Internet commenters were left shaking their heads after one newlywed revealed how their plan to accommodate dietary restrictions at their wedding backfired.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/vegantableaita (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said they employed a unique seating arrangement to ensure all wedding guests were comfortable before they were informed that some guests felt anything but.
Titled, “[Am I the a**hole] for seating all the vegans at one table at my wedding reception?” the post has received more than 4,000 votes and 1,100 comments in the last day.
Noting that “a handful” of their now-wife’s family members are vegan, the original poster said the couple was determined to provide delicious food for all of their guests, and found a caterer that offered a variety of vegan options.
Unfortunately, those vegan options were not enough.
“My wife mentioned that one of her cousins said that she can’t be seated at a table where meat is served,” OP wrote. “Accommodating this was difficult and eventually I got frustrated too and told my wife that if her cousin is going to be so militaristically vegan about this, then we are just going to seat all the vegans at one table.”
On the big day, the original poster said their family was setting up the reception area when they were confronted by their mother-in-law about the seating arrangement—and later by their wife’s cousin who refused to sit at a table where meat is served.
“My [mother-in-law] got mad…and said it’s rude to have family members sitting at different tables,” OP wrote. “I told her that unless [my] wife’s cousin wants to sit at a table all by herself, this is the solution we came up with.
“The ceremony went off perfectly but when it came time for the reception, there were grumblings about the vegan table from my wife’s family,” OP continued. “A few of the vegans made comments about how they don’t appreciate being singled out and separate from everyone else.
“When my wife’s cousin…said something to me about it, I told her that we did that because of her and [that] the next time someone asks me about it, I am going to tell them to talk to her about why we had a separate vegan table,” OP added. “She told me I was being discriminatory against vegans and I just turned and walked away.”
Earlier this year, The Knot’s Real Weddings Survey revealed that in 2021, marrying couples spent an average of $75 per plate to feed wedding guests.
The survey also revealed that, as catering horizons are broadened to include interactive experiences like nacho bars and food trucks, an increasing number of couples have placed greater emphasis on accommodating dietary restrictions, with 57 percent of weddings featuring gluten-free or vegan options.
To ensure all guests are well fed, Kentucky-based catering company McHale’s Events and Catering recommends a four step approach, beginning with a well versed caterer familiar with a variety of food options and potential pitfalls.
After selecting a caterer, McHale’s maintains that couples compile guests’ dietary restrictions and implement protocols to avoid cross contamination on the day of the wedding.
Once those steps have been completed, it is imperative that marrying couples focus on what’s most important: themselves.
“Do whatever you can to prepare for the big day, but on your wedding day itself, put your worries aside,” the McHale’s website reads. “Even on their special day, many couples bend over backwards to accommodate all of their guests.
“As soon as it’s time for dinner, step back and let your catering staff run the reception while you celebrate your union,” it continues.
Despite their best efforts to accommodate their guests and enjoy their big day, the original poster said the table they designated for vegans caused problems all wedding long, especially during the reception.
Redditors responding to the original poster, however, argued that they had done enough to accommodate dietary restrictions and called out their wife’s cousin for making the day so difficult.
“What different solution?” Redditor u/Jonny-Pasadena questioned in the post’s top comment, which has received nearly 9,000 votes. “A completely vegan wedding, to accommodate a cousin? No.”
“Vegans — despite the protests of some of the most annoyingly militaristic among them — are not a protected class,” they added. “You found a workable solution. [Not the a**hole].”
Redditor u/sjyffl, whose comment has received nearly 3,000 votes, echoed that sentiment.
“OP offered a vegan option,” they wrote. “It was up to the cousin to politely decline to attend the wedding if she might be seated near meat eaters.”
“It is NOT the couple’s responsibility to rearrange everything to accommodate this one person’s demands,” they added.
In a separate comment, which has received more than 2,000 votes, Redditor u/onceuponafigtree offered a different perspective, attempting to find a silver lining.
“I am the annoying vegan,” they wrote. “I’m ‘militant’ and the vegan table idea rocks. Not because I can’t sit near someone having a steak…but because it would just be so fun to meet new vegans and not be the freak at the table. Hard-core [not the a**hole] for me.”