Planning

4 Dietary Requirements You May Need To Cater For At Your Wedding

There are a variety of reasons as to why someone has specific dietary requirements, whether it is due to an illness, an intolerance, or simply a lifestyle choice.

When inviting guests to your wedding, it’s common to include a request to note any dietary requirements on the RSVP. Depending on the size of your wedding party, and the catering option you have chosen, it may be difficult to accommodate everyone who has specific food requests. However, allowing for one meat-based dish and one vegetarian option is a good place to start.

In addition to vegetarians, there are some other common dietary needs that can be easily accommodated for if you know what they are in advance.

1. Vegan

Vegans eat a plant-based diet with no animal products, which means that vegetarian options will not be suitable if they contain products such as eggs or dairy. If you have a mixture of vegetarians and vegans in attendance, going for a vegan alternative on the menu will enable you to meet both of their needs with one dish.

2. Peanut Allergy

Peanut allergies can be quite common, and can cause a serious and potentially fatal reaction. If even one of your guests has a nut allergy, it’s probably best to avoid any nut products whatsoever, including any foods that are cooked in peanut oil.

3. Milk Allergy

This is different to lactose intolerance, which is less severe though no less uncomfortable. More common in infants and young children who are allergic to cow milk, and products made from cow’s milk, other milks can cause similar reactions.

A separate food option will need to be provided for those with a milk allergy, however for an intolerance it is up to you whether you provide a different option, or allow the guest to pick and choose what they eat.

While it would be nice to cater to everyone’s individual needs at a wedding, most guests with an intolerance are aware that they need to be more flexible, as not all food preferences can be accommodated.

4. Gluten Free

Most people who eat a gluten free diet do so because they suffer from coeliac disease, which is a common digestive condition where the small intestine becomes inflamed and unable to absorb nutrients. This is caused by an adverse reaction to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye. Some people choose to be gluten free for other reasons not related to coeliac disease. Whatever their reason, this is another dietary requirement that can be simply accommodated for, so long as you and your venue are aware of it in advance.

If you have lots of guests with a variety of eating requirements, it may be a better idea to have a buffet with a variety of suitable foods, as opposed to a sit-down meal that may not suit everyone. However, it is unlikely that there will be high numbers of guests with specific dietary needs, so two main options with one-off dishes for any particularly special needs should be more than enough to keep everyone happy.

In trying to please everyone, you please nobody, least alone yourself!

By Rachel Doherty, Excalibur Press

AUTUMN/WINTER 2017 EDITION AVAILABLE TO BUY ONLINE NOW