Author Topic: Vegetarian Options not on RSVP cards  (Read 3271 times)

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Re: Vegetarian Options not on RSVP cards
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2014, 09:02:07 AM »
The other thing is, when you're serving a limited menu, it seems more reasonable to me to be as specific as you can about what's being offered. There are many reasons why the HC might choose "three pre-plated entrees" over a buffet, and there's nothing wrong with that, but by its very nature it's a more limited selection than a buffet and thus more likely to run up against people's dietary restrictions and even preferences.

Even if you had the exact same food on the buffet as would have been plated, and only that food, people would have more freedom to pick and choose both the food and the portions--they could get themselves a larger portion of scalloped potatoes which seem safe, skip over the green beans once they see there's bacon in them, take half a portion of chicken because they're not sure about it, and fill the rest of their plate with green salad. Whereas with a pre-plated meal they're limited to the entree and sides already on their plate, unless there's someone they feel comfortable swapping/sharing with.

And I certainly think adults are ultimately responsible for their own food, and even if they walk into a situation blind they should be able to deal with it somehow, even if it's by sneaking off to the bathroom to eat a granola bar they brought in their pocket. But if the HC/hosts know more specifically what the pre-plated (or even buffet) food will be, and what other "off the menu" options are available, I don't see any reason to keep that information secret from the guests. Definitely put it on the response cards if it's known by then, or on the wedding website or something.

The other thing I think about is the expectations for the event. If I knew I was going to an event where food was not provided, even if it occurred when I usually ate, it would be no big deal to handle that myself by eating before/after, discreetly snacking in the middle, etc.. But when you open the door and say "food is provided" people start to think it ought to be food they can eat--which is not unreasonable, it'd be horrible if the only "food" was stale chips and expired dip, for example. That would not be proper hosting. But from there it's a slippery slope--red meat, white meat, seafood, no meat, no animal products, gluten-free, nut-free, low-fat, kosher... I think it's just hard for a host to determine how far they need to go to accommodate dietary restrictions, and for a guest to determine when it's polite to mention their restrictions and when it isn't. No reasonable host wants to seem unwelcoming, and no reasonable guest wants to seem demanding.


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Re: Vegetarian Options not on RSVP cards
« Reply #46 on: October 17, 2014, 06:05:45 PM »
The problem I see with being specific with the vegetarian entrée is that many people will pick it because it sounds good not because they are vegetarians. The HC are usually trying to offer an accommodation for a small group of their friends not add an extra entrée. In many ways this dynamic has been set up by the catering industry. They say if you want a choice of two entrees the price per plate is X, for three entrees the price per plate is X+, but we will make an accommodation for up to 10 vegetarian/dietary different meals. So the HC can say on the RSVP card:
chicken or beef, please list any special dietary needs (two entrée price). The vegetarian still get food they can eat, so do those allergic to mushrooms/peanuts/shellfish.
they could say chicken or beef or veggie lasagna. As long as less than 10 people say veggie lasagna and no one has dietary restrictions this is still two entrée price. If more people order veggie lasagna it is now the higher three entrée price.
The other choice is the couple could offer chicken or veggie lasagna. Still two entrees but in realty there are less options than if they had said beef or chicken, please list dietary needs below.
I say this is an accommodation because in my neck of the woods there are a lot of vegetarians. Most weddings offer a choice of a meat entrée or a vegetarian entrée, please list dietary restrictions below. The accommodation is made for the vegans and gluten free guests. I have been to two weddings that were entirely vegetarian buffets with a lot of vegan sides.


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Re: Vegetarian Options not on RSVP cards
« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2014, 10:50:35 AM »
Interesting, Dindrane, about the vegetarian thing, and what the financial benefits are of not providing it as a choice available to everyone.
   And so if that were true, someone who is a vegetarian is probably used to bringing it up, and hopefully they'd write a note on the reply card next to the meal choice, so you'd be able to plan what to do.

In my case, we (meaning me, my husband, my parents, and his parents) collectively knew everyone we invited well enough to know who the vegetarians were. Only my brother and SIL were vegetarians, so we let them know in advance that we were requesting a vegetarian meal for them, and they didn't have to bring it up with us.

I feel like that's a relatively common type of situation when it comes to weddings. I didn't personally know what the dietary restrictions were for each one of my guests, but somebody involved with planning (or putting together the guest list) knew each person well enough to have some sense of their restrictions. And each guest knew somebody well enough that they would have been comfortable bringing the topic up.