Post # 1
So let me preface this by saying I have ZERO problem accomodating dietary restrictions (allergies, lactose/gluten/other intolerant, vegan, vegetarian, diabetic, whatever), in fact we specifically asked people to advise us of their dietary restrictions on the RSVP card. I also included detailed information on our menu on our website and included the url for our wedding websites on an enclosure card, directing people to our website to see information on meal choices.
There really wasn’t any way to make a meal that we thought most guests would want/like and be able to accomodate all the allergies we know about so we thought it would be better to pick good meals for the majority of people and then have little things done to accomodate those with dietary restrictions. Like people who are lactose intolerant will be given a different side to go with our beef since the one side is brocolli au gratin.
Well I’ve recieved a ton of RSVPs from people I KNOW have allergies to things in our menu. And they didn’t advise of their allergies on their RSVP, or there was one person who I know is allergic to most nuts who only put down that they’re allergic to peanuts. I was able to catch that one, fortunately, since there are hazelnuts in our dessert. And one other person RSVP’d whom I’m 99% sure is lactose intolerant and again, nothing on the RSVP about it.
So I guess my question is this: I’ve made it super easy for people to let us know about their dietary restrictions and that we’re more than willing to accomodate them. What responsibility do my FI and I have in ensuring that our guests get meals that accomodate their dietary restrictions? If they don’t say anything on the RSVP about dietary restrictions are we just to assume that what we’re serving is safe and even if we know that they have a dietary restriction? What about those people we’re not close enough with to know if they have allergies or not?
On a side note as well, do we need to accomodate food preferences? We’ve had a few people contact us saying for example they want the beef option but don’t like broccoli and want a different side. What should I do for people like that?
Post # 3
For people that you know have allergies, either put them in yourself if you know them whereever you’re organizing everything, or call them to double check. For the people you don’t know, you’ll have to assume they’re not allergic.
For people who are just picky and don’t want broccoli, that depends on if you want to accomodate them or not. If it’s an easy enough switch, like changing the beef with the fish side dishes, maybe. But if it involved a whole new side being made (in our case, it would), I wouldn’t
Post # 4
I’d try to accomodate all of the guests I know have food allergies or who alerted me in thier RSVP. For the guests who want to switch sides and all that just for preference, not for an allergy, I wouldn’t spend my time doing that. It’s a reception, not a restaurant.
All of our guests will be able have a 1st and main course but a couple of guests with multiple food allergies won’t be able to eat any of the appetizers or desserts. That’s as good as I could do!
Post # 5
maybe they assume you know? for allergies/intolerances/restrictions, that is.
as for picky people, i wouldn’t cater to them. unless it’s an easy switch, of course.
Post # 6
For the people you know have allergies I’d say fill it in yourself and chalk it up to a scatter-brain moment.
For those who haven’t mentioned anything if you don’t know about a persons allergies and they didn’t tell you about it when you’ve made it so easy it’s on that person it’s on them.
I’m sure there will be something everyone can eat. I have a problem with gluten and I can usually find something I can eat even if the cater wasn’t warned beforehand. It may not be my frist choice in a meal, but it isn’t like your guests will starve.
As for preferences… That’s up to you, but I know I wouldn’t want to open that can of worms.
Post # 7
The evil side of me says that they didn’t make the effort to ensure that you knew/remembered so they can suffer the consciences.
Unfortunately you are going to have to call the ones you *think* might have a problem and just assume that people you don’t know well will be smart enough to actually fill out the RSVP properly.
As for people being pooey about sides – they can suffer, it’s not that big a deal and they should be happy to eat whatever you give them.
Post # 8
Assuming they are adults, they should know their restrictions and if they are not going to inform you, I would assume they will be rsponsible enough to choose from the menu accordingly.
Post # 9
I did the same thing as you. I’m actually really surprised because most people who have those issues are typically very on top of it. I know my friend who has a nut allegry typically never eats desserts anywhere. I would follow up with the people you know you about.
After that you done all you can do.
Post # 10
If it was someone I was close to I would just contact them and confirm. Otherwise, I would assume they are responsible adults that can choose their own food.
Post # 11
@futuremrste: I was one of those people. Well, sort of. I have a gluten issue. But, it’s not a food allergy or celiac, just that I really don’t feel well if I eat too much of it (pasta, bread, etc.). So I never indicate that I have a gluten problem on the RSVPs because it’s not severe. My friend asked me about it, and I just told her that I know what the option was for everyone and in the past I’ve had special meals made for me that were complete surprises that I did not enjoy and wound up wasting. And I felt bad about the additional effort being put in by others to accommodate me and me waste the food. So now, unless I know it’ll be a pasta dish, I just suck it up and eat what I can. I figure I’m the guest so I eat what I’ve been provided, and if I don’t want it I don’t ask for other food because it’s not their responsibility to cater to me.
So maybe some of your guests just don’t want to be bothersome to you (even though you’ve been willingly really nice and accommodating!)
I don’t understand why they wouldn’t tell you if it was an actual allergy though, that seems pretty serious.
I would ask those that you suspect for sure. The people you don’t know, you’ll just have to assume they will be fine. And really, if they do have a severe allergy that they didn’t tell you about, it will be up to them to inform themselves prior to eating. You’ve definitely done your due dilligence!
Post # 12
I would just try to accomodate the people who you know have allergies/preferences and that’s that. I mean, you can only do so much and people with severe allergies are usually good about letting people know. For example, we have a friend who is severely allergic to shellfish and she RSVPed with that information. Conversely, I have a friend who is somewhat gluten free (she can eat very small amounts) and she didn’t mention that in her RSVP and I, unfortunately, had no idea until we had dinner together later on that she was GF.
In addition, DH and I are vegetarians but we don’t like to make it a big deal at major events like weddings. So in this case, if there’s not a vegetarian option available on the card, then we’ll just see if there’s a fish option (we are willing to be pescetarians).
Post # 13
They are adults, it’s sort of up to them to be responsible (kids obviously are different). I am vegetarian, and I make sure if the option isn’t listed, to email or ask if I should just write in vegetarian for them to account for or what should I do? Everyone seems to have a different system. I have yet to go to a wedding that didn’t accomodate me, although I have had to remind servers and wait staff. For one buffet, they even made my plate for me special with a vegetarian main dish (there were none in the buffet, only sides).
But if I forget to mark it, or ask, or whatnot, that’s my fault and I’ll make do. I understand allergies are different (side note, I do have some food allergies, just not common ones) but that’s all the more reason for the person to be responsible for their own self.
You sound like you did great! You’ve accomodated, it’s up to them to indicate they want to partake.
Post # 14
If they don’t say that they have an allergy, you aren’t responsible for accommodating it. Maybe they don’t want the special attention.
As for the people who wrote in their preferences, I wouldn’t try to accommodate it and find it rude that they wrote that in. It is great to accommodate food allergies, but preferences gets a little much. As long as you are paying for the food, guests can choose to eat it or not but have no right to complain
Post # 15
@futuremrste: SIGH. You poor thing. From an objective point of view, you’ve already done everything you possibly can for people with allergies – it’s THEIR responsibility to advise you of their dietary requirements. Of course you need to use common sense, like if someone in your immediate family or bridal party has an allergy. For example, if I knew my dad or Maid of Honour sister were allergic to seafood, I’d obviously steer them clear of it without being asked, but if my great-aunt Mildred who I haven’t seen since I was 9 expects me to know she can’t have garlic unless it’s accompanied by fucking twice-cooked quail with green beans grown in Antarctica, obviously you can’t do any more than you already have… You get the idea.
As for the people who want different sides…. You’re planning a wedding. You have more important things to worry about than someone who doesn’t like broccoli. If they are allergic to broccoli AND have informed you in a timely manner, then by all means, replace their side dish. Or, because you seem like a very considerate person, maybe just see if your caterer can have a generic, simple lettuce/tomato/cucumber salad handy for anyone who wants to be a pain in the ass doesn’t like what you’re serving.
Gees, some people. They must be terribly frightened of who the world will then need to revolve around when they die. 😛