Free from feasts

Free from feasts

As you send out your wedding invitations, it is a good idea to ask guests to inform you of any dietary requirements. Whether their diet is chosen for medical or moral reasons, it must always be respected and catered for.

As you send out your wedding invitations, it is a good idea to ask guests to inform you of any dietary requirements. In response, you’ll often find that some guests request a vegetarian menu, but they may also ask for a vegan menu or advise you that they have a nut allergy. Whether their diet is chosen for medical or moral reasons, it must always be respected and catered for.

Often this simply requires a conversation with your caterer, who will create a separate menu for that particular guest. If you have many guests with varying allergies and dietary requirements, buffets or food stalls could be the best option for your wedding. Clearly label every dish and let your guests choose for themselves.

Vegetarian

What it means:
A vegetarian diet completely excludes meat and fish.

What to avoid, and what to serve:
It is extremely common to cater for at least one vegetarian guest, so a vegetarian alternative should always feature in your wedding menu. Given the choice, a number of guests will choose a meat-free option whether they generally eat meat or not. The key to success is to be creative, and to offer a menu that is as exciting as the meat or fish menu – no one wants to be offered a bowl of tomato soup and a plate of steamed vegetables!
 

Free from feasts

Image © Page 7 Photography

Braised endive and baby gem with saffron gnocchi, grilled halloumi and sauté woodland mushrooms with peas, broad beans and balsamic cream foam

Dairy Free

What it means: A dairy free diet excludes all dairy products – anything that is made from mammals’ milk.

What to avoid, and what to serve:
Planning a menu free from butter, yoghurt, milk, cheese, cream and ice cream can sound a little daunting, particularly when it comes to desserts. In reality, there are an abundance of dairy free alternatives easily available from supermarkets. Speak to your caterer about the options for a dairy free menu. They may choose to cook with soy, rice or almond milk, for example.
 

Free from feasts

Image courtesy of www.unconventionalbaker.com

Dairy free and sugar free peach cheescake

Coeliac

What it means:
Guests with coeliac disease will require a gluten free diet. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rice.

What to avoid, and what to serve:
When serving a gluten-free menu, it’s important to get it right, and this is certainly a discussion to have with your caterer. Gluten is most commonly found in all grain related foods so things like bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes and noodles are a danger zone. As with dairy, there are gluten-free alternatives, but they are also easily avoided with a more creative menu. Speak to your cake designer about creating a gluten-free cake. If it’s not possible, put a few gluten free cupcakes beside the traditional wedding cake for your guest.
 

Free from feasts

Image © Studio Rouge Photography

Replace traditional reception Blinis with a food station, such as whole sides of Scottish smoked salmon or hand-carved leg of Iberico ham

Vegan

What it means:
A vegan diet is a plant-based diet - excluding all meat, fish and animal products such as dairy, eggs and honey.

What to avoid, and what to serve:
Don’t be remotely daunted if required to offer a vegan diet. If you’re comfortable with the vegetarian option, you’re nearly there - the vegan diet simply excludes dairy, eggs and honey on top of the meat and fish. This leaves you with an abundance of tasty options using vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses – and of course non-dairy alternatives such as vegan cheeses and chocolate.
 

Free from feasts

Image © Page 7 Photography

Roast baby pumpkin with spiced red lentils, spinach coriander and coconut sambal

Nut Allergies

What it means:
An allergic reaction to nuts – mainly peanuts but often including other tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and cashews.

What to avoid, and what to serve:
While it’s important to respect all dietary requirements, any guest with a nut allergy must be carefully catered for, ensuring there are no nuts or nut products in your menu. Getting this wrong can obviously result in serious medical consequences. Speaking to the guest in question is important, so you can ascertain the level of the allergy and which nuts are particularly dangerous. Leaving nuts out of your menu is relatively simple, and many caterers will happily do this. You also need to ensure that they don’t cook with any nut oils or use condiments containing nuts. The traditional wedding fruit cake is obviously a ‘no no’ and many cake designers are unable to guarantee a nut free environment. So, when it comes to cake, offer your guest an individual alternative to the wedding cake.
 

Free from feasts

Image © Senior Mac

Stick with fruity options such as a trio of vanilla cheesecake with fresh strawberries, lemon posset with lemon jelly and shortbread and passionfruit tart with raspberry coulis

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