vegetarian write-in on wedding rsvp

We are having a fairly informal wedding at a country club that is catering the event. Our meal choices were beef or chicken. I just received an RSVP with a “no-meat” write in and am not sure what to do about it. I feel silly for not having anticipated this since I, myself, am a vegetarian, but I always just eat the side dishes so I guess I didn’t consider this thoughtfully enough. I just went over our catering contract and there actually is no vegetarian option and even if there was the contract adds $3 per person for the entire guest list for having an additional choice. I feel it would be rude to ask my guest to just “eat side dishes and salad” but have no idea what else to do.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Jezkah,

This is unfortunate, but the guest really shouldn’t have written this in. Those of us who have special diets can usually find a way to work around it besides ordering a special meal when invited for an event as if it were a restaurant.

Most often the kitchen can use the vegetarian choices from your existing choices. If they would offer her only the vegetable sides, it should be fine. If this is a buffet, she can choose for herself what she wishes to eat. This seems a polite alternative to me. It is not rude if she has vegetable choices.

Good luck with this!

Best wishes,

Weddings by Shayna

Even though you have reviewed the contract, definitely ask the catering manager about the situation. They will almost always either combine the vegetarian selections from the other entrees, or make a couple of plates of pasta and vegetables to accommodate vegetarians. It’s not the first time they’ve seen it either, and you’re not in fact offering another choice to all of your guests – it’s a special dietary issue.

If they won’t work with you (which would be surprising) you will have to tell your guest that they are unable to accommodate.

It will very likely be fine – just communicate with the club.