(Closed) What to do when you are the guest with the “special diet”

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

I put on my rsvp card to contact me with special diet requests. I didn’t want anyone to not eat because they were allergic(which was my biggest worry) My venue is accomodating my requests as long as we are not inventing the wheel. In a lot of cases the kids meal was an option. One of the choices I had made was gluten free to start so that helped in 2 situations.  I think it’s polite to offer so that no one feels awkward having to ask you.

Post # 4
2288 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I think you handled it very well, and from the bride perspective so did your cousin. It’s not like you didn’t pick something because you didn’t like it. You couldn’t because you have a serious illness, and that is something that must be accommodated.

ETA: We put on our website to let us know if there were any dietary restrictions or special accommodations needed.

Post # 5
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think you handled it very well. And I actually think an e-mail (rather than a phone call) was a better approach. That way the bride had some time to read your e-mail and think about options, rather than have to provide you with an answer on the spot.

As for how to handle it as a bride, I’m not sure. I am allergic to shellfish so I am sensitive to food allergies/issues. I know one of my guests greatly dislkes certain foods (so much he claims to be allergic) and I will make sure there are options for him without those things he dislikes.

There will be shellfish at my wedding (because I know people really like it) but it will only be at the coctail hour where I will know exactly what is what.

I’ve recently been to 2 weddings. The first, I was a bridesmaid and the bride knew I was allergic so she put a special sticker on my dinner card (there were several picky eaters/weird eaters that she accomodated as well as those with allergies).

The second wedding was a buffet, so I was able to ask the severs what was in everything to make sure I didn’t get any shellfish. The whole cocktail hour was crab & shrimp (since it was a MD wedding on the water) so I just went without there. Never told the bride & groom about my allergy.

I know celliac disease is harder work around than a pure food allergy though.

Post # 6
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I think you did great! I agree with KatNYC2011 that email was the right way to go because it let her respond at her leisure rather than right on the spot. You didn’t demand she provide you with an option; you just informed her of your circumstance—the worst thing that could have happened is that you saved her $200 and you supply your own food.

I like MissHelen’s suggestion for brides to put on their website to contact them with any special dietary problems. If you have a buffet dinner, it also great to label the food so that people know exactly what’s in it—if you knew your guests had allergies, you could even put allergy information on the labels (like, “contains wheat”).

Post # 7
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

i feel really bad b/c I know there was at least 1 vegetarian at my wedding and I never told the caterers.. They were amazing though so I am assuming they whipped something up.

I think you handled this the best way possible. Because you didn’t just check a meal off that would have cost her $, but at the same time you had a backup plan that you informed her of so she didn’t have to do anything. And of course the right thing for her to do is try and accomodate you which she did.

Post # 8
196 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We’re putting it on our invitations to specify. I already know a few of our guests have food allergies or specific preferences. It’s not a problem to accommodate them, because we don’t want anyone to not enjoy anything.

I think you handled it well. I would have been fine accommodating you if you had been my guest because you weren’t rude.

Post # 9
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I’m not a celiac but I am gluten intolerant. I usually try to get a heads up on whether the dinner will be buffet or plated. If it is a buffet, I usually just try to make do, but if it is plated I usually let the bride know. I think you handled it just fine. I actually find plated easier to navigate than buffet, because it is so hard to know what is in many buffet dishes. I’ve only been to one wedding that I had a really hard time at because the food was Southern themed (aka, breaded or fried) and I just ate a lot of salad. 🙂

Post # 10
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

One of my really good friends has celiacs, and I’ve had to learn to cook for her 🙂 Plus we know a fair number of lactose intolerant folks (and some kids), so we knew there would be dietary restrictions at our wedding!

And actually, every single caterer we spoke with mentioned that they could easily accomodate any allergies or food restrictions if we let them know ahead of time. I think that food allergies and intolerances are becoming more common (or at least more widely recognized), so caterers who are worth their snuff should be prepared to handle it.

In our case, all it took to accomodate our “special” requests was to write on the catering list (where we had to give them names, table numbers and meal choices) “vegan meal”, “gluten free meal” or “dairy free meal” and they didn’t bat an eye when I emailed it to them, just responded with a full count of chicken, pork, kids meal, vegan, gluten free and dairy free for confirmation.

Post # 11
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think you handled it just fine! I agree with a PP that an email was actually better than a phone call because it gave the bride time to contact the caterer and see what her options were.

Gluten-free meals aren’t uncommon and most caterers/restaurants/wedding food services are used to making meals to meet dietary requirements.

As a bride, I would much rather hear from a guest beforehand rather than learning after the wedding that they went without eating.

Post # 12
987 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

generally there’s a place on the RSVP card.  If not, I’d call the bride and ask her if it’s ok and what to do.  If she hesitates or seems to be a problem, I’d try to work around it.  Offer to even bring own food or ask her what she’d like you to do. 

Generally reception places can cater for this and it’s all cool, but try not to be a problem. 

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