Guests’ Food Restrictions and How Your Caterer Can Help
Among the many people you invite to your wedding, there are bound to be at least a few who follow different lifestyles, suffer from food allergies, or have other dietary restrictions. Being able to thoroughly accommodate these guests’ dinner needs will ensure they have a good time and don’t go hungry at your wedding.
To make sure you know exactly who will require a special plate, it is a good idea to include a request in your invitations for guests to list any specific dietary /restrictions/preferences in their RSVP card. This way, you can make a plan with your caterer ahead of time.
Steps Your Caterer Can Take
Some common examples of dietary preferences or restrictions are food allergies (e.g. nuts, gluten, eggs, etc.), as well as kosher, vegetarian, and vegan diets. None of these situations should be a problem for your caterer.
There are many ways your caterer can accommodate guests with food restrictions-whether you have one lone vegetarian in a midst of carnivores, or an entire three tables worth of guests who follow kosher diets.
To accommodate those with allergies, your caterer can alter the ingredients to certain recipes, or make substitutes to his or her existing menu. For instance, if your wedding cake is a cheesecake, you caterer might put together a gluten or dairy free dessert for those guests who cannot tolerate gluten and/or dairy. Decadent gluten free chocolate cakes and sorbets with berry drizzles come to mind. Keep in mind most beers and some other alcohols contain gluten, so make sure to ask your caterer to provide alternatives.
Guests who follow special diets, such as vegans or vegetarians, should be no more difficult to accommodate than those suffering from allergies.
For guests with allergies (gluten, egg, and peanut allergies in particular) ask your caterer to keep harmful ingredients away from their plates during food preparation.
If you are planning a buffet style reception, food stations, or passed hors d’oeuvres for cocktail hour, consider keeping various meat-free and allergy friendly cuisine at different tables. Have a vegan station, or a kosher deli station. If you are offering midnight snacks or comfort food like coffee and s’mores later in the evening, be sure to have vegan marshmallows (those made without gelatin) and almond or oat creamers available.
When planning a dessert table, ask your caterer to label everything that is gluten free/nut free/egg free/etc. and ask that they prepare these items in sections of the kitchen separate from other recipes/plates, so wheat flour doesn’t get mixed up with the coconut flour, or nuts fall into the pastry dough. Keep eggless items away from the mousses, and don’t mix up the honey drizzle with your vegan orange syrup.
Finally, for guests following kosher lifestyles, you may have to personally ask them how to properly prepare their meal(s). Often, kosher food has to be prepared in special kitchens with kosher equipment, and certain food combinations aren’t allowed. Communicate with your friends so you can provide your caterer with all the necessary information to make sure each guest thoroughly enjoys their dinner!