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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Napier

How to Have an Inclusive Wedding Menu

Your menu is one of the most important parts of your wedding day! From hors d'oeuvres to the main meal, guests will either love or hate your wedding food. This can be a lot of pressure for a bride! Add in food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances, and you've got yourself quite a lot to think about. Today, we're giving our best tips for having a more inclusive wedding menu, so that more guests can enjoy what you serve and you can take a step back and breathe. Keep reading!

Photo by: Andrea Garibay

Consider Common Food Allergies First

Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meal options are definitely worth considering, as these are some of the more common food allergies your guests may have. If you only want to make one change to your menu, we suggest offering at least something that can accommodate these requirements. While many people with food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances don't typically expect meal accommodations at all events, it's a very nice way to show them that you thought of them on your big day!

Ask Your Guests

A great way to make this easier on yourself is to ask your guests what their dietary requirements are. Rather than proactively eliminating something from your menu, you may find that your guests require less accommodations than you expected. This allows you to plan for your specific guests and create a menu that will work for everyone! You can do this by requesting the information on your RSVP cards, so you'll have all of the information well ahead of time.

Photo by: Hannah Busing

Eliminate Foods With the Most Allergies

If you find that multiple people are gluten-intolerant, eliminate those foods entirely. It may be easier to just get rid of it completely than coordinate having multiple food options. However, if you do not wish to completely exclude those foods, offer alternatives for people with this food allergy.

Be Mindful With Your Seating Chart

When making your seating chart, it can be very helpful for caterers and guests to seat people with similar allergies near each other. You do not have to make an "allergy table", but having these guests in close proximity is convenient. A very helpful way to keep track of dietary requirements is to include this information directly on your place cards. This lets your caterer know what their meal preference is and if they have any food allergies.

Photo by: Jonathan Borba

Skip the Hassle and Have a Buffet

If you're really struggling with this, but still want to make your menu more inclusive to guests with dietary restrictions, have a buffet! Of course, you'll want to include options for all of your guests, but by separating everything, you don't have to worry about each guests' plate, keeping track of where to seat everyone based on requirements, and the other struggles with accommodating dietary restrictions. Here are a few tips for your buffet:

  • Include both meat and vegetarian options

  • Make your entire menu gluten-free by design

  • Keep all ingredients separate

  • Label everything

  • Remind guests not to mix serving utensils

Whether or not you decide to go all-out or make smaller accommodations for your wedding guests, your efforts will surely be appreciated! If you've got your wedding menu all figured out, check out these menu templates that you can edit, print, and decorate your wedding tables with.

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