They'll Have What We're Having: How to Plan Weddings With Dietary Restrictions

   By drodriguez  May 22, 2012

Whether for ethical or health reasons, many of us have dietary restrictions that make it hard to always find something on the menu. So when someone with a dietary restriction is planning their own wedding it only seems natural that they would include the type of food they can eat.

But the question always arises of whether a bride and groom should also try and accommodate their guests’ tastes when creating the menu. CNN  recently reported about the growing trend of wedding dinners being tailored to suit a couple’s diet even if that means leaving popular items off the menu.

Many vegan couples for instance will choose a menu that leaves off meat and dairy products or those with gluten allergies keep everything gluten-free including the cake. This may be hard to swallow for guests who are unaccustomed to this type of fare.

But if a couple with dietary restrictions chooses to try and accommodate everyone’s tastes there are other routes to take. The famous first-daughter Chelsea Clinton served up a vegan dinner with a gluten-free cake for dessert while offering the carnivores in the crowd a portion of organic grass-fed beef.

Chicago wedding planner, Camille McLamb, explains what type of options couples with dietary restrictions have when it comes to planning the menu. McLamb says, “Most caterers should be able to accommodate health-related dietary restrictions individually and create a special meal for the bride or groom without serving it to all of the guests. But ultimately, whether the restrictions are health-related or due to religious or ethical reasons, it's the bride and groom's day, and they should choose a menu that they are most comfortable with.”

What do you think of wedding menus being reflective of the couples’ dietary restrictions?

Should couples try to meet their guests half way on menu options or should they be able to serve whatever they want?

Make a Comment

threeheartsrsh by threeheartsrsh | Conroe, TX
May 22, 2012

I have food allergies so I can relate to this. Anyone, who is a close enough friend to want me at their wedding, already knows about my allergies. That said, I do not expect any accommodation. It is not about me. I have told them, if the food is something I cannot eat, 'Do not order a meal for me.' These meals are expensive and I won't be able to eat it. I tell them I can eat a meal before I go to the wedding. They know me well enough to know I am sincere. I always take care of this as far in advance, of the actual affair, as possible. Sometimes, they arrange for a special meal because they are doing this for others as well. If that is the case, I graciously accept their kindness. Life is about flexibility. Oaks break in the wind, Willows bend.

basilandcatnip by basilandcatnip | GARLAND, TX
May 22, 2012

Bride and groom should have what they want (they are also paying for it) it's THEIR day. People that love them would already know these concerns. Guests... it's only 1 meal of the day, if necessary don't eat, or talk with the wedding party in advance and bring your own snack. If it's inhalation issues, talk to them in advance, take preparations in advance to not to make any distractions the day of the event, sit in well vented area, and near door if you need to step out quietly until food service is completed. Don't make it about you, don't make it about food, make the day about the bride and groom.

christinlilly by christinlilly | SIESTA KEY, FL
May 22, 2012

I have been married 10 years and we eloped, so not much personal experience. If we would have, we would have had 2 dinner selections on the RSVP and offered a third spot to check if their were dietary restrictions we should note or have the caterer contact them. From other catering experiences, I have found that most will bring along or make a few special meals that will accommodate dietary restrictions for those certain guests without forcing you to 'lose' your identity and choices in YOUR wedding/party planning. My husband has allergies and so we appreciate it when he can be accommodated, but in no way do we feel like the hosts should move the sun and moon to cater to his needs on their day

Seattlemeg by Seattlemeg | LYNNWOOD, WA
May 22, 2012

I agree with the planner. Whether it's for health or other reasons, it's their wedding. "Guests" means you have the privilege of being invited to the special event, so deal with it. If you have dietary restrictions yourself, either tell them plenty of time ahead or wait until later to eat. And I've had vegan chocolate cakes where I couldn't tell it was vegan, it was so delicious. Expand your horizons and realize you're there for the couple, not the other way around.