Post # 1
- Wedding: October 2020 - New York, New York
I scheduled a tasting with a caterer and I’m in the process of planning the menu. Joe and I are having a buffet with 1 salad, 2 pasta options, 3 entrees (likely one vegetarian, one chicken, and one red meat), and 2 side dishes, such as potatoes and a veggie. I’ve been wondering about how to handle allergies/dietary restrictions. For instance, should I try to be accomodating of everything, or just a few things? Should it be on a case-by-case basis with your guests, or should I select a menu that would work for everyone? Do any Bees with allergies/dietary restictions have suggestions for a bride planning the menu?
Post # 2
Do you know if any guests actually have these restrictions?
Post # 3
We are accomodating everything; but our caterer has been really flexible and amazing.
We are also having a buffet but i’m providing the caterer with the names and diet restrictions for everyone, he will then make individual plates for those people at no extra cost. Most of our dishes can easily be adapted though (eg. duck salad with blue cheese, he’ll make a small batch without the duck/blue cheese). So we aren’t doing large quantities of diet restricted dishes, but they will be adapted for whatever is needed
Post # 4
I’m pretty much willing to accomodate any dietary restrictions. I have a few people in my family that are vegan (my young nephew eats meat, but is allergic to dairy so this often leads to vegan side dishes). My brother in law has a nut allergy, so I’m also taking that into account with our food options.
Post # 5
We aren’t having a buffet, so it works a little differently for us. We’re going to offer chicken and beef, and either fish or vegetarian. Our venue told us they could work with us for dietary restrictions, so we don’t necessarily need to offer a meal that will accomodate everyone. People can reach out to us with their restrictions (veggie, gluten free, allergies, etc.) and the venue will make specific dishes for them.
I know we’ll have at least one dairy free, one vegetarian, and one gluten free person in attendance so that’s what I voted for. I think you have the main things covered – maybe you could double check and pick a vegetarian entree that also works for vegan, or is also gluten free? That way you could kill two birds with one stone. I think it’s unnecessary to offer a meal for every dietary restriction out there, so I’d try to pick two and accomodate those.
Then if people reach out to you and say “hey I’m allergic to nuts” or “hey I’m vegan” you can accomdate them individually on a case by case basis.
Post # 6
I plan to accommodate all dietary restrictions, to the best of my ability. It will be on my RSVP card. Just make your vegetarian option vegan (which would also make it kosher and lactose intolerant-friendly). That makes that one easy.
With my first wedding, I accommodated everything. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, diabetic, kosher, nut allergy.
I know with this wedding, I have at least 4 vegans (including myself), a few vegetarians, at least four gluten-free, a couple diabetic, one nut allergic, and one kosher. I will make sure there is a full meal for each of them to eat.
Post # 7
Even with buffets usually your caterer will make up special plated meals for those with dietary requirements so I would ask on your RSVPs for guests to supply this information.
Post # 8
We had guests list dietary restrictions on the RSVP card and accommodated everyone. We had a buffet so it was easy.
Post # 9
We had several vegetarians, a few guests with nut allergies, one guest gluten free and one guest lactose intolerant.
For nut allergies, which can be life threatening, I had the entire buffet nut free. Not something to take chances on and people with more severe allergies can be affected even by airborne or cross-contamination, not just by eating a meal that contains nuts.
For vegetarians, I made sure there were lots of vegetarian options- including main dishes, not just sides. And for some dishes, like pasta, meatballs and sausage were served on the side so that the dish itself was vegetarian but meat-lovers could add what they wanted. Ditto the cheese. Our caterers provided gluten free for our gluten free guest, including separately made buns/ rolls.
I’m surprised at the threads on here with unaccommodating caterers, ours were amazing- and this is how they get referrals!
Post # 10
We just had a note on the RSVPs to contact us with any dietary restrictions. No one did.
My Mother-In-Law did have a freak out the day before because her cousin or something had surgery and could only eat “baby food” consistency food. I’m like…sorry lady. They’re gonna have to bring their own stuff lol.
Post # 11
We chose a menu (buffet) that would work for most of our guests and that we liked. For those who have restrictions and can’t eat a large portion of the food we are having a separate plate made with similar tastes.
So instead of pork our vegetarians will get a plate of tofu marinaded in the same sauce as the pork (obviously before any meat has touched it). And we’re going on a case by case basis to figure this out.
Post # 12
We accommodated every restriction. Just have separate meals prepared for these guests.
Buffets can be difficult for people with restrictions. It’s my least favourite way to eat; I’m a vegetarian and I can eat eggs, lactose, quinoa, or edamame beans. I’ve attended more than a few weddings with buffets and dinnertime was difficult. That is why we did plated meals. Just took the guesswork and hassle out of the equation.
Post # 13
mrsjoseph : our whole menu was gluten-free and shellfish-free (because my husband is celiac and allergic). on our RSVPs, we asked guests for any dietary restrictions, and accommodated them individually.
we had one vegetarian, one no pork (only 1 passed app had pork, so this required no action), one no nuts (had their salad prepared without), and one friend who is allergic to everything so we had a special entree made for her without the sauces and got a detailed ingredient list from the caterer so she could make choices about what to eat safely (she was in our bridal party and it was important to us that there was sufficient food that she felt comfortable eating).
Post # 14
lyfe_girl : Just FYI (and you probably know this since you accommodated Kosher at your first wedding) but a vegan meal isn’t automatically kosher. All vegan food is kosher by default for it’s lack of animal products, but not all vegan food holds a hechsher (the special certification to mark products/food as kosher), which means religious Jews won’t eat it. Also, all utensils used to prepare kosher food (and countertops, ovens, etc…) must be kosher.
We’re having a kosher reception for our wedding and it’s been a learning curve for me!
Post # 15
- Wedding: November 2025 - City, State
Which restrictions your caterer will need to accommodate depends on which restrictions your guests have. If Aunt Melinda has celiac disease, they’ll need to provide a gluten free meal for her. If no one is vegan, you don’t need to have a vegan option.
Just ask the caterer how they handle dietary restrictions, in general. If you already know that Omar from your fiance’s college dorm keeps to a halal diet and Grandpere Francois won’t touch red meat, you can ask about those specifically.