Whether you have dietary requirements yourself or some of your guests do, ensuring that you cater for everyone can be difficult. There is a lot to consider, from the ingredients in your cake to the type of bread you serve to your guests. Things may seem complicated if you have an Aunt with a nut allergy, a vegan cousin and a coeliac bridesmaid.
Don’t fret! With different diet types becoming more common, wedding and event caterers are entirely familiar with dietary needs and can make adjustments to suit those guests. We see special requests often here at the College which our caterers are glad to fulfill. See our guide below for some common dietary requirements:
Vegetarians do not consume meat, fish or poultry or any by-products of the meat industry. This includes gelatine and certain cheeses using animal rennet, such as parmesan. Most events will include a vegetarian option as standard.
Vegans refrain from consuming any meat, fish or poultry or any products derived from animals. This includes gelatine, eggs, dairy and honey. With a vegan diet being more popular than ever before, your caterers should be able to accommodate provided you give sufficient notice. Make sure that the vegan options are clearly labelled. You may wish to provide separate cupcakes for vegan guests, marked with a bow, piece of fruit or other symbol. Don’t forget about things like dairy-free spread to accompany bread and dairy-free milk like soy, almond, coconut or oat for teas and coffees. Vegans also avoid animal products such as leather, silk and suede and products tested on animals, including cosmetics. You may wish to bear this in mind for any gifts or favours.
Coeliac disease and gluten intolerances are serious so it is important to monitor this carefully. A gluten free diet excludes grains including wheat, barley and rye. This means that those on a gluten free diet need specific gluten free breads, cakes and bakes and pasta. Again, caterers should be able to accommodate with notice. Try to make sure there is variety for your gluten free guests. Speak to your caterer to ensure that any cross contamination is avoided.
Nut allergies are also extremely serious, with some sufferers being unable to tolerate even cross contamination. It is important to be vigilant and talk to your caterer about the options and preparation. Your nut free option may need to be prepared and plated separately from dishes that contain nuts. Often this is very simple but it is worth triple checking to avoid any allergic reactions.
Those with lactose intolerance are unable to consume any dairy products, including milk, cheese and cream. Ensure that you have non-dairy milk and spreads and dairy-free desserts available.
See our other blog posts here.