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Author Topic: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?  (Read 27543 times)

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rose red

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #30 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.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 02:11:36 PM by rose red »

menley

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #31 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.

mmswm

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #32 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.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

rose red

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2015, 02:22:02 PM »
Why are we assuming she wouldn't take care of friends if they have food issues?

mmswm

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #34 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.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

HannahGrace

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #35 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.

gollymolly2

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #36 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.

sammycat

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #37 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.

Lynn2000

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #38 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.)
~Lynn2000

lakey

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #39 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.

TeamBhakta

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #40 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. 

Allyson

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #41 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...

mstigerlily

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #42 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. 

SiotehCat

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #43 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"?
 

FauxFoodist

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #44 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).


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