Come to find out, dietary restrictions are a big deal now-a-days. We hardly ever work a wedding where we don't have someone that has a special restriction to their meal. So how do you accommodate everyone with one or two meals? Thankfully, caterers and venues have made it easier for couples to manage and we have broken down some of the ways you can handle it with your guests.
No matter what, every caterer or venue can accommodate a vegetarian, even if it is someone that doesn't say anything until the night of your wedding. It is always great to have a count ahead of time and trust us, most vegetarians will make sure they let you know. This meal is typically a vegetarian pasta type dish and most venues will not have you select it, but they will just provide something fresh and delicious.
There are so many different allergies out there today it is kind of crazy. From gluten-free and shellfish allergies to nuts and dairy, it can seem hard to be able to accommodate everyone. When you are creating your RSVP cards everyone should have a line for "dietary restrictions" whether you are having a choice meal, station party or not. You should also then mark your floor plan with those that have listed dietary restrictions so that your food and beverage team is aware of those that need a special meal.
We work with one caterer that has created a vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy free meal so that they can accommodate almost all restrictions with one plate - and it is quite delicious! And this same caterer has also considered going to all gluten-free sauces as to avoid that allergy all together!
So when you start getting in to things like Kosher meals, that is where it gets really tricky. If your wedding is not Kosher it is best to check with your venue to see if you can offer those guests an ordered in Kosher meal. We have done this in the past for Jewish weddings and it has worked great.
We just recently had a wedding where Mormons attended and Mormons do not drink alcohol. So we set their table with water and lemonade instead of water, wine and champagne glasses. This way we were still able to accommodate the guests and not have them feel awkward with alcohol at their seats.
The great news is that almost all of the caterers and venues are able to accommodate any request, so do not be afraid to ask as it is a lot easier to manage than you think!
When designing your floor plan for your wedding you will be asked where you and your groom (or bride) will be sitting at the reception. In the grand scheme of things, you really only have a couple of choices, but we thought we would take a moment to review your options so that you can make the best choice for you and your fiancé for your wedding.
A sweetheart table is a table for two - just the bride and groom. Some couples know right off the bat that they don't want to be "put on stage" so this is not the option for them, but there are some benefits of having a sweetheart table. If you have a big bridal party, you don't have to worry about fitting everyone at one huge head table and their plus ones can sit with them at another table. When you are done with your salad course and entree course you are most likely going to get up to greet your guests table by table, so you are not leaving any of your "tablemates" behind and guests will actually come to your table and say hi as well!
If you are having a small bridal party and the sweetheart table is not your choice, you can choose to sit at a table with just your family - brothers, sisters, parents. Also depends on how big your family is of course! This table could be round, square or a long table. You can also make a table long enough to accommodate a larger family if you so chose. You may or may not get up and greet your guests in between courses, so keep that in mind as well. If you do not do a receiving line after the ceremony, it is custom for the couple to go and say hi to their guests.
Depending on the size of your bridal party (and their dates) you may choose to have a head table with your bridal party. These tables can be large, long tables as well with your guests on both sides. It is not very popular now-a-days to have all of your head table sitting on one side, and it is so much better to have someone across from you to chat with! And it really is best to have your bridal party sit with their significant others or dates so count them in when figure out size!
Take a look at some sweetheart tables and head table options from weddings we have done over the years. If you are still unsure - ask your bridal party what they think. And you may change your mind once you really start working on the floor plan!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
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