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Monday, June 2, 2014

Wedding Guest Spotlight: Dietary Restrictions

There are so many details a bride and groom must consider when planning their wedding day. One topic that causes so much undue stress is dealing with the dietary needs of guests. It may seem rather daunting when you consider how many restrictions are out there. Some of the more popular requests I have seen at weddings are: Gluten free, peanut allergies, Kosher and Halal meals, vegetarian, vegan, etc. So how do you accommodate the needs of your guests who may have a plethora of dietary restrictions?

RSVP Cards:

RSVP cards are used to provide guests with their dining options at your wedding. Common choices will include beef, chicken, or fish and a vegetarian option. This can also be a place for your guests to provide any details about their dietary issues, such as a food allergy. Be cautious about what terms you use when asking guests for dietary information. For example the terms “dietary restrictions” should be used instead of “food preferences” to ensure you don’t have guests asking for different foods without a legitimate need for a special meal. Another option is to exclude this line altogether. Most people with legitimate needs are used to informing others and will most likely state their concerns without being prompted to do so.

Do your homework:

You may have guests that request a vegan meal or gluten-free food. Do your homework so you know exactly what those terms mean. As always, do not be afraid to ask any questions your guests will appreciate that you are taking the time to make sure you fully understand what your guests can and cannot eat. There may be a way for your caterer to make a dish without allergy-causing ingredient, but sometimes it’s better to just have a different dish made for those guests with allergies.

Express Concern:
Sometimes you may be unable to accommodate a certain dietary restriction. Make sure you let your guest know that you are sincerely concerned with their needs and are grateful that they want to celebrate your special day with you.

Those little Extras:

If you already know of guests that have a certain dietary restriction you may want to consider it as an option for everyone. Even though pasta is a popular vegetarian option, guests with gluten intolerance might not appreciate a pasta dish. Use this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. If all else fails, your guests can always inform a server at the reception that they have special needs. I have seen many servers go out of their way to take care of guests with dietary needs. 

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