Devoted June 2020

Accommodating Dietary Restrictions?

WooPigSooie, on November 13, 2017 at 7:07 PM

Posted in Planning 49

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...

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....


  • M.A.F.
    Beginner October 2017
    M.A.F. ·

    I did a buffet, and I still wrote "please inform us of any dietary needs" on my reply card, at the bottom.

    We had a vegetarian option (not vegan), a chicken, a prime rib and sides. Any allergies people reported, we informed the kitchen and they prepared them differently / separately. It's that simple really - or should be anyway

  • WooPigSooie
    Devoted June 2020
    WooPigSooie ·

    @Enchanted What is pescetarian? What should I add to the salad, pasta, vegetables, and dessert so there is main dish for the vegetarian?

    I am 99.999% certain none of my guests are vegan, or going to become one so I am really not worried about having a full vegan meal option.

  • Mrs. Coakley
    Master June 2017
    Mrs. Coakley ·

    Guests who have food restrictions or concerns should let you know on their RSVP card or call you. Most caterers can accommodate dietary needs with enough advance notice. I only had 1 guest who had an allergy and she noted it on the rsvp card and our venue accommodated her accordingly.

  • Keisha
    Master September 2018
    Keisha ·

    Vegan meals cover other dietary restrictions besides being vegan. FH’s grandfather will get a vegan meal since he doesn’t trust the halal meal our venue provides. Anyone with seafood allergies are getting the vegan meal as well

  • Lauren
    Dedicated September 2017
    Lauren ·

    Since you are doing a buffet, I think it's fair to have each thing served meet at least ONE of the dietary restrictions, and people can make their choices from there. I am gluten-free, so I avoid anything that looks breaded, etc. and just load up on the things I CAN eat at a buffet. Sometimes it's not the easiest (like you mentioned with your allergies), but usually I'll have a snack before I go anywhere anticipating not having too many options.

    If you have a salad, a couple sides that are vegetarian or vegan, one main dish that is GF (should be easy with a meat dish) - you get my drift - that should be enough.

  • ShanynL
    VIP September 2017
    ShanynL ·

    You just have to make sure you accommodate for those specifically with allergies. My sister has a gluten allergy, where even if her food comes in tact with any gluten, she will get very sick. As long as the people with allergies are accounted for, you should be fine!

  • Leila
    Super October 2017
    Leila ·

    Make sure the food is labeled so people aren't confused .

  • Kiwibride
    Super November 2018
    Kiwibride ·

    I don't think this really works for anyone with serious food allergies because of cross contamination. We are having a buffet too and will include a line for dietary restrictions when RSVPing. Our caterer will make those plates up separately for them to meet their restrictions. That seems easier than making sure there are enough nut free, gluten free dishes etc. that are safe for them to eat

  • Sos0033
    VIP September 2017
    Sos0033 ·

    We accommodated vegetarians, vegans, and gluten allergies in terms of food. The vegans who don’t want to be in the same room as people eating meat were SOL.

  • Kourtney
    Beginner December 2017
    Kourtney ·

    Skip the chocolate fountain, up the catering. You can have a chocolate fountain at a birthday party, or a housewarming event, etc. They're messy at weddings, and if I was unable to eat a full meal because of dietary restrictions, but I saw TWO chocolate fountains, I'd be pissed at the host

  • WooPigSooie
    Devoted June 2020
    WooPigSooie ·

    It doesn't cost any extra to have them make the pasta with gluten-free noodles so we were already planning on having at least one if not all of the pastas gluten-free it will just depend on the sauce really. That is also why we are having a dessert bar so there will be gluten-free options. I am only looking at reputable caterers that are well aware of cross-contamination and prepare different things in different areas, or completely separate kitchens if it is necessary. The food will be prepared offsite and transported to the venue, and I trust the caterers to transport each thing in its own container so don't see any risk of contamination until it actually gets to the buffet table. I will add a line to my RSVP cards for any allergies. Everybody whose dietary restrictions I am already aware of only has one thing going on so I was thinking it would be easy for them to skip the few items that they can't eat and pick from the rest but apparently I've got a lot more research to do.

    @O&S Yes I have been dreaming about my wedding since I was a very little girl and wanting a chocolate fountain is the only thing that I've never been wishy washy on. The reason I want two is to avoid cross contamination so if you're allergic to one of the fruits you can still use the other one. I already said I don't want any of my guests to leave hungry. I just feel like it is becoming outrageously complicated to make sure all of my guests are happy.

    @Enchanted Honestly I'll be surprised if she is still a vegetarian at Thanksgiving. She has been going back and forth between being a vegetarian and not ever since high school so I'm really not worried that she will become a vegan but there is always the off chance that somebody else will make a major life change between now and then because it is a very long time, but I am trying to plan for what is realistic not every possible scenario or I would go crazy.

    @Lauren I am glad there's somebody else out there that takes their own snacks knowing they may not have many food options. Makes me feel less crazy.

    @Mrs70 I hadn't thought about doing plated meals just for the people with allergies. I will definitely start asking about that when I talk to caterers. Thank you for the useful advice!

  • WooPigSooie
    Devoted June 2020
    WooPigSooie ·

    I know my guests well but I will be giving all single guests a plus one and who knows who they might bring so I definitely see the importance of adding an allergy line to the RSVP card.

    @kiwibride Yea I think that is what I will end up doing because I don't know two people with the same dietary restrictions so hopefully it will be easy to just get like six individual meals made in addition to everything else.

    @kourtney I have never been to any event other than a wedding with a chocolate fountain. I don't know anybody extravagant enough to get something like that for anything other than a once-in-a-lifetime event. Maybe some people do, but for me personally I feel like this is the only day that it will ever be appropriate for me to be so frivolous.

  • Tricia
    VIP October 2017
    Tricia ·

    As some one with a strange allergy, pepper, like black pepper, paprika, you can't plan for everything. Listing ingredients is a huge help for most. I go to events like this realizing I can't eat much, and I would expect anyone to accommodate my allergy. I was thrilled my venue accommodated me at my wedding. I think covering vegetarians and gluten and identifying nuts, dairy and eggs is more than enough.

  • WooPigSooie
    Devoted June 2020
    WooPigSooie ·

    @Tricia I'm glad you mentioned that I had forgotten that some people are allergic to eggs. I'm pretty sure that you and I are in the minority thinking that accommodating gluten-free and labeling allergens is enough. I will probably do an individual plate for anybody with allergies. I doubt it will make me lose both chocolate fountains and my best friend is the only one I know is allergic to pineapple so she will just have to skip it. There will be no shortage of other desserts so it will be fine. I'm just now way more stressed out about food than I thought I would be.

    ETA: @rica SO TRUE!

  • HavanaChic
    Super February 2018
    HavanaChic ·

    Nowadays everyone has an allergy or is intolerant to something... and the few that are not will complain no matter what... you can't please everyone in this world...

  • Kourtney
    Beginner December 2017
    Kourtney ·

    @HavanaChic, admittedly, there are people who will say they're intolerant to something or have an allergy just because they don't like it. But some people are actually incredibly allergic to certain foods, and it can even be life-threatening. There's a difference between "you can't please everyone" and looking out for people's safety. With that kind of attitude, I would hope none of your guests have allergies

  • Janel
    Super September 2018
    Janel ·

    We're having a buffet but our caterer said they could accommodate our guests who may have food allergies by making them a special meal. We're asking for dietary restrictions on the rsvp.

    ETA typo

  • Adriana
    Expert October 2017
    Adriana ·

    We had a buffet, and did our RSVP's online and asked our guests to include any dietary restrictions in the comments. I'm highly allergic to nuts, we had vegetarians, and family members who keep kosher. This way we could take those restrictions to the venue and talk to their caters about options for them.

  • MDEasternShoreBride
    VIP October 2017
    MDEasternShoreBride ·

    We had a buffett and I passed along all food restrictions to our caterer. Nothing had peanuts in it, we had a chicken and a fish options and all the vegetarians were pescatarians, and then he had a couple of other gluten free sides as well. My most limited person was stuffed and did not mind having any late night pizza or salad.

  • Amy
    Dedicated December 2017
    Amy ·

    I'm doing a buffet too. I'm going to try my best to have a food option for everyone. Gluten and dairy free are paramount because I have people in my BP who are those. We'll have a sheet cake that is GF/Vegan so that is covered. I'm planning on having a vegan main dish that will be brought out for those who specifically require it to prevent cross-contamination.

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