by Danielle Andrews, President, WPIC Inc.
Food is such an important part of the wedding celebration. When it comes time to “break bread”, it is important to make sure that the couple is thinking about all of their guests, rather than just ordering their favourite foods. Most guests will eat the same meal at a wedding reception, but there are always some exceptions whether it be for food restrictions, allergies, religious beliefs, or younger guests. It is important that you as the wedding planner advise your client on the best way to be a welcoming, gracious and accommodating host at their wedding reception. Their reception is after all a large dinner party and guests should be treated just as they would be treated if they were guests in the couple’s home.
A great way for your couple to find out about their guests’ food restrictions is to have a line added on the RSVP card asking for “Allergies/Restrictions.”
Most children aged 12 and under would prefer not to eat the fancy meal your clients are planning to delight their guests with. Venues and caterers will have child-friendly options available for the younger guests, usually at a discounted price.
Unfortunately there are many food allergies and dietary considerations that your clients will be faced with. The most common food allergies or restrictions that you will see at a wedding are: Dairy, Nuts, Gluten, Shellfish, Eggs and Soy. (see a past article on Gluten Free weddings for more information)
It is important that these guests get treated just as well as every other guest. It is not their fault their body cannot digest that particular type of food, and in many cases, food allergies can be fatal.
Make sure these guests are being treated to the same number of courses that the other guests are and that their food will be of the same quality. These guests and their needs should be clearly identified to the wait staff through the use of the seating plan, as well as some type of place card.
Your clients may not have the same beliefs as their guests, but they do need to respect them. Just as with food allergies, make sure the guests are treated well, with the same quality of food and that they are clearly identified to the wait staff.