Wedding Magazine

Should A Vegetarian Serve Meat At Her Wedding?

chiqweddings 2010.08.10 12:22:34
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This issue was raised following the news that vegan Chelsea Clinton was said to have served to her guests during her July 31st wedding.

Every couple knows that weddings are supposed  to be about compromise, but where does one draw the line?

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Traditionally, many vegetarians have served meat at their weddings, out of respect to their guests simply because there weren't a lot of caterers specializing in vegetarian food. Some say that this generation is more health conscious, and will resist setting aside their beliefs for the sake of a few guests. But they forget that not every bride can afford that kind of precision, so priorities must be set.

Which decision a couple makes depends largely on their philosophy of weddings: Is it really all about you, or does the comfort of your guests come first? Keep reading to find one bride to be's solution, courtesy of NYTimes.com:

Kathleen Mink, a social worker in San Francisco, said having a vegan menu at her wedding last year was "a no-brainer" because she and her husband are so opposed to animal products that they don't even use honey. No flowers were harmed for their party, either: Ms. Mink made tiny blooms out of felt.

"The day was to celebrate us coming together and who we are, and our choices every day are vegan choices," she said.

Not everyone sees it that way. Fernanda Capobianco, a vegan pastry chef from Rio de Janeiro, plans to marry fellow pastry chef François Payard on Long Island in October, and — despite her ethical qualms — meat will be served.

"We are inviting chefs like Eric Ripert and Daniel Boulud," Ms. Capobianco said. "How can we invite chefs and then have no meat? They'll think we're crazy."

It helps that her fiancé, who is famous for his work at Le Bernardin, Daniel and his own bakery, is not a vegetarian.

Some vegetarians see their weddings as a chance to prove to their families that they are eating more than tree bark and lettuce.

"I really want to make this an experience where my guests turn around and say, 'That was awesome, I'm not hungry, I can't believe it was all vegetarian,' " said Erica DeLorenzo, a business development executive in New York. After some lively discussions with her parents, she is planning a meat-free wedding for next summer.

It was a bit of a tussle. "My mom's Jewish and my dad's Italian," she said. "Food is a big part of celebration."

Ms. DeLorenzo is cognizant of the dampening effect that self-righteousness can have on a party. "It's a teaching moment, not a preaching moment," she said. "I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. I'm just trying to share with people how we live and hope people enjoy it and learn something from it."

But no matter how tasty or sophisticated the menu, some guests will probably construe the exclusion of meat as a political act — or a personal affront.

When Patrick Moore, a salesman from Attleboro, Mass., arrived at an old friend's wedding in 1999 to discover nothing but vegetarian options, he made an excuse about leaving the gift in his car so he could visit a sandwich shop across the street.

"I remember coming back carrying the bag of half-scarfed chicken Parmesan, only to be caught red-handed by the groom," Mr. Moore said.

The groom had a sense of humor about the incident, but it still bothers Mr. Moore.

"I know it's your day, but it's not all about you," he said. "Why have a wedding if you're going to be like that? Just print a bumper sticker."
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