Attending weddings can be a real challenge when you live with multiple food allergies. I love to try new foods and since I live with a peanut and tree nut allergy, I always ask in advance what the hors d’oeuvres will be, as well as what kind of main dishes will be served. Then I approach the bride and groom to make them aware of my allergies, as they are the primary event planners who can make my wedding experience a safe one! In my case, my fiancé, Cindy, and I are the primary event planners as we are getting married this coming October.
Being in this position as wedding planners gives us a significant advantage in meal preparation, as we have the power to choose what catering company will serve our wedding guests. Cindy and I were very lucky because the venue we chose included a preferred caterer who was not only careful with food allergies, but also avoided the use of peanuts and all tree nuts. This was a huge relief, especially considering the fact that they also serve nut-free vegan options – double bonus!
Now, if you are not so lucky as to have a catering company provided to you, the important thing to ask in your initial meetings with potential caterers is how they handle your allergens. Can they accommodate your food allergy (as well as other potential allergens from your wedding guests), given their menu options? What are their processes for avoiding the risk of cross-contamination in the kitchen during food preparation? What communication processes are used between the manager, the chefs, and the serving staff? These are all important questions that you should consider when selecting a caterer. If you don’t like the responses or don’t feel safe with the menu options available, move on to the next caterer – there are many to choose from these days!
Now, what about late-night snacks? Most weddings involve some sort of late-night snack, which isn’t always provided by the caterer. For example, Cindy and I strongly considered a donut-wall from a local peanut/tree-nut free bakery. It looked delicious, but ultimately, we decided on pizza! Whatever options you pursue, I recommend following the same protocol you use when scoping out potential caterers. Ask about their food preparation processes, their knowledge of cross-contamination, and about what ingredients they use. Other things to consider when planning your allergen-safe wedding include alcoholic beverages and party favours. Your safety on your big day is imperative, so make sure you stay on track and ask the important questions before locking in your choices!
Am I forgetting anything? Please feel free to share your wedding planning stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Dylan B.