WooPigSooie
Devoted June 2020

Accommodating Dietary Restrictions?

WooPigSooie, on November 13, 2017 at 7:07 PM Posted in Planning

What is your opinion on accommodating dietary restrictions? From some posts I’ve seen I feel like anymore it is considered very rude to not provide a meal that meets guest’s individual dietary restrictions. I’m gonna share my plan, please let me know what you think. I will have a buffet, not a plated dinner, so I won’t have a place to write in allergies or a meal option on the RSVP card when I do the invitations. There will be vegetarians, gluten free, nut allergy, and lactose intolerant guests that I know of, and who knows what other issues my guests may have that I'm not aware of. I'll have the caterer label each dish with what it is and any allergens it contains. I feel like the guests need to handle it from there. They should skip what they can’t eat and take what they like. If they end up only liking a couple things, don’t eat much, and are still hungry later that is on them. I am allergic to apples and grapes and nobody has ever attempted to factor that into a menu. Continued....

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49 Comments

  • WooPigSooie
    Devoted June 2020
    WooPigSooie ·

    I have no problem with bringing my own drinks and snacks in case I can’t eat or just don’t like what is being served. Am I wrong in thinking that other adults are capable of doing the same? Sorry if this is sounds snarky I just thought the only meal stress I would have was picking which caterer, now I’m worried about more, but should I be?

  • A. L.
    Master July 2017
    A. L. ·

    This is precisely why we had our reception at a restaurant, so the chef could accommodate everyone as they ordered.

  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·

    I hope someone can find the recent thread on "I have two new vegans, what do I do?" because it had a lot of good insight into what is and isn't possible in a group situation.

  • LB
    Master November 2016
    LB Online ·

    "If they are still hungry later, that's on them..."

    Yeah any plan that involved any of my guests leaving hungry wouldn't work for me

  • Mrs J
    Expert May 2018
    Mrs J ·

    While we're doing a plated dinner, we could have chosen the sane options for a buffet, abbr I made sure that our vegetarian option captured the most common food sensitivities as it seemed the easiest place to do so, although I believe all of the options are gluten free... Our veggie dish is a vegetable ragout (squash, tomatoes, onion, mushroom, and garlic I believe) served atop rice if that helps at all.

  • bluevelvet
    Devoted October 2017
    bluevelvet ·

    I have a sister in law who is Gluten Free (Celiac's) and I forwarded her the menu, she pre-ordered it, the chef had it ready, no biggie. I knew of no one else who had a dietary restriction, we did give the waitstaff a heads up if someone did surprise us with an allergy to let them order off the regular menu. (We were off the catering menu) It helped we were at a restaurant that we frequent A LOT and the staff knew us. It certainly helped that we were on site with the restaurant, not having meals shipped in. Yeah, having people be hungry and saying "well that is on them" does not work for me either.

  • Kourtney
    Beginner December 2017
    Kourtney ·

    I feel like you have a decent enough understanding of what your guest's dietary restrictions are to at least try to work around some of them. I get not individually catering to everyone (pun not intended), but for example, if you know you have quite a few guests with a nut allergy and then you still serve stuff specifically fried in peanut oil, that's kind of a dick move. I guess what I'm saying is compromise is possible and considerate in your situation. I'm also on board the "don't let your guests leave hungry" train

  • Keisha
    Master September 2018
    Keisha ·

    Why can’t you have a vegan option added to the buffet? Or a dish that caters to most of the allergies

  • MrsBdeG
    Master August 2017
    MrsBdeG ·

    I was a vegetarian and vegan for over 10 years. I also have a laundry list of food allergies. I accommodated all restrictions, preferences, and allergies at my wedding because I always hated feeling left out at special events.

    We had a vegan who was on a spiritual cleanse and "couldn't" share a meal in the same space as meat eaters. I brought food for her and there was a small table in the entryway of my venue. She decided to be dramatic and sit in the parking lot to eat. She was the only one I was frustrated by.

  • chelsey
    Super March 2018
    chelsey ·

    Right now I'm working with 4 vegetarians one with an intolerance to tomato peppers and onion, 1 that only is able to eat chicken (no other meats) and at least 1 vegan. I don't process nuts well and have a shellfish intolerance. We are doing a buffet so this is what I have come up with so far. 4 protein options, 2 beef, 1 chicken, and 1 pork. 4 side options including a starch and 3 vegetables. 1 salad with a variety of dressing options. Our caterer isn't able to accommodate total vegans and vegetarians to our satisfaction so they will serve a vegan entree option that will be delivered by another caterer. And we decided no fish option or anything with nuts.

  • Kourtney
    Beginner December 2017
    Kourtney ·

    @MrsBdeG, that might be the most extra thing I've seen all day lol

  • LB
    Master November 2016
    LB Online ·

    @MrsBdeG omg I literally just lol'd. Some people are ridiculous

  • WooPigSooie
    Devoted June 2020
    WooPigSooie ·

    I definitely do not want to any of my guests to leave hungry I am just saying there have been plenty of times that I have been somewhere where everything is in a wine sauce, or they used grape jelly in the meatballs, or all the drinks contain apple juice concentrate. I have never felt left out or been upset with the host because I couldn't eat what I was served, I learned to be prepared with my own stuff just in case. Caterers in my area charge a premium for specialty meals because they aren't able to order the ingredients in bulk. With our current budget we are planning on having both beef and pork tenderloin, some kind of chicken, a pasta with chicken in it, one or two pastas without meat, lots of different vegetables, a salad bar and dessert bar. I also want to have two chocolate fountains, one with fruit and one with marshmallows and rice crispy type things. I have already booked an all in one ceremony and reception venue so I won't be switching to a restaurant. If I really do need to up my catering budget to accommodate each individual with their own specific meal then I won't be able to have the chocolate fountains I have been dreaming of for probably 20 years. The reason I said if they leave hungry that's on them is because I feel like we will be providing plenty of options, but what do y'all think, are the foods that I listed not a wide enough spectrum?

  • Susan
    VIP December 2017
    Susan ·

    This is one of the reasons we went with a plated meal- our caterer will accommodate any dietary restrictions. They would have for a buffet as well (guests could have been served an individual meal), but there can easily be problems with cross contamination at a buffet, and the last thing I wanted was someone having an allergic reaction at my wedding because someone switched spoons.

  • WooPigSooie
    Devoted June 2020
    WooPigSooie ·

    @MrsBdeG Wow you really went way above and beyond! It's stories like yours that make me feel like I am not being accommodating enough, but also make me feel like this is going to be entirely too complicated.

  • WooPigSooie
    Devoted June 2020
    WooPigSooie ·

    @Susan it never even crossed my mind that somebody would do something as careless as use the wrong spoon in the wrong container but I bet you're right. I have always had horrible experiences anytime I have gone to a wedding with a plated dinner, and it costs a ton more so I am definitely sticking with the buffet, but will look into hiring an extra server just to stand there and watch that people don't mix up spoons!

  • golferchick
    Savvy September 2018
    golferchick ·

    My brother and SIL are both allergic to shrimp ... we're not serving it at all, not even appetizers ... and we have one vegetarian ... we've opted for a plated dinner and our guests will pre select either filet, chicken or salmon. Our venue allows meal substitutions for dietary restrictions, so if I find out someone else has a special meal need it'll be easy to accommodate them ....

    I'm also in camp 'no guest leaves hungry '

  • RustyTheDog
    Dedicated December 2017
    RustyTheDog ·

    How many different vegetables or salad options are you offering? I can just see being vegan and so no pasta with any butter or cheese products (which may knock out all your pasta options in addition to the meats), or gluten free and vegetarian (so no pasta then either), and then your only options are basically a meal of sides. If you only have 2-3 veggies in that and a salad then that isn't much for them in my opinion. If you have 4-6 veggies that could work though. I'm not vegan/vegetarian or gluten free though so I don't know.

    Also make sure the vegetables aren't cooked with butter, bacon, nuts or other allergens. It makes me sad that veggies aren't cooked in butter, but we chose a vinaigrette instead for this reason.

  • MrsBdeG
    Master August 2017
    MrsBdeG ·

    I accommodated her because, despite her insane beliefs (she's a bit hippie she's done the jade egg nonsense...), we have so much fun with her. She drove an hour and a half to our jeweler to pick up a "placeholder" ring when my custom ring wasn't done. She FedExed the mold of my ring to my DH without me finding out. To me, it was worth it to accommodate her because we wanted her to share in our day. Yes, we had to make two or three extra calls but it was important that she was comfortable-ish on the wedding day.

  • Keisha
    Master September 2018
    Keisha ·

    Switch the pasta with chicken in it to something vegan and gluten free. Knock off one of the non meat pasta dishes and/or the pork tenderloin to offset the premium cost. Problem solved.

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