While a wedding should primarily be what the happy couple wants, it’s understandable that each of them would also want to please their families in one way or another.
By respecting their culture, religion, or traditions in either a subtle or obvious way.
A touching idea could pose a problem if each member of the happy couple comes from a different religious or cultural background whose views and beliefs don’t wholly align.
Redditor kbabu1 came from a fairly strict Hindu upbringing, while her fiancé was raised as a Christian.
While both of their religions were going to be celebrated at their upcoming wedding, the original poster (OP) wanted to ensure that their menu strictly adhered to her religious beliefs.
Which meant one notable ingredient would be missing, much to the dismay of the OP’s fiancé.
Wondering if they were being unfair, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for only wanting vegetarian food for my wedding even though my fiancé loves meat?”
The OP explained why she and her fiancé found themselves clashing over the catering.
“I (22 F[emale]) and my fiancé (24 M[ale]) are getting married later this year.”
“We come from different cultural backgrounds.”
“He is a white American Christian, and I am South Indian Hindu.”
“We are combining aspects of both our cultures for the wedding and having two ceremonies on the same day with a reception dinner.”
“My fiancé loves meat, and tbh I do too.”
“But South Indian Hindu weddings need to fall on auspicious days, and meat is a big no-no.”
“My fiancé thinks our non-Indian guests who are not familiar with the culture will think we are being cheap by doing vegetarian food and not having alcohol (he’s okay with no alcohol, though).”
“I disagree since our food will be very nice (traditional South Indian wedding meals have a huge array of dishes that are served endlessly on a banana leaf plate), and we will have Western desserts following the dinner.”
“My fiancé and his parents/brother all enjoy vegetarian Indian food.”
“So I’m not sure what the problem is.”
“My fiancé thinks we should also include non-vegetarian Indian food.”
“But that would offend my entire family and plainly be sacrilegious.”
“My family eats meat, but like Catholics on Lent Fridays, we don’t eat meat on auspicious days like weddings.”
The OP was left to wonder.
“Am I the a**hole for insisting on vegetarian food? Also, any ideas on compromises to suggest?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community generally agreed that the OP was indeed the a**hole for demanding a fully vegetarian menu at her wedding, albeit not in a major way.
While everyone understood how the menu was built around the religious beliefs of the OP and her family, everyone also thought that the OP could have made more of an effort to compromise so that the menu would please her fiancé and his family as well.
‘I would just have two buffets, one with traditional American fare.”
“Have both the buffets on opposite sides and let people decide.”
‘When there are auspicious days, South Indians don’t stop others from eating meat.”
“Like in the workplace etc.”
“They just don’t do it themselves.”
“It is that simple.”- makisgenius
“I am a south Indian Hindu, born and raised there.”
“Lived in the US now for decades.”
“With that perspective- I think you need to compromise, and this is one of those situations where if the family is unwilling to compromise on the no meat rule, then you will need to adjust the wedding plans.”
“Either (1) have the Hindu ceremony with an intimate lunch/dinner with immediate family on the muhurtham/auspicious day and then have a proper western wedding with all the guests and party food or (2) give guests a heads up and the option to skip the reception.”
“They can attend the functions, give their blessings, and then go eat somewhere else if they choose to do so or (3) have separate serving sections for meat and no meat in a buffet style.”
“You are hosting a celebration.”
“Not everyone is going to enjoy a typical South Indian meal, and you can’t spring that on unsuspecting wedding guests.”
“When we host at home, we only cook south Indian when we know the guests will enjoy it and still have some other option for kids.”
“You also can’t rob your fiancé’s family of a joyous party.”
“It is not your wedding or your family’s wedding.”
“It is yours and your fiancé’s wedding.”
“YTA, but only mildly.”
“Talk to both families and find a better compromise than just leaving one culture out completely.”-poochonmom
“Your family doesn’t have to eat the ‘sacrilegious food’ if they don’t want to.”
“This wedding is between 2 people, you and your fiancé.”
“Not you and your family.”
“What he wants is more important than what your family wants.”
“You need to find a compromise.”- MaybeAWalrus
“This wedding is about both of you.”
“Both of your cultures should be respected.”
“He wants meat to be served for his guests, so that should be respected.”
“He made a concession by having a dry wedding, and you should be able to yield some as well.”
“If you are this worried about having Western culture at your wedding, are you sure you want to be married in Western culture?”
“You trying to erase his needs is not how you begin a marriage.”- UnfortunateDaring
“You’re not marrying yourself.”
“Your wedding should be a compromise and shouldn’t just center your family’s feelings while ignoring your groom’s feelings/thoughts.”- TeddyBeartholomew
“YTA it’s not combining cultures if one culture supersedes the other.”- Rob_using_Reddit
“It’s not just your wedding. It’s his.”
“You can easily compromise.”
“Give your family vegetarian options.”
“Your family doesn’t have to eat the meat.”
“Those two can coexist.”
“If you wanted something 100% about your culture, you should marry a South Indian.”
“Source: I come from a multicultural household.”
“Different ethnicities, different religions, different food preferences.”- indieehooper
“Since when was your wedding ONLY about you?”
“South Indian Hindu here who grew up in the States.”
“I know you have come to a good resolution here.”
“But if things change, here is what I have seen when we have had weddings in our community similar to yours – usually, the Hindu function is on a Friday (since Saturday is not auspicious for us), and it is followed by a vegetarian South Indian meal.”
“Then, the non-Hindu wedding ceremony will be the next day, followed by a reception where there is both veg and nonveg food.”
“So nothing surrounding the day of the Hindu ceremony involves meat.”
“Even amongst our community, there are a lot of Indian uncles and aunties that would look down on a wedding that was no meat (and no alcohol) in its entirety.”
“It’s not just that they think it looks cheap, but also that they don’t feel like it is a celebration enough.”
“Like they need to let loose and enjoy and party, and being indulgent by eating meat and alcohol is part of that.”
“So it doesn’t matter to them that they like and are fine with vegetarian food – they don’t see it as celebratory.”
“The separation of the weddings that we normally see isn’t done for this purpose, but it has turned out to be a nice coincidence for everybody.”
“BTW – are you having the Indian ceremony in the States?”
“If so, I am well impressed by the super traditional virundhu/sadya style setup complete with the banana leaf.”
“There is nothing like a South Indian wedding feast.”- TA_totellornottotell
The OP later returned with an update, sharing that she heard everything the Reddit community had to say and managed to come up with a compromise that seemed to make both her and her fiancé happy.
“I spoke with my fiancé as well as his parents, and we decided that it would be best to have vegetarian American options available in addition to the Indian food.”
“Just to reiterate, his family asked for no alcohol first.”
“His parents convinced him that not having meat won’t make us look cheap, especially since we are going all out with florals and desserts and entertainment.”
“I am currently speaking with the owner of our venue and seeing if we can have the venue for two days instead of just one.”
“He’s a family friend and will prioritize giving us a reservation if at all possible.”
“If we can have two days, then none of this stuff will be an issue, and we can have meat (not beef, though), and my family would be fine paying for it on the Christian ceremony day.”
The OP’s fiancé should have a say in what he gets to eat on the day of his wedding.
That being said, one can understand how the OP’s religious beliefs influenced her planning.
Thankfully, it seems they’ve reached a middle ground that pleases everyone.