5 Creative Vegetarian Ideas for Your Wedding Reception Menu

Go beyond salads and sides with these five expert tips for serving mouthwatering vegetarian dishes at your reception.
Kalm Kitchen vegetable and fruit smoothie bar
Eddie Judd Photography/Courtesy of Kalm Kitchen
carrie anton the knot contributor
Carrie Anton
carrie anton the knot contributor
Carrie Anton
The Knot Contributor
  • Carrie Anton is a freelance user experience writer and content strategist.
  • Carrie co-founded Wonder: An Idea Studio, a creative consultancy in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Carrie previously worked as a Book Editor and Web Writer for American Girl.

Whether you, your partner or a few of your guests prefer veggies to meat as a main dish, finding worthy vegetarian catering options can be a tricky task. Vegetarian meals shouldn't feel second rate to a main dish of beef, chicken or fish, but they very often do. To ensure that the vegetarians at your wedding get the same quality fare as everyone else, Lisa Baker of the UK's luxury wedding planners Just Bespoke offers the following tips for pleasing the vegetarian palates at your wedding reception.

1. Don't Overlook Hors D'oeuvres

Canapés, hors d'oeuvres and crudités offer a variety of ways to tantalize the taste buds of veggie-loving guests. Some of Baker's suggestions include: falafel with yogurt, dill and lemon dip; herb and mushroom risotto balls; orange and watercress soup; and deep-fried goat cheese with marinated green vegetables.

"Alternatively, a beautifully presented crudité sharing platter, including carrots, radishes and celery, not only provides color at your wedding tables, it also serves as a great interactive and healthy starter, allowing guests to pick and choose what they want along with accompanying dips," Baker says.

2. Cater to Your Own Food Choices

If meat isn't your thing, no one says you have to offer carnivorous fare for your guests. "Vegetarian dishes don't have to be solely for a small proportion of guests," Baker says. "A number of catering companies are getting creative and coming up with interesting and exciting ways to style and prepare all manners of foods to make them appealing for even the most carnivorous among us." Some options include: vegetable tagine with aromatic couscous, pumpkin curry, and blue cheese soufflés with steamed chard and asparagus.

3. Bring the Two Sides Together

One way to cater to both meat eaters and vegetarians is to provide options that allow guests to select foods that indulge their unique palates. Buffet style is great for accomplishing this—Baker suggests an antipasto grazing station, which can accommodate meat and veggie lovers alike.

4. Offer Fruit and Veggie Sips

Looking for a twist on a signature drink or late-night snack? Try a pop-up juice and smoothie bar instead. Baker says it's also great for a postwedding brunch, helping to ease any reception hangovers.

5. Think Outside the Plate

There are lots of ways to incorporate veggies into your wedding day that are less about catering and more about eye candy. Veggies come in all shapes and colors, making them a natural fit for floral displays, bouquets and boutonnieres. "Purple artichokes and eggplants look great combined with purple and white florals, while carrots and tomatoes both offer vivid colors to create a pop among a more neutral palette," Baker says.

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