is pretty bad".

Entree was a japanese style seaweed soup with tofu cubes. It was nice, I left the tofu.

Mains was bad. It was a soy and chickpea pattie/meat style offering with vegetables and pasta. Veges and pasta was OK, bit bland. The meat substitute was downright horrid, a few glances around and everyone had the same disgusted look on their faces.

A few kids were crying because they didnt like the food... the catering company offered to make the kids something from the kitchem to which the bride starting shrieking about no animal slaughter at her wedding.

Desert was a soy bean custard/creme with soy ice cream and a vegan chocolate pudding. Wasn't too bad but again pretty bland.

Wedding cake was a fruit cake with icing, also dry and floury.

After the meal and speeches, people started mingling, saying how poor the main meal was and how hungry they were still. So we put in $5 a head and ordered pizza, which was delivered to the car park. There were 30 pizzas ordered, and about 45-50 people and kids eating in the carpark.

Bride found out, started screaming at "the barbarians" and then took off in a sulk. The groom also came out, apologised and paid for the pizza. He said he was sorry we had a vegan only meal and he had tried to convince her otherwise.

An hour later the bride was back in the reception, still pouty but seemingly over it. We had hit the bar since and had a good rest of the night.]

I suspect the food could have been much better if it had more flavour – the catering company probably didnt have a lot of experience in full vegan meals for 100, it was pretty dry and bland. Gotta say, the mini pizzas and vege burgers were nice :)


Even if you do want a certain style of food at your wedding, your guests still want to eat!

So the guests knew the couple was vegan. At the wedding, they were served "nice," substantial finger food, a "nice" soup, OK but bland sides and dessert. The *only* thing on the entire menu deemed "bad" was the soy/chickpea patty. And 45-50 people thought the appropriate response was to gripe about the hosts' hospitality at the reception and order pizza in the parking lot to rub their nose in the fact that the guests hated their food? The bride handled it badly, but I agree with her sentiment--the guests were behaving like boors.  :(

Adults should be able to handle a meal with one item they hate without throwing tantrums about how hungry they are, and stop for food on the way home (away from the hosts and their event) if they really need to.

Yeah, totally. The guests were unbelievably rude.

If food tastes bad, the correct response is to ... get over it. Can people really not deal with eating one meal that doesn't taste great?

The problem with this menu wasn't that it was vegan, but maybe that some of the food was a little underseasoned. And a waitress warning guests that the food is bad? What an unprofessional brat. I'm sure the bride wishes she has reacted differently to the thoughtless behavior of her guests.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: nuit93 on January 03, 2016, 07:31:02 PM
My mother spent much of my wedding planning time stressing over the fact that I was getting a food truck (she'd never heard of food trucks that served good food, just sub-par trucks at festivals and the like) instead of doing a "proper" plated meal.  Post-wedding, you'd think the food truck had been her idea.  She and everyone else LOVED it.  People were going back for seconds.

Sometimes the most "controversial" food choices end up being the most memorable in a good way!
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Miss Understood on January 03, 2016, 08:23:47 PM
My mother spent much of my wedding planning time stressing over the fact that I was getting a food truck (she'd never heard of food trucks that served good food, just sub-par trucks at festivals and the like) instead of doing a "proper" plated meal.  Post-wedding, you'd think the food truck had been her idea.  She and everyone else LOVED it.  People were going back for seconds.

Sometimes the most "controversial" food choices end up being the most memorable in a good way!

I think I remember that thread but I don't think I replied.  At first I was kind of on your Mom's side because at the time I thought of "food trucks" as those workplace last resort lunch spots also known as "roach coaches" - but now I know better and your Mom does too.  Food trucks have come a long way.   :)
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: rigs32 on January 04, 2016, 11:31:45 AM
I was in a wedding a few years ago in which the cake had a peanut butter filling and the cookies were all peanut butter.  I was disappointed to not have any dessert as I personally do not like peanuts, but I didn't think it was rude of the couple.  I did find it a supremely odd choice, considering how prevalent peanut allergies are.

The couple invited as many people as the venue could hold, which required clearing away four tables after dinner ended to create a dance floor.  Those people were left without a "home base" and most left at that point.  That, I thought, was rude.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: turnip on January 04, 2016, 12:00:30 PM
The worst wedding meal I ever had was a 'steak or lobster' choice.  The steak was bland and tough.  The lobster was rubbery and tasteless.  My BIL requested the vegetarian option which turned out to be a pile of mashed potatoes.

We all survived.  No one complained to the B&G and I would have been horrified if they had.  I just can't wrap my head around the entitlement that declares that a couple must list of options roughly equivalent to that of a small restaurant or else they are 'rude' or 'forcing' their food choices.   Allergies and restrictions should be dealt with as they are at any other food gathering.  If the smell of a common food item ( fish? ) is enough to make you nauseous then you must be pretty restricted in your ability to eat at any common gathering anyway.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Pooky582 on January 04, 2016, 01:02:53 PM
If, and only if, the bride was controlling what every guest could eat for the entire four days, I'd have a huge problem. I would starve with only that food being available, which would make me irritable and miserable. Of course, if I knew these conditions before RSVP'ing, I would definitely respond 'no'. If those were just her choices, but other options existed, it would be fine. Offering one meal at the wedding that I may not like is much different than controlling my entire diet for four days.  That is too far.

Like the other example of the vegan wedding, I'd probably would have stopped for food on the way home. I would never have the audacity to do it at the wedding. But that bride also sounded like a bridezilla and what bothered me more was that her DH wasn't vegan, so she was only thinking about herself to begin with. I'm not vegan or vegetarian or gluten free, but I knew I had guests that were and made sure there was food available for them. Considering me and DH are the hosts, I want everyone to enjoy themselves, and that includes not leaving starving.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: turnip on January 04, 2016, 01:38:56 PM
But that bride also sounded like a bridezilla and what bothered me more was that her DH wasn't vegan, so she was only thinking about herself to begin with.

That's seems like such an unnecessarily critical view of things.  Since they are getting married it seems not a stretch to assume her husband loves her, knows about her food preferences, respects them.  My BIL is vegetarian, his GF is not, but I am pretty confident that due to his moral issues with meat consumption they would have a vegetarian reception.   

If the bride described by the OP couldn't stand the smell of fish ( as has been expressed here ) and the husband ate fish, would she be 'only thinking about herself' if fish was not presented as an option?  She has food restrictions, he agrees that their reception should comply with her food restrictions, and now she's a bridezilla.   I just don't see it that way.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: nuit93 on January 04, 2016, 01:45:51 PM
My mother spent much of my wedding planning time stressing over the fact that I was getting a food truck (she'd never heard of food trucks that served good food, just sub-par trucks at festivals and the like) instead of doing a "proper" plated meal.  Post-wedding, you'd think the food truck had been her idea.  She and everyone else LOVED it.  People were going back for seconds.

Sometimes the most "controversial" food choices end up being the most memorable in a good way!

I think I remember that thread but I don't think I replied.  At first I was kind of on your Mom's side because at the time I thought of "food trucks" as those workplace last resort lunch spots also known as "roach coaches" - but now I know better and your Mom does too.  Food trucks have come a long way.   :)

Yep!  Here in the PNW they're pretty common.

I was honestly rather insulted by her insinuations that I didn't know how to host a proper event--I've planned larger events than my wedding before!
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Carotte on January 04, 2016, 01:46:53 PM
But that bride also sounded like a bridezilla and what bothered me more was that her DH wasn't vegan, so she was only thinking about herself to begin with.

That's seems like such an unnecessarily critical view of things.  Since they are getting married it seems not a stretch to assume her husband loves her, knows about her food preferences, respects them.  My BIL is vegetarian, his GF is not, but I am pretty confident that due to his moral issues with meat consumption they would have a vegetarian reception.   

If the bride described by the OP couldn't stand the smell of fish ( as has been expressed here ) and the husband ate fish, would she be 'only thinking about herself' if fish was not presented as an option?  She has food restrictions, he agrees that their reception should comply with her food restrictions, and now she's a bridezilla.   I just don't see it that way.

Yeah that's a pretty backward way of thinking, after all, if you have  a 100 guests of whom 20 are vegan, if you have a vegan menu 100% of the guests will be able to eat it, if you have a "normal" menu only 80% of the guests will be able to eat it, the maths is quick on what menu is the most inclusive.
And frankly, unless the bride has a very, very, very weird or restrictive diet (only yellow food sown in may) why shouldn't she get to choose something she actually likes (and can eat!) at her own wedding!
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 04, 2016, 01:47:24 PM
But that bride also sounded like a bridezilla and what bothered me more was that her DH wasn't vegan, so she was only thinking about herself to begin with.

That's seems like such an unnecessarily critical view of things.  Since they are getting married it seems not a stretch to assume her husband loves her, knows about her food preferences, respects them.  My BIL is vegetarian, his GF is not, but I am pretty confident that due to his moral issues with meat consumption they would have a vegetarian reception.   

If the bride described by the OP couldn't stand the smell of fish ( as has been expressed here ) and the husband ate fish, would she be 'only thinking about herself' if fish was not presented as an option?  She has food restrictions, he agrees that their reception should comply with her food restrictions, and now she's a bridezilla.   I just don't see it that way.

Agree x1000.  My husband is an absolute omnivore but there are vegetarian/vegan dishes that I make that he requests for dinner, because he really likes them.  Just because someone doesn't have a consistent vegan diet doesn't mean they didn't wholeheartedly agree to a vegan menu for a meal.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 04, 2016, 02:02:21 PM
I would be absolutely fine eating a vegetarian menu for four days. I would not be fine with the juicing and detox portion of her spa plans, but that's okay.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Drunken Housewife on January 04, 2016, 02:05:26 PM
Quote
Since they are getting married it seems not a stretch to assume her husband loves her, knows about her food preferences, respects them.  My BIL is vegetarian, his GF is not, but I am pretty confident that due to his moral issues with meat consumption they would have a vegetarian reception. 

Because of my strong beliefs, beyond having a vegetarian wedding, we have a vegetarian home.  The husband eats whatever he wants out of the house, but our house is meat-free.  Everyone who comes over gets plenty to eat.  Nobody ever leaves hungry. 

It's best if people give you good, tasty food, but again a wedding is not a Michelin starred restaurant.  The point of it is not the meal.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 04, 2016, 02:17:31 PM
I just don't see anywhere in the articles that say the guests were deprived of balanced meals. Even the article that tries to paint her as a loon states "On the wedding night there were a range of dishes, including Thai green papaya salad, roasted brussel sprouts, grilled local white snow fish and fresh fruit for dessert."

No where does it state those were the only items available for guests to eat. There very well could have been other protein options for non-fish eating guests, they just weren't mentioned.

And the bride makes a living as a healthy eating lifestyle blogger and even offers consulting on hosting healthy weddings. Of course she is going to use her wedding to promote her business. I'm pretty sure most guests were fully prepared to enjoy 4 days of healthy eating options. But I'm sure if someone was really craving a burger there were ways to get it. This wedding wasn't at a deserted island with a single hut
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: LadyL on January 04, 2016, 02:22:12 PM
We decided to have a wedding caterer that specialized in vegan food and food restrictions (gluten free, allergies, etc.) in large part because most of our bridal party and many of our friends have food restrictions. Our caterer is popular with vegans and non-vegans alike and have won many mainstream culinary awards, but we knew there were a handful of people who insist on meat with every meal. For example, one relative complained about an Indian wedding where the food was vegetarian for religious reasons, even though vegetarian Indian dishes are often very hearty. I knew they'd probably complain about our catering but with weddings, you just can't please everybody. I'd say 95% of our guests were happy with the food, a large percentage LOVED it and raved about it to us, and I think less than 5 people went and got hot dogs down the street. I consider that a success!
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: turnip on January 04, 2016, 02:49:34 PM
Quote
Since they are getting married it seems not a stretch to assume her husband loves her, knows about her food preferences, respects them.  My BIL is vegetarian, his GF is not, but I am pretty confident that due to his moral issues with meat consumption they would have a vegetarian reception. 

Because of my strong beliefs, beyond having a vegetarian wedding, we have a vegetarian home.  The husband eats whatever he wants out of the house, but our house is meat-free.  Everyone who comes over gets plenty to eat.  Nobody ever leaves hungry. 

It's best if people give you good, tasty food, but again a wedding is not a Michelin starred restaurant.  The point of it is not the meal.

That is really true and it's why I'm surprised to seem a lot of discussion of 'options' for guests who have food limitations.  No caterer that I talked to offered more that 2 entree options and while I'm sure some would accommodate it, it would doubtless throw the cost of the reception through the roof.

It seems we sometimes go back and forth by saying sometimes that a couple should throw they wedding they can afford and not start the marriage with a boatload of debt, and then when limited food and drink options are discussed we too easily decide it's 'rude' to not have a menu that leaves 100 guests fully satiated and pleasantly tipsy. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Kimblee on January 04, 2016, 03:10:27 PM
Quote
Since they are getting married it seems not a stretch to assume her husband loves her, knows about her food preferences, respects them.  My BIL is vegetarian, his GF is not, but I am pretty confident that due to his moral issues with meat consumption they would have a vegetarian reception. 

Because of my strong beliefs, beyond having a vegetarian wedding, we have a vegetarian home.  The husband eats whatever he wants out of the house, but our house is meat-free.  Everyone who comes over gets plenty to eat.  Nobody ever leaves hungry. 

It's best if people give you good, tasty food, but again a wedding is not a Michelin starred restaurant.  The point of it is not the meal.

That is really true and it's why I'm surprised to seem a lot of discussion of 'options' for guests who have food limitations.  No caterer that I talked to offered more that 2 entree options and while I'm sure some would accommodate it, it would doubtless throw the cost of the reception through the roof.

It seems we sometimes go back and forth by saying sometimes that a couple should throw they wedding they can afford and not start the marriage with a boatload of debt, and then when limited food and drink options are discussed we too easily decide it's 'rude' to not have a menu that leaves 100 guests fully satiated and pleasantly tipsy.

I still think if you KNOW a person coming to your wedding has a absolute food limitation (like an allergy) you should try to give them options.

A friend of mine and her daughters have onion allergy. Very serious ones (the oldest girl looks like someone slit her throat, because someone did. She had a reaction and due to the school brushing it off when she finally got medical care they had to cut the skin of her neck open to find where to put in a breathing tube. She was in a coma at the time so at least she doesn't remember it. The scar is pretty noticeable though.)

Their aunt asked Friend and the girls to be a bridesmaid and flower girls in her wedding. They agreed but Friend reminded the bride of the girls' allergies, was told it's fine. Things would be taken care of. The wedding was exhausting, the wedding party were there when it was still dark outside and the wedding wasn't until afternoon with a long ceremony going into the late afternoon. But the groom's mom brought bagels for their breakfast and assured Friend that they were onion free and she had asked about cross contamination at the shop. (They were indeed fine) That was all they had until evening, but the girls did fine and were waiting patiently for dinner.

At the reception Friend took a bite of her entree (one choice, a chicken dish) and immediately felt her mouth start itching. No sign of onion but her husband when he took a bite went white in the face and ran to keep the girls from trying it.

Friend hurried over to the bride and told her the food had onion and got a blank shrug, So What? Friend said she would have to leave and feed her girls and was told "Okay that's fine, they already did their job."

The girls were hurt that their aunt couldn't care less about whether they got to enjoy the reception and Bride is furious because the girls refused to come back the next day and pose for wedding party pictures.

Could've been avoided by either picking an entree without onion in it, or just buying three plates of something else. But some of the family is taking Bride's side because she shouldn't have to cater to everyone's preferences and Friend should have made the girls dress up again for the pictures. They had an obligation when they agreed to be flower girls.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on January 04, 2016, 03:16:32 PM
Quote
Since they are getting married it seems not a stretch to assume her husband loves her, knows about her food preferences, respects them.  My BIL is vegetarian, his GF is not, but I am pretty confident that due to his moral issues with meat consumption they would have a vegetarian reception. 

Because of my strong beliefs, beyond having a vegetarian wedding, we have a vegetarian home.  The husband eats whatever he wants out of the house, but our house is meat-free.  Everyone who comes over gets plenty to eat.  Nobody ever leaves hungry. 

It's best if people give you good, tasty food, but again a wedding is not a Michelin starred restaurant.  The point of it is not the meal.

That is really true and it's why I'm surprised to seem a lot of discussion of 'options' for guests who have food limitations.  No caterer that I talked to offered more that 2 entree options and while I'm sure some would accommodate it, it would doubtless throw the cost of the reception through the roof.

It seems we sometimes go back and forth by saying sometimes that a couple should throw they wedding they can afford and not start the marriage with a boatload of debt, and then when limited food and drink options are discussed we too easily decide it's 'rude' to not have a menu that leaves 100 guests fully satiated and pleasantly tipsy.

I think what it comes down to is that food is a very emotional thing for many people. Sharing a meal with someone is an ancient way of bonding and we might have specific ideas about what goes into that to show people we care. As such, it's easy to take it personally or to be disproportionately disappointed in a meal you can't eat or that doesn't fit your idea of a "proper" meal.

A vegan/kosher/gluten-free meal can be just as delicious, savory, beautiful and filling as any other kind of meal. It's ok to be privately disappointed in such a meal if you feel every meal should include beef/cheese/bread (like grandma used to make), but it's also vital to look at it objectively to see that "different" doesn't necessarily mean "rude/insufficient" - and that, likely, your hosts aren't gleefully rubbing their hands together at your dismay, or personally judging you for liking to eat meat.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 04, 2016, 03:25:05 PM
I do totally agree that having a less-than-ideal meal once is not a tragedy, and that someone with restrictions should always be prepared to take care of themselves--I always bring a meal bar in my purse to family gatherings, in case I can't eat much of what's offered. But, I do think weddings are a little bit different than, say, a dinner party. Being a milestone event that's often family-oriented, a lot of people will feel pressure (internal or external) to attend, going well outside their comfort zone for the sake of the dignity and importance of the life change. Of course, people with hard limits should still say no; but I think there's a lot of people who aren't that extreme, but are still quite challenged by a meal in a strange place.

It's one thing to RSVP no to a backyard BBQ or even a birthday dinner; quite another to RSVP no to someone's wedding. At least, many people feel that doing so sends a strong message of emotional distance, if you don't have a restriction that's "obvious enough." So you could decide to have a Cuisine X dinner party, and hardly notice the people who declined to attend because you can catch them at another event. But if you decide to have a Cuisine X wedding, you may be forcing people to make tough choices about what they can eat, vs. the emotional importance of attending your wedding.

Of course a number of wedding decisions carry that choice--I would never spend 4 days in another country at someone's wedding, even if they promised me a personal chef making my favorite dishes. That's way too much time, expense, and inconvenience for me to spend, regardless of the food. People often don't know much about what they're going to be served at a wedding reception, though, whereas they would obviously have to know when and where the wedding is in advance.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 04, 2016, 03:26:06 PM
Quote
Since they are getting married it seems not a stretch to assume her husband loves her, knows about her food preferences, respects them.  My BIL is vegetarian, his GF is not, but I am pretty confident that due to his moral issues with meat consumption they would have a vegetarian reception. 

Because of my strong beliefs, beyond having a vegetarian wedding, we have a vegetarian home.  The husband eats whatever he wants out of the house, but our house is meat-free.  Everyone who comes over gets plenty to eat.  Nobody ever leaves hungry. 

It's best if people give you good, tasty food, but again a wedding is not a Michelin starred restaurant.  The point of it is not the meal.

That is really true and it's why I'm surprised to seem a lot of discussion of 'options' for guests who have food limitations.  No caterer that I talked to offered more that 2 entree options and while I'm sure some would accommodate it, it would doubtless throw the cost of the reception through the roof.

It seems we sometimes go back and forth by saying sometimes that a couple should throw they wedding they can afford and not start the marriage with a boatload of debt, and then when limited food and drink options are discussed we too easily decide it's 'rude' to not have a menu that leaves 100 guests fully satiated and pleasantly tipsy.

I think what it comes down to is that food is a very emotional thing for many people. Sharing a meal with someone is an ancient way of bonding and we might have specific ideas about what goes into that to show people we care. As such, it's easy to take it personally or to be disproportionately disappointed in a meal you can't eat or that doesn't fit your idea of a "proper" meal.

A vegan/kosher/gluten-free meal can be just as delicious, savory, beautiful and filling as any other kind of meal. It's ok to be privately disappointed in such a meal if you feel every meal should include beef/cheese/bread (like grandma used to make), but it's also vital to look at it objectively to see that "different" doesn't necessarily mean "rude/insufficient" - and that, likely, your hosts aren't gleefully rubbing their hands together at your dismay, or personally judging you for liking to eat meat.

This.  This thread has moved far afield into serious food allergies and the like.  The original question was whether certain food choices were "controversial" to serve at all, to any guests, and I think the example in the linked article is not.  It's healthy, tasty-sounding food that might not be everyone's first pick but does not seem to strike most of us as "controversial." 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Sophia on January 04, 2016, 03:30:46 PM
Looking at the photos in the article posted, I am not impressed.  I know others have said that they'd be fine with the menu, except for one person, but I wouldn't be.  The photos were a lot more green than the just words might lead you to believe.   Also, when you feel the need to list "warm water with lemon juice and ginger" as a significant breakfast offering, there is a problem.  .
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Pooky582 on January 04, 2016, 04:24:55 PM
Well, for starters, I was only paraphrasing what the actual guest at the wedding said. But throwing a huge tantrum and ruining your own experience doesn't sound ideal. She threw a wedding where over half the guests were hungry and miserable. Something obviously went wrong.

But, in that specific example, there wasn't one thing I would eat from the appetizers to the tofu soup, so it would be a miserable day for me. Of course, depending on who the HC was, I could always decline if I knew in advance what it would be like. That may be extreme for "one meal", but a 2pm wedding and 6pm reception is a very long day to have no food to eat or enjoy.

And of course it differs when there are moral reasons for being on a specific diet, but I am in the camp that you don't just cater to one group, whether it's five of the guests or 80 out of 100. I had vegan and gluten free and vegetarian options, because I wasn't only worried about myself. Everyone left full and happy.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 04, 2016, 04:39:18 PM
That is really true and it's why I'm surprised to seem a lot of discussion of 'options' for guests who have food limitations.  No caterer that I talked to offered more that 2 entree options and while I'm sure some would accommodate it, it would doubtless throw the cost of the reception through the roof.

It seems we sometimes go back and forth by saying sometimes that a couple should throw they wedding they can afford and not start the marriage with a boatload of debt, and then when limited food and drink options are discussed we too easily decide it's 'rude' to not have a menu that leaves 100 guests fully satiated and pleasantly tipsy.

The advice is that a couple should have the wedding they can afford, while still being polite and showing hospitality to guests. There are lots of ways to make "a wedding" cheaper without being rude and inhospitable, though it may not be "the dream wedding" someone wanted. If they blow their budget on flowers and the dress, and leave their guests with nothing but two crackers and a piece of cheese over a meal time, they've had the wedding they can afford but not been polite or hospitable, so they're still in the wrong.

There is a point at which catering to individual food needs/preferences becomes too much. And there is also a point at which it's too little, and the HC is being too limited in what they serve. But it's hard to say exactly where those points are sometimes, hence why it's often debated.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: QueenfaninCA on January 04, 2016, 06:42:10 PM
Although the list of foods sounds lovely and not controversial, if this was a multiple day affair, judging by her wedding day diet, I would be starving and correspondingly cranky:

Quote
Her wedding day diet consisted of a pre-breakfast of warm water with lemon juice and ginger, a fresh papaya for breakfast, grilled fresh white fish and small salad for lunch, fresh celery for a snack and protein and veggies for dinner.

Zero protein for breakfast and snacks is not what I would call a balanced diet. Also just some fruit for breakfast would leave me ravenous until lunch.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on January 04, 2016, 09:35:17 PM
Although the list of foods sounds lovely and not controversial, if this was a multiple day affair, judging by her wedding day diet, I would be starving and correspondingly cranky:

Quote
Her wedding day diet consisted of a pre-breakfast of warm water with lemon juice and ginger, a fresh papaya for breakfast, grilled fresh white fish and small salad for lunch, fresh celery for a snack and protein and veggies for dinner.

Zero protein for breakfast and snacks is not what I would call a balanced diet. Also just some fruit for breakfast would leave me ravenous until lunch.

Considering it was specifically described as "her," i.e., the bride's, wedding day diet, I don't see any indication that this was the only food provided for guests. In fact, muffins and "bliss balls" (whatever those are) were explicitly mentioned as some of the breakfast options available for guests. If the bride prefers just fruit for breakfast, whether for this particular day or every day, so what?
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Winterlight on January 04, 2016, 09:42:21 PM
I don't think the wedding meal is too controversial. I'm not sure about the other days- carbs are a need in my book.

However, using her wedding to promote her blog and book seems pretty tacky to me.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: sammycat on January 04, 2016, 10:36:13 PM
However, using her wedding to promote her blog and book seems pretty tacky to me.

Pod.

I would never spend 4 days in another country at someone's wedding, even if they promised me a personal chef making my favorite dishes. That's way too much time, expense, and inconvenience for me to spend, regardless of the food.

Pod.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: sammycat on January 04, 2016, 10:36:25 PM
A friend of mine and her daughters have onion allergy. Very serious ones (the oldest girl looks like someone slit her throat, because someone did. She had a reaction and due to the school brushing it off when she finally got medical care they had to cut the skin of her neck open to find where to put in a breathing tube. She was in a coma at the time so at least she doesn't remember it. The scar is pretty noticeable though.)

Their aunt asked Friend and the girls to be a bridesmaid and flower girls in her wedding. They agreed but Friend reminded the bride of the girls' allergies, was told it's fine. Things would be taken care of.

Friend hurried over to the bride and told her the food had onion and got a blank shrug, So What? Friend said she would have to leave and feed her girls and was told "Okay that's fine, they already did their job."

The girls were hurt that their aunt couldn't care less about whether they got to enjoy the reception and Bride is furious because the girls refused to come back the next day and pose for wedding party pictures.

Could've been avoided by either picking an entree without onion in it, or just buying three plates of something else. But some of the family is taking Bride's side because she shouldn't have to cater to everyone's preferences and Friend should have made the girls dress up again for the pictures. They had an obligation when they agreed to be flower girls.

 :o >:( :o  What?!

"Preferences" : last time I checked, having an allergy, and a potentially life ending one at that, is not a "preference". Wow. I have no words for the bride or the relatives taking her side. (Well, I do have words, but they're not appropriate for use here).
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: gellchom on January 04, 2016, 10:56:40 PM
I do totally agree that having a less-than-ideal meal once is not a tragedy, and that someone with restrictions should always be prepared to take care of themselves--I always bring a meal bar in my purse to family gatherings, in case I can't eat much of what's offered. But, I do think weddings are a little bit different than, say, a dinner party. Being a milestone event that's often family-oriented, a lot of people will feel pressure (internal or external) to attend, going well outside their comfort zone for the sake of the dignity and importance of the life change. Of course, people with hard limits should still say no; but I think there's a lot of people who aren't that extreme, but are still quite challenged by a meal in a strange place.

It's one thing to RSVP no to a backyard BBQ or even a birthday dinner; quite another to RSVP no to someone's wedding. At least, many people feel that doing so sends a strong message of emotional distance, if you don't have a restriction that's "obvious enough." So you could decide to have a Cuisine X dinner party, and hardly notice the people who declined to attend because you can catch them at another event. But if you decide to have a Cuisine X wedding, you may be forcing people to make tough choices about what they can eat, vs. the emotional importance of attending your wedding.

Of course a number of wedding decisions carry that choice--I would never spend 4 days in another country at someone's wedding, even if they promised me a personal chef making my favorite dishes. That's way too much time, expense, and inconvenience for me to spend, regardless of the food. People often don't know much about what they're going to be served at a wedding reception, though, whereas they would obviously have to know when and where the wedding is in advance.

Excellent point about weddings being special.  But I think that cuts both ways for guests -- i.e., as a guest I'd be less likely to turn down the invitation for the reason that he menu or venue or whatever doesn't appeal to me (like, I hate skating, so I'd take a pass on a skating party, but I'd attend a wedding with a reception at a skating rink with skating instead of dancing).  At the same time, as you point out, if I'm the host, it's more important to me than usual that everyone attend, and I want to be sure the arrangements suit the key guests. 

And I think other people besides the HC have sort of quasi GOH status on this issue at a wedding.

So I would make sure that a wedding menu is something that, say, the parents, siblings, and grandparents can eat (not necessarily their favorite), or at least that a comparable alternative is provided or that the problem food was just a small and easily avoided food.  And I think it would be very rude and seem PA or even hostile for a bride's parents to serve, say, nonhalal food at the reception when they know the groom's family eats only halal, even if an alternative is available; it ignores that this is an important family event for them, too, even though they're not hosting. 

But I wouldn't plan my wedding menu around every lactose- or gluten intolerant or vegetarian or whatever guest I can think of.  They can ask the hosts ahead of time if they have a special dietary need that must be met -- like allergy -- or else just eat what they can. 

We had meatless (but with fish, dairy, and egg) meals for our wedding, both our children's b'nei mitzvah, and our son's wedding.  They were all fantastic. Perhaps some people missed having meat, but they all survived, and it couldn't have been too bad: 33 1/2 years later, my mom is still getting inquiries about the caterer and menu from our wedding (that caterer was fantastic).
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Roses on January 05, 2016, 12:11:18 AM
I don't see what's controversial about grilled fish and various veggies? Sounds like a lovely meal to me.
[/rquote]

Sounds wonderful. I don't see any issues with this type if menu.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: cross_patch on January 05, 2016, 03:45:05 AM
Quote
Since they are getting married it seems not a stretch to assume her husband loves her, knows about her food preferences, respects them.  My BIL is vegetarian, his GF is not, but I am pretty confident that due to his moral issues with meat consumption they would have a vegetarian reception. 

Because of my strong beliefs, beyond having a vegetarian wedding, we have a vegetarian home.  The husband eats whatever he wants out of the house, but our house is meat-free.  Everyone who comes over gets plenty to eat.  Nobody ever leaves hungry. 

It's best if people give you good, tasty food, but again a wedding is not a Michelin starred restaurant.  The point of it is not the meal.

That is really true and it's why I'm surprised to seem a lot of discussion of 'options' for guests who have food limitations.  No caterer that I talked to offered more that 2 entree options and while I'm sure some would accommodate it, it would doubtless throw the cost of the reception through the roof.

It seems we sometimes go back and forth by saying sometimes that a couple should throw they wedding they can afford and not start the marriage with a boatload of debt, and then when limited food and drink options are discussed we too easily decide it's 'rude' to not have a menu that leaves 100 guests fully satiated and pleasantly tipsy.

I still think if you KNOW a person coming to your wedding has a absolute food limitation (like an allergy) you should try to give them options.

A friend of mine and her daughters have onion allergy. Very serious ones (the oldest girl looks like someone slit her throat, because someone did. She had a reaction and due to the school brushing it off when she finally got medical care they had to cut the skin of her neck open to find where to put in a breathing tube. She was in a coma at the time so at least she doesn't remember it. The scar is pretty noticeable though.)

Their aunt asked Friend and the girls to be a bridesmaid and flower girls in her wedding. They agreed but Friend reminded the bride of the girls' allergies, was told it's fine. Things would be taken care of. The wedding was exhausting, the wedding party were there when it was still dark outside and the wedding wasn't until afternoon with a long ceremony going into the late afternoon. But the groom's mom brought bagels for their breakfast and assured Friend that they were onion free and she had asked about cross contamination at the shop. (They were indeed fine) That was all they had until evening, but the girls did fine and were waiting patiently for dinner.

At the reception Friend took a bite of her entree (one choice, a chicken dish) and immediately felt her mouth start itching. No sign of onion but her husband when he took a bite went white in the face and ran to keep the girls from trying it.

Friend hurried over to the bride and told her the food had onion and got a blank shrug, So What? Friend said she would have to leave and feed her girls and was told "Okay that's fine, they already did their job."

The girls were hurt that their aunt couldn't care less about whether they got to enjoy the reception and Bride is furious because the girls refused to come back the next day and pose for wedding party pictures.

Could've been avoided by either picking an entree without onion in it, or just buying three plates of something else. But some of the family is taking Bride's side because she shouldn't have to cater to everyone's preferences and Friend should have made the girls dress up again for the pictures. They had an obligation when they agreed to be flower girls.

Er, that's a tracheotomy. No need to call it slitting someone's throat.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: iridaceae on January 05, 2016, 03:53:19 AM
I don't mind conforming to food restrictions due to medical or religious reasons. Or even firm dislikes. But I'm not going to let myself eat what some blogger has decided is a healthy menu because she thinks she needs to school me. I am a friend. Not her client or would-be client.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on January 05, 2016, 06:43:29 AM
Quote
Since they are getting married it seems not a stretch to assume her husband loves her, knows about her food preferences, respects them.  My BIL is vegetarian, his GF is not, but I am pretty confident that due to his moral issues with meat consumption they would have a vegetarian reception. 

Because of my strong beliefs, beyond having a vegetarian wedding, we have a vegetarian home.  The husband eats whatever he wants out of the house, but our house is meat-free.  Everyone who comes over gets plenty to eat.  Nobody ever leaves hungry. 

It's best if people give you good, tasty food, but again a wedding is not a Michelin starred restaurant.  The point of it is not the meal.

That is really true and it's why I'm surprised to seem a lot of discussion of 'options' for guests who have food limitations.  No caterer that I talked to offered more that 2 entree options and while I'm sure some would accommodate it, it would doubtless throw the cost of the reception through the roof.

It seems we sometimes go back and forth by saying sometimes that a couple should throw they wedding they can afford and not start the marriage with a boatload of debt, and then when limited food and drink options are discussed we too easily decide it's 'rude' to not have a menu that leaves 100 guests fully satiated and pleasantly tipsy.

I still think if you KNOW a person coming to your wedding has a absolute food limitation (like an allergy) you should try to give them options.

A friend of mine and her daughters have onion allergy. Very serious ones (the oldest girl looks like someone slit her throat, because someone did. She had a reaction and due to the school brushing it off when she finally got medical care they had to cut the skin of her neck open to find where to put in a breathing tube. She was in a coma at the time so at least she doesn't remember it. The scar is pretty noticeable though.)

Their aunt asked Friend and the girls to be a bridesmaid and flower girls in her wedding. They agreed but Friend reminded the bride of the girls' allergies, was told it's fine. Things would be taken care of. The wedding was exhausting, the wedding party were there when it was still dark outside and the wedding wasn't until afternoon with a long ceremony going into the late afternoon. But the groom's mom brought bagels for their breakfast and assured Friend that they were onion free and she had asked about cross contamination at the shop. (They were indeed fine) That was all they had until evening, but the girls did fine and were waiting patiently for dinner.

At the reception Friend took a bite of her entree (one choice, a chicken dish) and immediately felt her mouth start itching. No sign of onion but her husband when he took a bite went white in the face and ran to keep the girls from trying it.

Friend hurried over to the bride and told her the food had onion and got a blank shrug, So What? Friend said she would have to leave and feed her girls and was told "Okay that's fine, they already did their job."

The girls were hurt that their aunt couldn't care less about whether they got to enjoy the reception and Bride is furious because the girls refused to come back the next day and pose for wedding party pictures.

Could've been avoided by either picking an entree without onion in it, or just buying three plates of something else. But some of the family is taking Bride's side because she shouldn't have to cater to everyone's preferences and Friend should have made the girls dress up again for the pictures. They had an obligation when they agreed to be flower girls.

Er, that's a tracheotomy. No need to call it slitting someone's throat.

And serving a guest a known deadly allergen is not the same as not serving meat. Of course we should try not to poison our guests.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 05, 2016, 06:51:20 AM
I don't mind conforming to food restrictions due to medical or religious reasons. Or even firm dislikes. But I'm not going to let myself eat what some blogger has decided is a healthy menu because she thinks she needs to school me. I am a friend. Not her client or would-be client.

POD. Her unilateral decision on a menu for the wedding guests are a no go for me.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 05, 2016, 07:13:22 AM
I don't mind conforming to food restrictions due to medical or religious reasons. Or even firm dislikes. But I'm not going to let myself eat what some blogger has decided is a healthy menu because she thinks she needs to school me. I am a friend. Not her client or would-be client.

POD. Her unilateral decision on a menu for the wedding guests are a no go for me.

Don't most couples getting married decide "unilaterally" what they will serve to their guests at their reception?  This is a very strange statement.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: iridaceae on January 05, 2016, 07:22:53 AM
Not for the entirity of the wedding they don't.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: HannahGrace on January 05, 2016, 07:33:35 AM
Not for the entirity of the wedding they don't.

But we have no evidence that the menu was dictated for the guests for however long they were at the resort. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 05, 2016, 07:37:13 AM
Not for the entirity of the wedding they don't.

Why are people so convinced that the only food available to guests for the 4 days were the food offerings at the planned breakfasts, lunch, and dinners. It was a resort, not a deserted island. I've never been to a resort that didn't have some type of restaurant or snack stand available during most of the day.

I've attended many a management/business seminar that were multi-day events with all meals catered as part of the event. Daily "continental breakfast" of juice, coffee, muffins, bagels and fruit does not meet my preference as breakfast foods, but that's the standard. So if I need protein in the morning that doesn't come in the form of overly sugared yogurt or cream cheese, then I go get it. I would have much preferred her offerings of the juice bar and the bliss balls (which when I looked at the recipe I found to be high protein snacks). A carrot/kale juice and a bliss ball sounds like a great way to start the day with the necessary protein with carbs that aren't just sugar and flour.

Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: shortstuff on January 05, 2016, 10:07:26 AM

And I think it would be very rude and seem PA or even hostile for a bride's parents to serve, say, nonhalal food at the reception when they know the groom's family eats only halal, even if an alternative is available; it ignores that this is an important family event for them, too, even though they're not hosting. 

Question about this quote and what I bolded: does the alternate mean that a halal option was available, but the entire reception wasn't halal?  Because if that is the hypothetical situation, I'd think it's perfectly reasonable.  If I'm not understanding right, then apologies for assuming, but I still think providing the option is considered acceptable good hospitality.

For me, personally, my idea of good hospitality is providing lots and lots of options.  My wedding had entrees of chicken, beef, salmon, and eggplant (veggie option).  I had healthy food, naturally gluten free, naturally veggie, naturally lactose free, plus the entrees could be changed to accommodate allergies. 

A vegetarian friend chose to have both veggie and meat options at her wedding.  I wouldn't have minded 1 veggie meal, but I was honestly surprised how much meat was around!  I assuming this, but it appears she planned the majority of the food for the majority of the guests, but had many options for the few other vegetarians attending. 

This could maybe relate to the healthy wedding in the OP, but this last wedding story reminded me: is it rude to not somehow tell people what they're eating?  At my friend's wedding, the vegetarians had to look up the menu online to figure out of there was meat in dishes, since there were no menu cards, and the servers did not explain the food.  Would it be rude not to tell someone what is in a bliss ball, for the healthy wedding? 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: magicdomino on January 05, 2016, 10:38:01 AM
I Googled bliss balls.  Essentially, they are raw cookies.  Nuts or seeds are ground up with something sticky like honey or dates, then shaped into balls.

http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/chocolate-bliss-balls-recipe

Nut warnings would be needed, since recipes can vary a lot.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 05, 2016, 11:22:32 AM
This could maybe relate to the healthy wedding in the OP, but this last wedding story reminded me: is it rude to not somehow tell people what they're eating?  At my friend's wedding, the vegetarians had to look up the menu online to figure out of there was meat in dishes, since there were no menu cards, and the servers did not explain the food.  Would it be rude not to tell someone what is in a bliss ball, for the healthy wedding?

I think it's one of those things that's on a spectrum. If you know a specific guest has nut allergies, I think it's pretty easy to print up a little card saying "caution, contains peanuts" for the applicable dishes, or in some other way make sure that specific person has the information available. If they're coming to your wedding and you know this medical information about them, I'm guessing they're someone fairly close to you and you would naturally want to help them out regardless of etiquette.

However, there may be allergies etc. in the crowd that the HC doesn't know about. I don't think they're obligated to post an ingredients list for every single dish. I think there should be a way for a guest to find out the information if they need to know, like by asking a server, but that may not be entirely under the HC's control. Ultimately if a guest has restrictions, it's the guest's responsibility to prepare for that (like by bringing their own snacks to eat discreetly), and their responsibility to make reasonable decisions about whether they can eat something.

To me it's a balance. If you have restrictions, more information helps you to make good choices, meaning there's less chance you'll "bother" the HC with your questions (or a medical emergency!), and more chance you'll eat what you can and have a good time. But food served at a reception is not always entirely under the HC's control, so there's a limit to what they can do even when they want to.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Celany on January 05, 2016, 11:44:56 AM
I found the food options to not be objectionable and overall agree w/PPs that said it's not rude to display your food tastes at your wedding. It sounds like they had a range of options that sounded tasty as well as healthy.

Honestly, I took more umbrage with the parts spliced in from Amanda Blair and her rejection of eating healthy on your wedding day. A direct quote:

“Go hard on the Tiramisu, rip into the lamb cutlets, knock yourself out on the profiteroles, eat sliced white bread and if you want to eat nothing but Jatz crackers and an entire tub of Kraft French Onion Dip, today is the day my friends,”

I'm going to try to put this delicately, but on my (theoretical) wedding day, when I'm (presumably) wearing a giant dress that is not easy to take off or lift up, and I'm dealing with wedding jitters, nerves about everything going well, and potentially having guest personalities clash, I'm not going to eat a whole pile of things that could cause a queasy stomach and might create some embarrassing after effects. If nothing else, the healthy eating suggestions that Jessica Sepel is promoting would help to settle a stomach and have a better chance (for many people) of being...processed well.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on January 05, 2016, 11:52:43 AM
I found the food options to not be objectionable and overall agree w/PPs that said it's not rude to display your food tastes at your wedding. It sounds like they had a range of options that sounded tasty as well as healthy.

Honestly, I took more umbrage with the parts spliced in from Amanda Blair and her rejection of eating healthy on your wedding day. A direct quote:

“Go hard on the Tiramisu, rip into the lamb cutlets, knock yourself out on the profiteroles, eat sliced white bread and if you want to eat nothing but Jatz crackers and an entire tub of Kraft French Onion Dip, today is the day my friends,”

I'm going to try to put this delicately, but on my (theoretical) wedding day, when I'm (presumably) wearing a giant dress that is not easy to take off or lift up, and I'm dealing with wedding jitters, nerves about everything going well, and potentially having guest personalities clash, I'm not going to eat a whole pile of things that could cause a queasy stomach and might create some embarrassing after effects. If nothing else, the healthy eating suggestions that Jessica Sepel is promoting would help to settle a stomach and have a better chance (for many people) of being...processed well.

I really enjoy the hypocrisy of her above suggestion. She's saying, "Eat whatever you want because it's your day!" while mocking a bride who is doing exactly that.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Kimblee on January 05, 2016, 10:05:47 PM
A friend of mine and her daughters have onion allergy. Very serious ones (the oldest girl looks like someone slit her throat, because someone did. She had a reaction and due to the school brushing it off when she finally got medical care they had to cut the skin of her neck open to find where to put in a breathing tube. She was in a coma at the time so at least she doesn't remember it. The scar is pretty noticeable though.)

Their aunt asked Friend and the girls to be a bridesmaid and flower girls in her wedding. They agreed but Friend reminded the bride of the girls' allergies, was told it's fine. Things would be taken care of.

Friend hurried over to the bride and told her the food had onion and got a blank shrug, So What? Friend said she would have to leave and feed her girls and was told "Okay that's fine, they already did their job."

The girls were hurt that their aunt couldn't care less about whether they got to enjoy the reception and Bride is furious because the girls refused to come back the next day and pose for wedding party pictures.

Could've been avoided by either picking an entree without onion in it, or just buying three plates of something else. But some of the family is taking Bride's side because she shouldn't have to cater to everyone's preferences and Friend should have made the girls dress up again for the pictures. They had an obligation when they agreed to be flower girls.

 :o >:( :o  What?!

"Preferences" : last time I checked, having an allergy, and a potentially life ending one at that, is not a "preference". Wow. I have no words for the bride or the relatives taking her side. (Well, I do have words, but they're not appropriate for use here).

I don't agree with the Bride. (Don't know her all that well but I'm still seeing the fallout on the book of faces.)

But if it makes a difference, the oldest girl's reaction that led to the neck cutting wasn't at the wedding, it was a year or two beforehand at school. (She goes to a different school now) But the bride did know about the severity of the allergy and its cause.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Kimblee on January 05, 2016, 10:12:56 PM
Quote
Since they are getting married it seems not a stretch to assume her husband loves her, knows about her food preferences, respects them.  My BIL is vegetarian, his GF is not, but I am pretty confident that due to his moral issues with meat consumption they would have a vegetarian reception. 

Because of my strong beliefs, beyond having a vegetarian wedding, we have a vegetarian home.  The husband eats whatever he wants out of the house, but our house is meat-free.  Everyone who comes over gets plenty to eat.  Nobody ever leaves hungry. 

It's best if people give you good, tasty food, but again a wedding is not a Michelin starred restaurant.  The point of it is not the meal.

That is really true and it's why I'm surprised to seem a lot of discussion of 'options' for guests who have food limitations.  No caterer that I talked to offered more that 2 entree options and while I'm sure some would accommodate it, it would doubtless throw the cost of the reception through the roof.

It seems we sometimes go back and forth by saying sometimes that a couple should throw they wedding they can afford and not start the marriage with a boatload of debt, and then when limited food and drink options are discussed we too easily decide it's 'rude' to not have a menu that leaves 100 guests fully satiated and pleasantly tipsy.

I still think if you KNOW a person coming to your wedding has a absolute food limitation (like an allergy) you should try to give them options.

A friend of mine and her daughters have onion allergy. Very serious ones (the oldest girl looks like someone slit her throat, because someone did. She had a reaction and due to the school brushing it off when she finally got medical care they had to cut the skin of her neck open to find where to put in a breathing tube. She was in a coma at the time so at least she doesn't remember it. The scar is pretty noticeable though.)

Their aunt asked Friend and the girls to be a bridesmaid and flower girls in her wedding. They agreed but Friend reminded the bride of the girls' allergies, was told it's fine. Things would be taken care of. The wedding was exhausting, the wedding party were there when it was still dark outside and the wedding wasn't until afternoon with a long ceremony going into the late afternoon. But the groom's mom brought bagels for their breakfast and assured Friend that they were onion free and she had asked about cross contamination at the shop. (They were indeed fine) That was all they had until evening, but the girls did fine and were waiting patiently for dinner.

At the reception Friend took a bite of her entree (one choice, a chicken dish) and immediately felt her mouth start itching. No sign of onion but her husband when he took a bite went white in the face and ran to keep the girls from trying it.

Friend hurried over to the bride and told her the food had onion and got a blank shrug, So What? Friend said she would have to leave and feed her girls and was told "Okay that's fine, they already did their job."

The girls were hurt that their aunt couldn't care less about whether they got to enjoy the reception and Bride is furious because the girls refused to come back the next day and pose for wedding party pictures.

Could've been avoided by either picking an entree without onion in it, or just buying three plates of something else. But some of the family is taking Bride's side because she shouldn't have to cater to everyone's preferences and Friend should have made the girls dress up again for the pictures. They had an obligation when they agreed to be flower girls.

Er, that's a tracheotomy. No need to call it slitting someone's throat.

Tracheotomy, that's the word I couldn't remember. (I tried googling it but I guess I wasn't using the right words because all I got was stuff about plastic surgery) Although in this case it really was close to slitting, at least visually. They had to cut the skin from one side to the other because they couldn't actually "feel" what they were doing otherwise. (Not sure I'm making sense, this is how it was explained to me when her mother asked me not to make a big fuss when I saw her new stitches.)

I don't actually know what the appropriate term for it (the cut) is, but from what her mother told me it's not usually necessary to do so in a normal tracheotomy and the younger girl also had one placed but didn't have to be cut as much. (She has no scar at all, her sister still has a very noticeable scar across her neck but it's faded a bit now.)
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: gellchom on January 05, 2016, 10:33:34 PM

And I think it would be very rude and seem PA or even hostile for a bride's parents to serve, say, nonhalal food at the reception when they know the groom's family eats only halal, even if an alternative is available; it ignores that this is an important family event for them, too, even though they're not hosting. 

Question about this quote and what I bolded: does the alternate mean that a halal option was available, but the entire reception wasn't halal?  Because if that is the hypothetical situation, I'd think it's perfectly reasonable.  If I'm not understanding right, then apologies for assuming, but I still think providing the option is considered acceptable good hospitality.

I would agree for guests in general.  As long as they will be able to get something good to eat, that's adequate hosting.  But I was thinking about the close families.  For example, say the wedding is hosted by the bride's parents.  The groom comes from a family that eats only Halal meat.  If I were the host in that situation, I'd have all the food be either Halal meat or fish or vegetarian. 

Why?  Because this is not just a party, and it's not just a question of everyone being fed well.  Even though, in my example, the bride's parents are the only hosts of the reception, the wedding is equally a major event for the groom's family as for the bride's.  I would not want them to feel like outsiders or even slightly less important or central than our family at such a time.  And in my opinion and experience, even one appetizer with bacon on it will do precisely that.  At the other end of the spectrum, serving pork ribs as the main course, even with a pasta choice available, would get everyone fed, but do you see how it could send a very uncomfortable message?

Quote
For me, personally, my idea of good hospitality is providing lots and lots of options. 

Many people feel this way.  But it isn't a requirement for good hosting or hospitality. Every party need not be, in essence, a buffet or offer a menu of choices or alternate drop, the same as it is perfectly hospitable to offer only one main dish at a dinner party at home.

People with real food restrictions know how to take care of themselves.  We've hosted many events.  Vegetarians and people with allergies or religious restrictions either call or email us ahead to ask if an accommodation is available or else simply eat the things they can, whichever they prefer.  In our experience, too, caterers always are able to improvise vegetarian and these days gluten- and dairy-free plates even if hosts didn't provide choices.

But if you just hate fish or lamb or tofu or don't feel right without carbs or protein at every meal?  It's one meal.  Suck it up, smile, eat what you can, and get a snack on your way home. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: shortstuff on January 06, 2016, 10:13:15 AM

People with real food restrictions know how to take care of themselves.  We've hosted many events.  Vegetarians and people with allergies or religious restrictions either call or email us ahead to ask if an accommodation is available or else simply eat the things they can, whichever they prefer.  In our experience, too, caterers always are able to improvise vegetarian and these days gluten- and dairy-free plates even if hosts didn't provide choices.

But if you just hate fish or lamb or tofu or don't feel right without carbs or protein at every meal?  It's one meal.  Suck it up, smile, eat what you can, and get a snack on your way home.

I agree with this.  Before my group of friends and I were in the position to be able to host each other, I only learned about dietary restrictions when we were out to eat and they asked about allergens, or leaving the cheese off a hamburger.  They never pushed the info onto anyone else, or made it anyone else's "problem."

Of course, once we did start cooking and hosting, I found it super easy to cook a meal that naturally didn't include the allergens.  I've never had a GF friend insist on using the GF substitutes, for example, but then again I never insisted on serving pasta.  I'll even choose to suck it up and miss having meat or carbs at a meal I'm cooking in order to make a guest a great meal. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 06, 2016, 10:24:50 AM
I would agree for guests in general.  As long as they will be able to get something good to eat, that's adequate hosting.  But I was thinking about the close families.  For example, say the wedding is hosted by the bride's parents.  The groom comes from a family that eats only Halal meat.  If I were the host in that situation, I'd have all the food be either Halal meat or fish or vegetarian. 

Why?  Because this is not just a party, and it's not just a question of everyone being fed well.  Even though, in my example, the bride's parents are the only hosts of the reception, the wedding is equally a major event for the groom's family as for the bride's.  I would not want them to feel like outsiders or even slightly less important or central than our family at such a time.  And in my opinion and experience, even one appetizer with bacon on it will do precisely that.  At the other end of the spectrum, serving pork ribs as the main course, even with a pasta choice available, would get everyone fed, but do you see how it could send a very uncomfortable message?

I think this is a great example, related to the "etiquette vs rude behavior" thread, of how something moves from being an "etiquette" issue to being a "relationship" issue. I think that it's proper etiquette to make sure there are halal meals available, considering the high proportion of guests who practice that. But etiquette would say you can stop there, and serve bacon and pork ribs to everyone else. However our actions don't exist in a vacuum, and "it's proper etiquette" is often cold comfort after feeling offended or hurt. From a relationship point of view, it would be wise to investigate having the entire reception be halal, given the importance of the halal-eating guests (groom and his family). In any particular case, it might prove very difficult logistically or maybe the groom and his family actually wouldn't care; but it shows the bride/her family consider them as equals, even though they aren't actually providing money for this part.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: kudeebee on January 06, 2016, 11:27:56 AM

And I think it would be very rude and seem PA or even hostile for a bride's parents to serve, say, nonhalal food at the reception when they know the groom's family eats only halal, even if an alternative is available; it ignores that this is an important family event for them, too, even though they're not hosting. 

Question about this quote and what I bolded: does the alternate mean that a halal option was available, but the entire reception wasn't halal?  Because if that is the hypothetical situation, I'd think it's perfectly reasonable.  If I'm not understanding right, then apologies for assuming, but I still think providing the option is considered acceptable good hospitality.

I would agree for guests in general.  As long as they will be able to get something good to eat, that's adequate hosting.  But I was thinking about the close families.  For example, say the wedding is hosted by the bride's parents.  The groom comes from a family that eats only Halal meat.  If I were the host in that situation, I'd have all the food be either Halal meat or fish or vegetarian. 

Why?  Because this is not just a party, and it's not just a question of everyone being fed well.  Even though, in my example, the bride's parents are the only hosts of the reception, the wedding is equally a major event for the groom's family as for the bride's.  I would not want them to feel like outsiders or even slightly less important or central than our family at such a time.  And in my opinion and experience, even one appetizer with bacon on it will do precisely that.  At the other end of the spectrum, serving pork ribs as the main course, even with a pasta choice available, would get everyone fed, but do you see how it could send a very uncomfortable message?


I think the concept is nice, but should work for both families.

What if the family are farmers, the majority of them pork producers and they enjoy pork at their meals?  While this isn't a religious or cultural objection, should the family not get to enjoy pork at the wedding as well, to feel that their family traditions are important?

If you are bringing together two families with vast differences in religion and culture, there has to be give and take on both sides but one should not get to dominate the other if we truly want both families to feel welcome.  This may mean setting up two buffet lines or having a split at a certain point. It can be done with thought and planning in advance.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 06, 2016, 12:11:24 PM
I think the concept is nice, but should work for both families.

What if the family are farmers, the majority of them pork producers and they enjoy pork at their meals?  While this isn't a religious or cultural objection, should the family not get to enjoy pork at the wedding as well, to feel that their family traditions are important?

If you are bringing together two families with vast differences in religion and culture, there has to be give and take on both sides but one should not get to dominate the other if we truly want both families to feel welcome.  This may mean setting up two buffet lines or having a split at a certain point. It can be done with thought and planning in advance.

Agreed, I think this is why the "relationship" advice would be to discuss the issue between the two families, but not unilaterally make a decision one way or the other, even to err on the side of accommodating the other side. That is, you would still be assuming you know what the other side wants, if you don't actually discuss it, and you may be wrong.

But I think it would be equally wrong for one side to say, "We're providing the money, therefore, we get to have whatever we want to eat." That is, within certain parameters, this would be correct according to etiquette; but would not bode well for future relationships. So it's right in one sense, but wrong in a sense that is arguably larger, more important, and more long-lasting than etiquette.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 06, 2016, 12:49:56 PM

And I think it would be very rude and seem PA or even hostile for a bride's parents to serve, say, nonhalal food at the reception when they know the groom's family eats only halal, even if an alternative is available; it ignores that this is an important family event for them, too, even though they're not hosting. 

Question about this quote and what I bolded: does the alternate mean that a halal option was available, but the entire reception wasn't halal?  Because if that is the hypothetical situation, I'd think it's perfectly reasonable.  If I'm not understanding right, then apologies for assuming, but I still think providing the option is considered acceptable good hospitality.

I would agree for guests in general.  As long as they will be able to get something good to eat, that's adequate hosting.  But I was thinking about the close families.  For example, say the wedding is hosted by the bride's parents.  The groom comes from a family that eats only Halal meat.  If I were the host in that situation, I'd have all the food be either Halal meat or fish or vegetarian. 

Why?  Because this is not just a party, and it's not just a question of everyone being fed well.  Even though, in my example, the bride's parents are the only hosts of the reception, the wedding is equally a major event for the groom's family as for the bride's. I would not want them to feel like outsiders or even slightly less important or central than our family at such a time. And in my opinion and experience, even one appetizer with bacon on it will do precisely that.  At the other end of the spectrum, serving pork ribs as the main course, even with a pasta choice available, would get everyone fed, but do you see how it could send a very uncomfortable message?
snip

IMHO think it depends on the volume of selections whether All Halal would be appropriate or not. For example if I was to have one beef, one fish and one vegetarian main then I'd make sure the beef was Halal. However, if I had  2 beef, lamb, fish, veg and chicken offering, then I wouldn't be so concerned about the both beef dishes being halal and I wouldn't flinch at also including a pork dish as long as the chicken, one beef and a lamb were Halal. And if I were the Halal family I don't think I'd feel any less included because there was a pork dish offered. I just never expect to want or enjoy every food offering at a wedding or other large catered event.

It's just very much like vegetarian issue. If the grooms family is vegetarian but the brides family is not, I can't imagine they'd be upset if 2 of 3 of the 15 dishes offered were non-vegetarian.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: greencat on January 06, 2016, 05:56:44 PM
Choosing your menu out of the foods you like and enjoy while considering your guests' needs and enjoyment is perfectly polite.  Choosing a menu that doesn't take into consideration your guests' needs is rude - why are you hosting someone you're not willing to feed an edible meal?

I followed the links through to the blogger's own pictures, and it looked like the breakfast on offer featured a variety of cold cereal and fruit, like a normal continental breakfast bar in hotel.  There were big platters of assorted vegetables in another shot, and based off the pictures, there weren't that many guests attending.  Since we tend to self-assort into groups with similar eating habits because we do so much socializing while eating, I'm guessing the guests who did attend were those who also follow the same kind of lifestyle.  It was probably not rude at all to feed her friends who normally eat like that the food that she did. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: sammycat on January 06, 2016, 11:29:53 PM

And I think it would be very rude and seem PA or even hostile for a bride's parents to serve, say, nonhalal food at the reception when they know the groom's family eats only halal, even if an alternative is available; it ignores that this is an important family event for them, too, even though they're not hosting. 

Question about this quote and what I bolded: does the alternate mean that a halal option was available, but the entire reception wasn't halal?  Because if that is the hypothetical situation, I'd think it's perfectly reasonable.  If I'm not understanding right, then apologies for assuming, but I still think providing the option is considered acceptable good hospitality.

I would agree for guests in general.  As long as they will be able to get something good to eat, that's adequate hosting.  But I was thinking about the close families.  For example, say the wedding is hosted by the bride's parents.  The groom comes from a family that eats only Halal meat.  If I were the host in that situation, I'd have all the food be either Halal meat or fish or vegetarian. 

Why?  Because this is not just a party, and it's not just a question of everyone being fed well.  Even though, in my example, the bride's parents are the only hosts of the reception, the wedding is equally a major event for the groom's family as for the bride's.  I would not want them to feel like outsiders or even slightly less important or central than our family at such a time.  And in my opinion and experience, even one appetizer with bacon on it will do precisely that.  At the other end of the spectrum, serving pork ribs as the main course, even with a pasta choice available, would get everyone fed, but do you see how it could send a very uncomfortable message?


I think the concept is nice, but should work for both families.

What if the family are farmers, the majority of them pork producers and they enjoy pork at their meals?  While this isn't a religious or cultural objection, should the family not get to enjoy pork at the wedding as well, to feel that their family traditions are important?

If you are bringing together two families with vast differences in religion and culture, there has to be give and take on both sides but one should not get to dominate the other if we truly want both families to feel welcome. This may mean setting up two buffet lines or having a split at a certain point. It can be done with thought and planning in advance.

I agree with kudebee's post, especially the part I bolded.

I would think very poorly of a couple where one side was allowed to dominate the food at the expense of the other. Just because one person/family follows a particular religion or way of eating doesn't mean they have the right to enforce it on everyone present.

The bride and groom (or both brides or both grooms) are equal in their wedding/marriage.  Therefore both sides should be represented equally in the food choices at their reception.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: greencat on January 07, 2016, 02:18:01 AM

And I think it would be very rude and seem PA or even hostile for a bride's parents to serve, say, nonhalal food at the reception when they know the groom's family eats only halal, even if an alternative is available; it ignores that this is an important family event for them, too, even though they're not hosting. 

Question about this quote and what I bolded: does the alternate mean that a halal option was available, but the entire reception wasn't halal?  Because if that is the hypothetical situation, I'd think it's perfectly reasonable.  If I'm not understanding right, then apologies for assuming, but I still think providing the option is considered acceptable good hospitality.

I would agree for guests in general.  As long as they will be able to get something good to eat, that's adequate hosting.  But I was thinking about the close families.  For example, say the wedding is hosted by the bride's parents.  The groom comes from a family that eats only Halal meat.  If I were the host in that situation, I'd have all the food be either Halal meat or fish or vegetarian. 

Why?  Because this is not just a party, and it's not just a question of everyone being fed well.  Even though, in my example, the bride's parents are the only hosts of the reception, the wedding is equally a major event for the groom's family as for the bride's.  I would not want them to feel like outsiders or even slightly less important or central than our family at such a time.  And in my opinion and experience, even one appetizer with bacon on it will do precisely that.  At the other end of the spectrum, serving pork ribs as the main course, even with a pasta choice available, would get everyone fed, but do you see how it could send a very uncomfortable message?


I think the concept is nice, but should work for both families.

What if the family are farmers, the majority of them pork producers and they enjoy pork at their meals?  While this isn't a religious or cultural objection, should the family not get to enjoy pork at the wedding as well, to feel that their family traditions are important?

If you are bringing together two families with vast differences in religion and culture, there has to be give and take on both sides but one should not get to dominate the other if we truly want both families to feel welcome. This may mean setting up two buffet lines or having a split at a certain point. It can be done with thought and planning in advance.

I agree with kudebee's post, especially the part I bolded.

I would think very poorly of a couple where one side was allowed to dominate the food at the expense of the other. Just because one person/family follows a particular religion or way of eating doesn't mean they have the right to enforce it on everyone present.

The bride and groom (or both brides or both grooms) are equal in their wedding/marriage.  Therefore both sides should be represented equally in the food choices at their reception.

The problem with serving a food  specifically forbidden by religious dietary laws that are being followed by half the attendees is that cross-contamination is a problem in the kitchen.  It's very difficult to have a kitchen prepare a halal/kosher/whatever dish and something that is as specifically haram or treif as pork is unless two separate kitchens are available.  Guests who are being served a kosher or halal meal who don't care about the restrictions need never know that what they're being served conforms to the religious standard - it doesn't affect the taste of meat, only the saucing options (in the case of kosher restrictions) and types of meat available. 
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: gellchom on January 07, 2016, 02:48:04 AM
I do agree both families should be equally respected.  But it's not exactly parallel, enjoying a particular food on the one hand and having a religious restriction, much less a taboo, on the other.  Traditions and preferences simply aren't equivalent to religious law.  No one is going to feel like an outsider at their own child's wedding because the menu doesn't happen to include pork.  Or meat at all.

I don't know of any religion or culture that absolutely requires that meat be served at every meal, let alone any particular kind.

If a vintner's daughter married a guy from a family whose religion strictly forbade alcohol, her parents might well be disappointed if they don't serve their family's wine at the reception.  And it would not violate any etiquette rule if they do so.

But in my opinion the classier, respectful thing to do is to keep the wedding reception dry, and perhaps serve the family wine at another event of the weekend that's just for your relatives or something, or give those who want it a bottle to take home.  That way the groom's family will feel like the wedding itself is their family's special event, too, not like they are just ordinary guests.

Which it is, in my opinion, which I readily acknowledge is shaped by my own cultural traditions.  In my community, for example, wedding invitations always list the groom's parents as well as the bride's, and usually all as hosts, no matter whether they are contributing financially or not.  The wedding is treated as a major life cycle event for both families. 

So that's why I wouldn't want to see a taboo item for either family on the menu, even if other options are available.  I've seen it happen, and it wasn't a big deal, but I can tell you that people thought it wasn't very nice of the hosts and made them look tone-deaf at best.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on January 07, 2016, 08:04:52 AM
I do agree both families should be equally respected.  But it's not exactly parallel, enjoying a particular food on the one hand and having a religious restriction, much less a taboo, on the other.  Traditions and preferences simply aren't equivalent to religious law.  No one is going to feel like an outsider at their own child's wedding because the menu doesn't happen to include pork.  Or meat at all.

I don't know of any religion or culture that absolutely requires that meat be served at every meal, let alone any particular kind.

If a vintner's daughter married a guy from a family whose religion strictly forbade alcohol, her parents might well be disappointed if they don't serve their family's wine at the reception.  And it would not violate any etiquette rule if they do so.

But in my opinion the classier, respectful thing to do is to keep the wedding reception dry, and perhaps serve the family wine at another event of the weekend that's just for your relatives or something, or give those who want it a bottle to take home.  That way the groom's family will feel like the wedding itself is their family's special event, too, not like they are just ordinary guests.

Which it is, in my opinion, which I readily acknowledge is shaped by my own cultural traditions.  In my community, for example, wedding invitations always list the groom's parents as well as the bride's, and usually all as hosts, no matter whether they are contributing financially or not.  The wedding is treated as a major life cycle event for both families. 

So that's why I wouldn't want to see a taboo item for either family on the menu, even if other options are available.  I've seen it happen, and it wasn't a big deal, but I can tell you that people thought it wasn't very nice of the hosts and made them look tone-deaf at best.

Yes, I agree. This line of discussion has gone far beyond etiquette and into just being a welcoming, thoughtful person. relationship-wise, it just seems not very respectful or kind to purposely exclude half of your guests from one of the meat entrees, when the other half can enjoy either or both. Anyone can eat and enjoy Halal or Kosher meat. But strict Muslims/Jews can only enjoy the meat that is Halal/Kosher. So why make a point of having 2 entrees that only half of your guests can enjoy?
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Vicki on January 07, 2016, 12:45:00 PM
This is actually not true - there are many conservative Christians who won't eat halal meat because the meat is blessed as part of the process and they believe that eating meat offered to "idols" is a sin.  There are also many people who find the process of killing the animal in both the halal and kosher processes to be cruel and are ethically opposed to it.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on January 07, 2016, 12:59:55 PM
This is actually not true - there are many conservative Christians who won't eat halal meat because the meat is blessed as part of the process and they believe that eating meat offered to "idols" is a sin.  There are also many people who find the process of killing the animal in both the halal and kosher processes to be cruel and are ethically opposed to it.

In this hypothetical situation that has been discussed, the hosts know for a fact that about half the guests can't eat meat that is not Halal. If the hosts also know for a fact that many guests who *can't* eat Halal will be attending, then yes, it would be good hosting to have one Halal offering and one non-Halal offering. Unless the hosts have reason to believe this, such a preference doesn't need to be a concern when deciding the menu. You can't plan a menu for a large party around every hypothetical opinion/belief/preference/allergy.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: StoutGirl on January 08, 2016, 06:19:28 PM
I don't think the meal was controversial, but I would be annoyed if the subject was the only thing the bride would talk about the whole time.

However, I want to know why I wasn't invited, that meal sounds amazing!  I love Thai food and healthier/slightly exotic foods.  Unfortunately, I think it would be considered offensive if I served anything remotely close to that should my day ever come along.  My parents' social circle is way too stuck in their Midwestern meat and potato ways.  ::)
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: TeamBhakta on January 08, 2016, 09:27:58 PM
I don't think the meal was controversial, but I would be annoyed if the subject was the only thing the bride would talk about the whole time.

As a follow up: She went on a "healthy" honeymoon. I think their friends and family may be sick of the word "healthy" if she becomes pregnant soon & does a healthy mummy series

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3384712/Jessica-Sepel-Dean-Steingold-embark-healthy-honeymoon-clean-wedding.html
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Twik on January 11, 2016, 02:47:13 PM
I don't think the meal was controversial, but I would be annoyed if the subject was the only thing the bride would talk about the whole time.

As a follow up: She went on a "healthy" honeymoon. I think their friends and family may be sick of the word "healthy" if she becomes pregnant soon & does a healthy mummy series

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3384712/Jessica-Sepel-Dean-Steingold-embark-healthy-honeymoon-clean-wedding.html

I agree, I'd be ready to gambol through a toxic waste dump just out of perversity.

One "healthy" meal shouldn't be an issue. Even several days of such would be fine if all her guests like the same sort of meals. But if she has guests who don't eat like that regularly, and don't *want* to eat like that, then a good hostess should take that into consideration.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Lula on January 16, 2016, 06:05:52 PM
Wow.  You'd think a bride who claims to have suffered from disordered eating, overexercise and body image distress would know better than to create a four-day waking nightmare of triggers for any guests who might be experiencing these in the present.

I think the main rudeness to this would be if she preached to her guests about why she chose these foods and how they were superior to whatever they would normally eat.

This.  Rude or not, I find food-moralization extremely offensive if not downright irresponsible.  I would never attend a wedding with such a "theme."
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: Sophia on January 18, 2016, 10:01:58 AM
Wow.  You'd think a bride who claims to have suffered from disordered eating, overexercise and body image distress would know better than to create a four-day waking nightmare of triggers for any guests who might be experiencing these in the present.

I think the main rudeness to this would be if she preached to her guests about why she chose these foods and how they were superior to whatever they would normally eat.

This.  Rude or not, I find food-moralization extremely offensive if not downright irresponsible.  I would never attend a wedding with such a "theme."

You nailed why I was bothered by the menu and expressed it so well.  It reminds me of the Diets of the Stars articles from the 80's.   Stars who later turned out to be anorexic.  Princess Di was one example.   
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: TeamBhakta on January 18, 2016, 04:49:57 PM
Quote
This.  Rude or not, I find food-moralization extremely offensive if not downright irresponsible.  I would never attend a wedding with such a "theme."

It reminds me of another short lived wedding trend: remember when it was all the rage (at least in bridal magazines) to push your bridal party into teeth whitening, Botox or other "self improvements" ? The idea of "we'll teach our guests to eat healthy" is just a more socially acceptable version of that. Because what guest is gonna speak out & say "Scrabble you, I have to hear about your 'healthy diet' on FB all year. Can you just serve food most of us like without patting yourself on the back ?"
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: gmatoy on February 07, 2016, 02:04:54 PM
Personally, I'd be thrilled to be invited to that wedding reception. There's food that I can actually eat and I love fish. I thought it was going to be something really off the wall.

My only thought was that they needed one or two alternate protein dishes. First, a lot of people hate the smell/taste of fish. Second, fish is an absurdly common food allergy.


It is one of mine; as is papaya. Still, I would just ask for more salad and /or vegetables and hope that there was someplace where I could go for protein after the wedding.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: auntmeegs on February 09, 2016, 02:34:29 PM
I don't see how this is even controversial.  It is certainly unusual and different than what you usually find at a wedding,  but its hardly controversial.  It's not going to kill anyone not to have meat and potatoes for one meal.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 09, 2016, 02:48:11 PM
It's not one meal. It was a series of meals over a four day wedding event.
Title: Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
Post by: kherbert05 on May 14, 2016, 11:04:03 AM


I still think if you KNOW a person coming to your wedding has a absolute food limitation (like an allergy) you should try to give them options.

A friend of mine and her daughters have onion allergy. Very serious ones (the oldest girl looks like someone slit her throat, because someone did. She had a reaction and due to the school brushing it off when she finally got medical care they had to cut the skin of her neck open to find where to put in a breathing tube. She was in a coma at the time so at least she doesn't remember it. The scar is pretty noticeable though.)

Their aunt asked Friend and the girls to be a bridesmaid and flower girls in her wedding. They agreed but Friend reminded the bride of the girls' allergies, was told it's fine. Things would be taken care of. The wedding was exhausting, the wedding party were there when it was still dark outside and the wedding wasn't until afternoon with a long ceremony going into the late afternoon. But the groom's mom brought bagels for their breakfast and assured Friend that they were onion free and she had asked about cross contamination at the shop. (They were indeed fine) That was all they had until evening, but the girls did fine and were waiting patiently for dinner.

At the reception Friend took a bite of her entree (one choice, a chicken dish) and immediately felt her mouth start itching. No sign of onion but her husband when he took a bite went white in the face and ran to keep the girls from trying it.

Friend hurried over to the bride and told her the food had onion and got a blank shrug, So What? Friend said she would have to leave and feed her girls and was told "Okay that's fine, they already did their job."

The girls were hurt that their aunt couldn't care less about whether they got to enjoy the reception and Bride is furious because the girls refused to come back the next day and pose for wedding party pictures.

Could've been avoided by either picking an entree without onion in it, or just buying three plates of something else. But some of the family is taking Bride's side because she shouldn't have to cater to everyone's preferences and Friend should have made the girls dress up again for the pictures. They had an obligation when they agreed to be flower girls.
At the bolded is when you cut this person out of your life and the life of your children. Anyone who agrees with this person never sees your kids again - flat out. Deliberately feeding someone a food they are deathly allergic to is no different than deliberately feeding someone food with arsenic in it. Both are deadly.