Dear Miriam

I read with interest the recent letter from the mother whose daughter has decided to go vegan. I’m wondering what your take on the following is Miriam.

My son is getting married later this summer. His wife-to-be is a vegetarian and has decided that she would like the wedding menu to be entirely vegetarian. My son used to eat meat, but not really anymore, bar the odd rasher he takes off me on the sly if I’m doing a fry when he calls up home. He is happy to leave the wedding planning to her, including the decisions about the food. I suppose anything for an easy life!

I think it is awful mean though Miriam. While she has every right to eat what she wants, it seems unfair to impose it on all of the wedding guests.

My brothers will obviously be at the wedding and I can just imagine their faces when they find out that there is no proper dinner. Especially when they will be giving a generous present. The least people expect is to be fed.

I have told my son that I think they should include at least one meat option for the main course to give people a choice, but he just told me not to be worrying about it, and that it will all be grand. I can’t really say anything to herself as I’d be the stereotypical interfering mother-in-law then.

But what do you think Miriam? Does it seem reasonable to you?

Mother of the groom

Dear Mother of the groom

Thank you for your email. I was not expecting another dietary related letter so soon, but that’s the way this page often works: one issue seems to lead to another.

Look, I’ll be honest. As a carnivore, I’d probably be among those sitting at the back of the function room, throwing my eyes to heaven at first glance at a fully vegetarian menu at a wedding. But would it kill me to eat a few vegetables for the day that is in it? No. Would I get over it? Yes. (And if I really, really wanted to, could I drive to the chipper later that evening for a burger? Absolutely!)

Joking aside, I have been to weddings where the couple were vegetarian, but they still did provide a meat option for their guests, which was appreciated. If I was hosting an event, I would be sure to cater for friends of mine who followed meat-free diets. But if somebody is vegetarian on particular grounds – eg personal ethics or religious reasons – it could be very hard for them to consider serving meat and we need to consider that too.

Certainly, I have been to parties in meat-free houses where everything was vegetable-based and it was still very enjoyable. It does not hurt any of us to occasionally get outside of our culinary comfort zones and to try new things. We can go back to eating what we want, when we want, in our own homes afterwards.

But back to this wedding. Look, I do understand where you are coming from, especially as there will be a few guests who might be expecting a more traditional meal. But you have already flagged your concerns with your son. He seems to be happy with what his wife-to-be wants, so I would advise you to let them off and have their day, their way.

While there won’t be the usual beef or salmon, I’m sure there will still be a beautiful meal served and nobody is going to be left starving. And even if people do grumble or feel disappointed, you are not responsible at all for that. It is not your problem to take ownership of. So, let it go.

I generally find that if people want to enjoy a day out, they always will. And if they want to complain, they will just as easily find something to moan about.

So, in summary, in this case, it is probably better to bite your tongue rather than a piece of steak. At least for one day anyway. Focus instead on the excitement and happiness of the occasion and have a lovely day.