When you’re a vegetarian you are constantly forced to order the stranger things on the menu and to be the ‘difficult one’ to feed at a dinner party. Whenever you go to a dinner party your friends need to make sure that there’s a vegetarian option prepared especially for you, and whenever you go to the restaurant you’re sadly the boring one who orders salad. The world is just not quite geared for vegetarians and whether it’s because you’re morally against the idea of eating meat or you just aren’t partial to the flavor it forever casts you as an outsider. It must be quite similar to being left handed – everything the same just slightly more difficult.
It is for this reason that you can get great joy out of being a host and out of throwing your own event. Because right now it is you who is the one in charge. You set the menu and if people don’t want to eat it then it’s them who are being difficult. Now things are on your terms.
Nowhere is this more the case than at your own wedding – because at your wedding really the whole day is about doing things your way and toasting – literally – to your success. Of course that’s not the only reason you might choose a vegetarian menu at your wedding – you might think that’s its easier as a way to make sure that everyone can enjoy it if you have several vegetarian guests coming. Likewise you might think that it will just make things a little easier to prepare and cook, that it could bring the price down, that it could avoid the potential for food poisoning… there are certainly more than a couple of benefits.
Planning Your Vegetarian Wedding Menu
So how do you go about planning such a veritable vegetarian feast? Of course it’s not really so different except that you will have to avoid meat and meat based products. Bear in mind if you’re not used to this whole vegetarian lark that many things you wouldn’t consider as non-vegetarian nevertheless contain meat in some more subtle ways. For instance make sure to avoid cakes and sweets with gelatine which is made from pigs’ bladders. You will be using a wedding caterer most likely and they will be taking care of all the specifics and all the ingredients that go into your meal. So just tell your caterers that you want your meal to be vegetarian and they will ensure that it is.
There are still one or two things you need to consider though that will be left to you to decide and that will make a big impact on the meal. You will still be deciding what goes on the menu and what options there are and this means you need to follow some pointers. Below are some tips to help you choose that vegetarian meal. Many of them will apply to vegetarian or regular wedding menus.
Consider the Season
Many menus consider the season and this works well particularly for vegetarian menus as different vegetables grow at different times of year. For instance in spring lettuce, asparagus and broccoli suit the mood and grow well, while in summer perhaps more fruits, and in winter root vegetables like potatoes and carrots.
Consider the Culture
You might also want to use a menu from a certain culture and this is a common choice for making the wedding menu more interesting. For instance you might want to go Italian with carbonara and vegetable lasagne, or you might want to go Indian and make a vegetarian curry. There’s no reason why being vegetarian should mean you can’t use cultural influences. This is even better if you’re marrying into a family of a certain heritage as you can try their local cuisine.
Consider the Children
While all the adults should be more than happy to stomach a vegetarian meal (they’ll be left with more energy rather than having to lie down to digest too), children can be a little more fussy and can turn their noses up at foods they don’t recognize. Make sure there’s something for the kids then that they can eat whether that’s potato shapes, soup or just jam and toast.
Salads are great for vegetarian wedding menus as you can allow guests to help themselves and mix and match to create their own salads. They’re cheap, and they’re something that mostly everyone likes. As a starter at least, have a buffet salad and you can’t go far wrong.
Don’t Let Your Guests Go Hungry
For non-vegetarians a meal of vegetables and fruit can sometimes not be filling enough. This is partly because we are used to fatty foods – which are slow to digest and so leave us feeling fuller for longer. Make sure that you give your guests something substantial and make sure you cover all the food groups. For protein you can choose beans, mushroom, quorn or soy.
Hors d’oevures are a great way to whet people’s appetites and to tide them over until the meal is ready. It also makes an event feel classy and stylish. Here are some suggestions for vegetarian hors d’oevures.
- Lemon-potato pancakes with ginger avocado crème
- Lemon risotto
- Spinach stuffed with cheese
- Baba ganoush
- Pita bread and humus
- Fruit cocktails
- Mini quiches
- Mushroom empanadas
- Vegetarian samosas
- Avocado and cucumber sushi
- Cheeses (only for non-vegan menus)