This Is What You Should Always Order as a Wedding Guest

published May 2, 2017
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(Image credit: Christina Richards)

Deciding whether or not you’re going to go to a wedding is never the hard part. This is your former coworker’s sister’s best friend we’re talking about. You wouldn’t miss it for the world! You even know what you’re going to wear! The hard part? Figuring out which box to check for your seated dinner. Do you want the chicken, fish, steak, or the vegetarian option?

How are you supposed to know what you’ll want to eat on a Saturday in September? You’re not even sure what you want for dinner tonight!

As someone who used to work at a wedding magazine and someone who has attended a few dozen weddings (in just the last couple of years), I have formed my very own strong opinion: The vegetarian option is always the best.

I know what you might be thinking: I want free steak! Or free halibut!

I do not blame you. But too many times, I’ve been served fatty cuts of meat, overcooked salmon, and way-too-dry pieces of chicken. The vegetarian kebabs or the pasta? Well, those are always delicious. If you’re trying to play it safe, go with the vegetarian option.

Always get the vegetarian option!

Whenever I’m invited to a wedding with a sit-down dinner and have to choose an entree on a card to be sent back with our RSVP, I now always pick the vegetarian dish — as long as it’s an option. Note: If presented with just meat and fish, I do not make a stink out of it and demand that the busy bride add a vegetarian option for me. I do eat meat, so this is not a problem for me. I’d just prefer to eat something else at a wedding. (If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan and the menu card does not present you with an appropriate option, there are mixed camps on what etiquette allows. But that’s a whole other story.)

My husband has not adopted my practice and almost always regrets it. I warn him when he tells me to check the box for the filet mignon. He’s romanticizing it. Yes, wedding food has only gotten better and better, but the chances of a venue cranking out 50-plus perfectly cooked filets at the exact same time are still pretty rare. Sure enough, he eats all the sides, what he can of his meal, and then his fork slowly starts making its way over to my plate. It never fails.

More on Wedding Food and Etiquette

Do you ever get the vegetarian option on offer — even if you eat meat?