When planning their wedding menu, many brides are finding it more and more important to properly prepare for guests' food allergies and sensitivities. But when you're planning a reception for hundreds of people, how can you accommodate all the different needs you may encounter? Here are 4 methods to help any bride managing potential food issues.
Work with Your Caterer. Your caterer is a food service professional who's probably seen it all and knows more about how to handle food issues than you do. So, be sure to make use of their expertise in choosing the meal, desserts and appetizers. You probably know about specific food allergies -- such as shellfish or nuts -- among your bridal party or close family, so be sure to mention these early on. If you also know that a significant part of your family or guests are likely to be kosher, vegetarian, gluten-free or vegan, you can often negotiate a package number of such a meal option for a flat fee that will save you money.
Provide an Invitation Menu. Some brides are finding that the most proactive way to work with guests' food needs is to include a menu or food listing right with the invitations. Such a menu can be as simple (a brief description of the 2 or 3 dish choices) or as complex (listing all ingredients in those dishes) as you feel is necessary. By working with your printing service, like Print Source, when designing and choosing your invitations, you can create a menu page that matches with the invitations seamlessly. Be sure to include an RSVP card with a line for any special food requests that guests require.
Opt for a Buffet. The easiest way to help guests find food that they can eat and enjoy is to let them choose their own. So, why not offer a buffet instead of a plated dinner? Buffets can be tailored to provide a variety of choices for all types of diets and various allergy restrictions. Be sure to work with your caterer to ensure sufficient alternatives are offered (including a kosher prepared meal if necessary) and that everything is clearly labeled.
Add it to a Wedding Website. Modern weddings increasingly come with a wedding website where you can share pictures of the bride and groom, planning information and various wedding tributes. In this website, you can also provide a page listing the foods being prepared for the reception and their ingredients so that guests can plan ahead. If you want, you may include a way to contact you or your caterer with special food requests.
By planning ahead for your guests' needs, you can help ensure a tasty and healthful reception dinner for everyone... with a minimum of hassle for your and your catering service.