Reception Menu: Dietary Restriction/Diets/Allergies

posted 4 months ago in Food
  • poll: What did you consider legitimate concerns when planning your menu?

    Allergies/medical concerns only

    Allergies plus dietary choices that are non-negotiable (vegan, vegetarian, kosher, halal, etc.)

    Allergies, non-negotiable dietary choices and slightly flexible dietary restrictions

    I also took non-medical/non-cultural/non-moral "preferences" into account, within reason

  • Post # 2
    Member
    535 posts
    Busy bee

    I say address allergies and medical concerns, along with a vegan or vegetarian dish. I’m sorry but your wedding is not a McDonald’s where they get to pick and choose what to order off a vast customizable menu. The bride and groom pick menu options that can accommodate the majority, and make special accommodations for those that absolutely cannot eat that food (I.e. a severe allergy). We had 3 options – chicken, steak or vegetarian. That’s it. If someone came to me with a severe allergy I would have asked the venue to accommodate, but barring medical necessity it’s absurd to plan around everyone’s “wants” instead of needs. 

    Post # 4
    Member
    1144 posts
    Bumble bee

    I’m a very picky eater.  I don’t have any actual food allergies that I know of, but I dislike some common foods to the point where I simply won’t eat them.  Many things other people like (such as creamy sauces, pan-fried foods, and butter), I hate.  When I’ve gone to events, I eat what I can eat and don’t have the rest of it.  I am prepared with food of my own, such as fruit or a granola bar, that I can munch on outside the event space to keep me fueled.

    aeroforceone is right.  A handful of dishes that will cater to the majority is all you need.  I honestly don’t think you even need a red meat meal (anyone who likes red meat can have poultry), but I would have a poultry meal, a vegetarian meal (vegan if possible to accommodate those people), a fish meal, and possibly a gluten free meal.  If there is one person that needs a special accommodation, you can work with them on that, but you need dishes that will cover the mainstream eaters and the most common categories of restrictions.  People who can eat something will eat it, even if they don’t love it.  Or they will realize that they are in the minority and will bring along snacks.  That’s what I’ve done.

    Post # 5
    Member
    1030 posts
    Bumble bee

    I have very specific food intolerances due to medical issues (that have occurred within the last year). Now that people will be getting together again and socializing, I’m realizing I’m probably going to have to take food with me to social events bc there are specific ingredients that make me quite ill but are commonly used (ex: corn syrup, tomatoes) – I’m fine with doing that, as I know no one can account for my food issues. 

    I think as long as you provide a vegetarian option and possible vegan/kosher for those who have that restriction, you should be fine with two meat options. 

    Post # 6
    Member
    3791 posts
    Honey bee

    View original reply
    @xiphosura:  Your menu sounds fine and I absolutely wouldn’t worry about the people who have “specific dietary restrictions but not really.” I cannot tell you the number of times I have seen people who have those but will cheat at an event. And I’m not criticizing them unless they ask the host to go out of their way to accommodate them and then cheat. The one thing I would do is make some cute signs noting which items are vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    83 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: July 2019 - Australia

    I loathe eating the same salad-and-risotto that gets served at every wedding for dietary requirements, and I definitely go to weddings expecting to be disappointed in the food.

    I chose a venue that would do vegan, gluten free, nut free meals, and I made sure to taste them first. I also got a second cake that met all those requirements.

    I’m sure the majority of people will understand and be ok with whatever option you choose, but it is really pleasant being served food you like to eat. 

    ETA: your food looks tasty, but it sounds like it doesn’t meet all your guests requirements?

    Post # 9
    Member
    4870 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    View original reply
    @xiphosura:  usually people who have more restrictive diets due to allergies or lifestyle choices are plenty used to going to places and having limited food options. I’d have vego dishes and nut free options and a few plainer things like rice, pasta and boiled potatoes and next to it have a medley of roasted veges and raw vege on platter, some nice plain legumes, cheese cubes, olives, pickled vege, croutons along with bottles of olive oil and fancy vinegars and salad dressings that people can mix in with a carb to customise a salad of sorts depending on their dietary requirements. Basically just a customisable fancy salad bar that everyone can enjoy.

    Post # 10
    Member
    1915 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Anyone who has a really serious food intolerance or allergy is well used to either taking their own food to events or to eating an extremely limited menu.  My allergy is so serious that I usually end up eating very little of the wedding meal anyway, since I don’t trust hotel caterers to take unusual allergies seriously.  Unless I really trust the people who are catering, I tend to ‘graze’, eating only those bits of the meal that I’m 100% sure will be safe.

    I wouldn’t offer menu alterations too widely – anyone who has a genuine intolerance will make the effort to contact you.  Asking people to specify if they have gluten/dairy/unicorn intolerance is likely to get everyone giving you a detailed list of their likes and dislikes.  You will also find that some people who can well eat gluten, for example, decide that they need to limit their gluten intake on your wedding day, and will end up eating the gluten free menu provided for the genuine gluten intolerant person!  So I’d earmark a few plates for those you know have a genuine issue, and leave the rest to fend for themselves!

    Post # 11
    Member
    9869 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    We took into account medical restrictions, allergies, and non-negotiable preferences (vegetarian; we had no vegans). We also offered a sugar free dessert to several guests who were diabetic. Our caterer provided a great tropical fruit and cheese plate to our friend with a severe gluten allergy. 

    Post # 12
    Member
    39 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: November 2018

    We had a slightly lower headcount of 41 adults and 2 kids total for our wedding. It was fairly easy for us to manage allergies and dietary restrictions with a small-ish guestlist. We steered 100% clear of shellfish and nuts, and made sure to offer vegetarian and gluten-free options throughout cocktail hour, entrees, and dessert. 

    Post # 14
    Member
    929 posts
    Busy bee

    I made my entire menu nut free as I had someone with a severe nut allergy attending and didnt want any cross-contamination, but that was about it. We had a veggie/gf/vegan option, and only 1 person chose it.

    Post # 15
    Member
    1915 posts
    Buzzing bee

    View original reply
    @xiphosura:  That is well above and beyond the call of duty!

    Regarding your MIL, if her ‘restrictions’ are just her being fussy, she’ll have to lump it.  If they are genuine allergies & intolerances, then I’m sure she is used to having to take her own food to events.  She’s not going to find any restaurant that will cater to that many restrictions!

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