One of the reasons that wedding planning often becomes tense and stressful is that prospective bridal couples use the event to act independently from their parents. Even couples who have been on their own for years often become more rigid and vocal about “doing it their way.” This stance makes head-bumping between couples and their parents an all too common occurrence!
A Hudson Valley bride asks: “My fiancé and I are planning our wedding, and we both want a vegan rehearsal dinner and wedding reception. It’s what we believe in and what we practice in our daily lives, both together and separately. Unfortunately, my mother is simply beside herself. She keeps telling me that ‘they’ are hosting the wedding and want all of ‘their’ guests to enjoy the food. (She insists that a vegan event will compromise the quality of the food.) I understand that my parents are footing the bill, but we are grownups and it is our wedding. We feel that it should be our decision to make. We don’t want to choose between our relationship with my mother and our philosophical beliefs. What can we do?”
(Answer on next page)
Dear bride-to-be: First, let me assure you that this is your wedding and you should be able to do it your way! Because your parents are footing the bill, a little soft sell might be necessary. Look for a really good caterer who has a lot of experience with vegan weddings. (You should ask for references and personally check them out; take a peek at their menu and try some of the items to make sure they suit your tastes.) Once you’re satisfied with serving all your guests (even the non-vegan ones) this kind of food, chat up your parents again. Tell them what you learned from the references, and even make an appointment for them to meet with the caterer.
If, despite your efforts, you fail to convince them, you may wish to compromise by having a vegan rehearsal dinner and a “regular” reception (or vice-versa). If you don’t want to make that concession — and your parents refuse to accommodate your culinary preferences — you may have to consider hosting and paying for the events yourself. Think very carefully about how much of a battle you are willing to fight and what the immediate and long-term consequences of your actions may be. Then do what your heart and mind tell you to do!