Ahh, wedding season. That time of the year when we spend tons of dough, wear potentially unflattering dresses, and consume copious amounts of alcohol in honor of love.
I enjoy a lot of things about weddings. Any reason to dance and buy a new dress is reason enough for me to go to a wedding, and it’s a bonus if someone really awesome is getting married. Regardless, I still get filled with dread before a wedding if I don’t know the menu.
When you have an allergy, knowing what you can and can’t eat at a wedding can be the difference between an awesome time and a night cut short. Lately, wedding hosts have become more savvy to the needs of their guests – there was more than one invitation I’ve received in the past few years that included a section for dietary restrictions. However, you’re not always going to get to pick what you eat at a wedding. So, how do you get the most out of wedding food without stressing out the bride and groom?
In my experience, it all boils down to how well you know your hosts. When my good friends got married, I called them ahead of time and asked them if their caterers could make special orders for food allergies. If they say the menu is fixed, no big deal. At least I asked and am prepared. Other times, I don’t feel comfortable asking, so I wait until the night of to see what I might be able to cobble together that kind of resembles a meal.
Vegan pizza that can last a few meals is always a great bet, by the way.
If you know ahead of time that you’re not going to be eating anything, or even if you’re pretty sure there won’t be anything, do the following:
- Eat a decent lunch
- Bring backup
I bring backup to every wedding I attend. My purse is stuffed with Larabars, Kind Bars, dried fruit, nuts, you name it. You might feel silly whipping out a granola bar at the dinner table, but you’ll feel even sillier after drinking a bunch of free wine on an empty stomach.
Once you get to the venue, survey your options. For me, I know that salad without cheese on it is a safe bet with some kind of vinaigrette. From there I usually pick the most white-bread-looking roll I can find, any other fruits and veggies, and anything that’s obviously cooked in olive oil.
If the caterers are hanging around by the buffet, ask them what’s in the food. If you have servers delivering food, ask them if they have anything for food allergies. This takes the stress off the bride and groom, plus you’re asking someone who either made the food or has a direct line to the chef.
This is the most important thing: After you leave the wedding, make sure to buy yourself some bad for you food. You deserve it after watching everyone dig into mashed potatoes, wedding cake, and the late-night pizza. Those no-restriction jerks.