Looking to create a vegetarian wedding menu for your guests? Our team can help! Read on for our top tips and advice.
By Jennifer Prince
Photo by Ella Olsson
Whether you're a vegetarian or are inviting non-meat eating guests, having vegetarian-friendly menu options can save the day. Just because dishes don't include an ingredient doesn't mean that they can't be flavorful. From start to finish, curate a vegetarian wedding dinner that will wow your guests—no matter what they're used to eating.
What Is a Vegetarian Wedding Menu?
Photo Credit // Creative Images Photography
When it comes to dietary restrictions, there can often be a bit of confusion. After all, what differentiates a vegan from a vegetarian, and where do pescatarians fit in? Making a conscious choice about what you consume is also different than allergy-related restrictions, such as gluten-free diets.
Of course, you want to accommodate all types of guests. Therefore, consider the following when you’re curating a sample wedding menu.
Vegetarians don’t eat meat. However, they will consume products from animals such as dairy, eggs, and honey.
Vegans do not consume anything that comes from an animal. Whether it’s meat, dairy, or eggs, they stay far away. Most won’t purchase items made of leather and other animal products, such as feathers.
Pescatarians are essentially vegetarians who will eat seafood and fish-related products, such as shellfish and caviar.
Menu Ideas for Vegetarian Weddings
Talk to your caterer about options for your vegetarian wedding menu. Build off of the suggestions below to create the perfect vegetarian meal, or have your chef personalize a few custom dishes for your wedding catering.
Vegetarian Wedding Appetizers
Bruschetta is a favorite, especially if the mozzarella is local and tomatoes are in season. Use freshly baked bread, just-picked basil, and a balsamic drizzle to create crowd-pleasing vegetarian appetizers.
Crudite is a fancier version of the classic veggie tray that includes bread and an upscale dip. Serve the vegetables alongside hummus made by your caterer, or go traditional and use a dill dip on your hors d'oeuvre table.
Vegetable tartlets are like miniature savory pies. Your chef can select veggies that are growing in season in your area. It’s a fabulous way to add local flair to your wedding hors d'oeuvres. From roasted vegetables to goat cheese and mushrooms, there are so many lovely flavor combinations that are perfect for a wedding.
Gazpacho—a cold vegetable soup—would make an impressive starter for your cocktail hour. Most caterers enjoy creating dishes in miniature, and adorable tiny cups could hold single servings of soup.
Fried mac and cheese balls are probably the least healthy thing on our list. However, not all vegetarian appetizers have to include vegetables. Breaded, warm spheres of comfort food? Sign us up! Note: Just ensure that the oil used to fry vegetarian items is separate from the oil used for non-vegetarian food items.
Vegetarian Wedding Dinner Starters
Beet salad allows an underrated root vegetable to shine. Beets come in various colors—red, purple, and orange—and are delightfully sweet when roasted. Chefs who specialize in vegetarian catering can suggest lettuces and dressings complement the dish.
Italian wedding soup traditionally incorporates meat, but have your caterer skip the beef and add unique veggies instead. Guests won’t miss the flavor or texture of meat when the soup is chock full of hearty plant products.
Sourdough bread with hearty olive tapenade is a fabulous choice for those who like to start their meals with starch. The key is to focus on the combination of fresh, locally baked bread and the quality of the olives.
Cheese and onion pie is a delicious starter that hails from England. Made with pastry, cheese, onions, and sour cream, the combination of flavors perfectly satisfies the palette. It’s a delicious way to set the tone for your vegetarian wedding dinner.
Veggie spring rolls add a bit of Asian flair while giving the perfect combination of crunch with al dente vegetables. Don’t forget the sweet and sour dipping sauce, which can add a tasty element.
Vegetarian Wedding Main Course Ideas
Creamy risotto is time-consuming to make, which is why most people wait to order it out. Just about any vegetable can flavor risotto for your wedding meal. Therefore, consider varieties, such as asparagus lemon or roasted butternut squash risotto.
Vegetarian lasagna is a terrific option, especially if you offer a meat lasagna for those who want a different version. Not only is it a hearty meal, but personalize it by sourcing local produce and making homemade sauce.
Roasted spaghetti squash is a unique, healthy dish that—like risotto—can be flavored in various ways for your vegetarian wedding dinner. Flavors, such as parmesan truffle and asparagus goat cheese are perfect vegetarian meals for a crowd.
Mushroom ravioli is a treat, especially when served in a cream sauce. Recipes include—but don’t focus on—cheese, which is a pleasing alternative for a veggie-based pasta dish.
Tacos are something we can all get behind. Plus, you can serve both meat and non-meat options at your reception. Create taco topping stations at each table, and offer vegetarian options, such as potato, scrambled egg, and fried avocado tacos.
Choosing Vegetarian Wedding Catering
Photo Credit // Charlie Hilbrant Films
Not all chefs specialize in vegetarian wedding catering. Therefore, it’s essential to find the right one to curate a sample wedding menu for your plant-based guests. Here are a few tips on interviewing and securing vegetarian or vegan wedding catering that will flavor your big day.
Ask your caterer for sample wedding menus from their past events. Doing so will gauge your chef’s talents and creativity.
Talk to your caterer about their suggestions for vegetarian meals for a crowd. Once you express your wishes, what they come up with should excite both your emotions and your palette.
Prioritize scheduling a tasting with your wedding caterer. Before the big day, you should have the opportunity to sample their vegetarian wedding menu options. Whether you do a private sampling or attend one of their tasting events, be sure to experience their flavor combinations.
When in doubt, go with your gut. Is your caterer excited to curate a specialty menu for you? If they give a vibe that it’s a chore, they may not be the vegetarian catering service for you.
Even if you don’t choose a full vegetarian wedding dinner, you should include a few non-meat dishes. Offering options that are free of animal products can be healthy and more flavorful. Plant-based guests will long remember that you were thoughtful and included vegetarian options at your wedding.