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When it comes to marriage events, food is one of the most critical elements. From the dinner entree to the wedding cake to the sparkling wine for toasts and more, engaged couples need to consider all the details related to food and drink carefully. Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances can make a joyous occasion very uncomfortable, if not dangerous, for the people you love. You want all invited guests to feel welcome at your wedding, reception, and other events. Here’s what you should know about creating a more inclusive yet delicious menu. 

Prioritizing Inclusivity

Unless you’re going to elope with your partner, your planning should consider the needs of your invited guests. If you or your spouse-to-be is allergic or sensitive to certain foods, you may already be thinking carefully about your menus; however, if neither of you has allergies or sensitivities, it’s easy to overlook the dietary needs of others. Make inclusivity a priority by putting yourself in others’ shoes. Perhaps a loved one is immunocompromised and can’t eat raw or undercooked foods. Maybe someone in your wedding party is pescatarian. Consider asking invitees to indicate dietary restrictions and preferences in your invitations or save-the-date notices.

Choosing a Menu

Accommodating a large group of guests can be quite challenging. Deciding on chicken or fish may not be a hard decision for you, but what about vegan or vegetarian loved ones? Some guests may be avoiding gluten for personal reasons, but anyone with Celiac disease can experience serious symptoms when eating dishes made with wheat, rye, or barley. Whether you’re going with a caterer, a restaurant, or meals provided by the venue, think about menu options that can be prepared without common allergens such as wheat or dairy. For example, an estimated 65 to 70% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. You could specifically request dairy-free options or dishes where dairy can be substituted just to cover your bases.

Going Local and Organic

Locally sourced, organic foods might seem to be all the rage, but they are often a better choice for most. First of all, these foods are generally much healthier. Additionally, they not only support local economies, but they’re also more environmentally friendly when it comes to procurement and availability. Guests who have to be careful about their diets will appreciate you being considerate of their needs.

Providing Options

There are different types of food services that you can have at a reception, rehearsal dinner, or pre-wedding party. It might be helpful to offer dishes where guests can choose their ingredients. Instead of a Caesar salad with meat or dairy-based dressing and croutons already mixed, maybe you can have a salad bar with gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options for dressings and toppings. Family-style meal service may be more or less conducive to alternative choices. Be sure to discuss ideas with the wedding coordinator, the meal provider, and the venue when exploring options.

Arranging Your Guests

While the idea of segregating guests according to dietary choices might sound weird, hear us out. If you have several guests who don’t eat animal products or have nut allergies, a seating chart may help you accommodate them as well as a caterer or supplier. Servers can be directed to avoid bringing certain dishes to certain tables. This may also help you avoid a situation where menu items are mixed up between those with food sensitivities and those without. 

It’s your wedding and you’ll eat and drink what you want to, but showing kindness to food-sensitive guests can make a special day even more so. Inclusive menus cast a wider net when it comes to making your closest people feel more welcome at your nuptials. You don’t need to overthink your menus, but some small considerations can go a long way to accommodating everyone. 

Category: Wedding Planning

ULC weddings

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