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Advice from a Mother of the Bride: Vegan Menus and Parental Squabbles

Our resident wedding etiquette expert, Leslie Milk—“Washingtonian” lifestyle editor and author of “It’s Her Wedding but I’ll Cry if I Want to: A Survival Guide for the Mother of the Bride”—answers your questions.

By Kate Bennett Published

My daughter is a vegan, and she wants a strictly vegan menu for her wedding reception. I don’t think our elder relatives are going to eat tofu. Do I have to go along with her wishes?

Vegan choices, yes. Vegan only, not necessarily. Sometimes a bride needs to be reminded that wedding guests are not extras in her personal movie but are valued participants invited to share her celebration. Also, guests who don’t eat much tend to make up for it with liquor consumption, and that can create more “celebration” than any bride would welcome.

I’m getting married next year. My parents went through a nasty divorce a year ago. My father wants me to make his new wife a part of the wedding plans; my mother says “No way.” I’m caught in the middle, but I understand how my mother feels. What can I do?

Sounds like the divorce and the wedding are too close for comfort. Your dad isn’t being Mr. Sensitivity, so you’ll have to provide a not-too-gentle hint. Of course your new stepmother will be invited, will sit with him, etc. But you can assure him you and your mother already have the wedding well in hand and no additional help is needed. He should get the message.

Posted at 02:25 PM/ET, 06/25/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs


  • If they are ethical vegans then i don't' see how they would have non vegan food on the menu. If they are dietary vegans then they should have some non vegan options. http://bit.ly/1Gmo984

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  • abbey

    Assuming both the bride and the groom prefer a vegan menu, there is nothing wrong with offering only vegan foods. Perhaps instead of pushing her to include foods with animal products, encourage her to include vegan comfort-style foods that almost everyone is already familiar with (pasta, salads, potatoes).

  • Pamdix

    If it is a small wedding, primarily vegan friends, then vegan only would be OK. If it is a large wedding, paid by Mom andDad, and includes lots of non vegan relatives and friends, then vegan meal should be a choice, not the only dish. A wedding is a celebration

  • Marissa

    Being Vegan is more than a dietary restriction - it is a lifestyle statement and moral choice. If she is morally opposed to meat / animal cruelty, why would you force it on her, on her big day? If these are valued guests, they will know your daughter well enough to know how important it is to her and accept it accordingly. Also, there are great vegan choices that are not tofu. Support your daughter in being herself!

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