How to handle dietary restrictions at Wedding Reception Buffet

posted 1 month ago in Food
Post # 2
834 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Turkey

I wasn’t aware of kosher rules so I did a little bit of research. I guess they can eat vegetarian dishes, and fish isn’t absolutely necessary. Because I eat “halal”, I’m trying to sympathize with the guests now. If I go to any event where I’m sceptical of the meaty options, I always go for vegetarian and even vegan. They’re equally delicious and I don’t want to make life a burden for others just to consume my type of meat.

Can you check with them if they’re OK with the food options? 

And yes, some people may also want fish, which if it happens I guess you’ll have to provide. Hassle. 

Post # 3
8323 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

So the restaurant has a kosher kitchen then? I’m just wondering about the ordering from the restaurant idea. My understanding of kosher is that preparation and pots and pans etc are part of it, not just the actual animal’s flesh. 

 If all that aspect is ok then can they just not have the vegetarian option ?

Mariposies123 :  

Post # 4
7413 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I would assume that you will seat them at a table with people who already know the family keeps Kosher, so the people who are most likely to see them having a special meal will not need an explanation.  If any of the other guests bring it up (which they shouldn’t, because it’s super rude), just tell them that the fish was the Kosher option.

Post # 5
2510 posts
Sugar bee

Most people I know who keep kosher only eat vegetarian food when out (if dining at a non-kosher establishment). I’d ask them whether they prefer the veg option or ordering something on the menu.

Post # 6
2510 posts
Sugar bee

elderbee :  That’s true, but that would bascially mean never eating out, so I think a lot of people who follow Kosher diets make some allowances like eating only veg food when out, or dining in only vegetarian restaurants where contamination is unlikely. This is super individual though, so it’s really best to ask the people in question. 

Post # 7
307 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2025 - City, State

I assume you’ve cleared with them that a fish dish from the restaurant’s menu would be fine?  Some people keep very strict kosher with separate pans, spatulas, ovens, etc… but others are much looser about it.


I think you would be fine to either serve them the vegetarian option or a preselected fish option.  Having them order tableside from a selection of fish dishes would offer these guests a different level of hosting (vs. others who can only get the strip steak, not the terriyaki steak sandwich or the t-bone or the steak fajita).  But choosing one fish entree to be delivered to the table as “the kosher option” would politely accommodate all guests.

Post # 8
2794 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Lots of labelling is the way forward here. If you get the venue to label kosher items on the buffet, it lets other guests know that someone in the room follows that dietary restriction. Then if they see them eating a ‘special plate’ they know why without making a huge song and dance about it.

Post # 9
901 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

No need to worry over this. I have several dietary restrictions and frequently need special meals R events and j rarely get asked and if I do I just say it’s an allergy. Most adults can reasonably infer that information. 

Post # 10
6602 posts
Bee Keeper

If they can eat veggie, and there is a veggie option, I don’t see the big deal? 

Post # 11
395 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I made sure that there was no dairy or gluten. As the bride, I wanted to be able to eat at my wedding. I also had vegan and vegetarians and kosher there. It was Saturday at sunset wedding which helped. Maybe the kitchen can make a few purely kosher plates just for those?

Post # 12
3281 posts
Sugar bee

If it is a family of three, I think people will understand it is a dietary restriction. Don’t worry about it. 

But do confirm that it will work for the family. I have always seen kosher wedding meals come from a separate kosher supplier. They usually arrive individually plated and sealed in plastic, and the venue just heats it up with the plastic cover still on.

Post # 13
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

they can just eat veggie, as long as its edible to them then that’s what they get and good enough for vegetarians then its good enough for them

Post # 14
4499 posts
Honey bee

Every buffet wedding I have been to where the hosts have been kind enough to accommodate me (which isn’t really as often as it ought to be because at most buffets all I can eat is salad without dressing or croutons and some plain veggies or plain roasted meat provided it’s cooked with oil and not butter or seasoned with garlic),   the wait staff usually just bring me a full plated meal while everyone else is at the buffet.  On the rare occasion someone asks I simply say I have dietary restrictions.  It’s really not that big of a deal and most people aren’t beside themselves because the hosts provided me an equivalent meal so I can actually eat and they can’t have the same thing – they are usually pretty happy they get to eat anything and everything they want.

What you are maybe thinking of is how it is rude to treat “privileged” members with something substantially better than what you are offering everyone else.  For example, having a cash bar but the wedding party gets dom at the table and comped drinks.  Or you and your spouse have filet and lobster while serving everyone else baked ziti.  Or you only order a small wedding cake in gourmet flavors and offer a slice to your immediate family and everyone else gets offered plain grocery store cupcakes and cookies from the discount grocery.

ETA:  Your post isn’t clear as to the logistics of whether they would be ordering for themselves at the restaurant once they got there.  I wouldn’t do that.  I would let your coordinator through the venue know you will also need X number of meals from the restaurant available at Y time when dinner starts.  I’ve had to do that for a parties I’ve thrown – make sure you put it on the venue to coordinate, not your guests.

Post # 15
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I had kosher guests and a buffet.  They said that as long as there were vegetarian options they were fine. 

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