It’s June and the summer wedding season is officially upon us. After months of preparation – choosing invitations, trying on dresses, and finding the perfect venue – suddenly the big day is right around the corner. It is both an exciting and stressful time. With so many things to think about, whether you are the bride or groom, part of the wedding party, or a guest in town for the beautiful day, it’s really hard to remember everything.
One thing that’s easy to overlook is food allergies and food intolerances, topics the bride and groom might want to consider when planning their menu, and guests might think about as they prepare to attend the event. So, let’s take a look at how to make this magical day a food-safe day as well!
If It Is Your Wedding
Food allergies and intolerances are common enough that caterers and chefs are prepared to address just about any issues that you might present to them. So you need to find a caterer or chef who has experience in handling food-related issues. Check food-safe menu items that are already available for those with food allergies and food intolerances. Ask how cross-contamination issues are handled during food preparation. Find out what kind of options the caterer or chef is prepared to accept. Some caterers and chefs go as far as preparing specific dinners for specific guests.
To be able to give the caterer or chef a firm head’s up, include an RSVP question on your wedding website or on your invitations to specifically ask your guests about any dietary restrictions or allergies that you need to be aware of. This helps you and the caterer or chef work around the more specific and serious restrictions. The top eight most common food allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish, and fish. Some of these are easier to eliminate than others.
One the day of the wedding, ask the caterer to be sure the staff is aware of allergies so they can answer questions about food ingredients. If caterers and chefs have been notified ahead of time, they can set aside hors d’oeuvres or buffet dishes labeled “lactose-free,” “gluten-free,” or “vegan.” This labeling helps guests make the safest choices when picking out an hors d’oeuvre or choosing a beverage. Another technique is to place small signs listing the ingredients of hors d’oeuvres or buffet foods to help avoid confusion.
If You Are a Guest
You are the most familiar with your particular needs and how sensitive your allergies are. Any social situation is potentially hazardous. Even if the bride and groom have queried their guests about potential food allergies and restrictions ahead of time, you can’t take anything for granted. If you are unsure about the ingredients of the food being served, ask to speak with the caterer or the chef. If you have a severe allergy, bring something safe to snack on. It can be a long time between the time of the wedding and when the meal is actually served.
If no questions regarding food allergies or intolerances were asked ahead of time by the bridal couple, it is always possible to call the caterer or chef to ask some questions regarding the facility and food preparation. Your health and safety is important, and you want to be able to enjoy the day with friends and family.
All situations are workable with a bit of planning. Whether you are the bride or someone’s “plus one,” food allergies are more prevalent that they once were. It’s okay to ask a few questions for the safety of all involved. Now go and enjoy that party!