Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: My fiancé and I are working on the food for our reception. It seems like everyone I know has a dietary restriction of some kind and we are having trouble deciding how to accommodate each person. Some friends and family are vegan or vegetarian for example; one of our friends is kosher; I have an aunt with celiac disease who can’t even eat anything that was prepared on the same surface as glutenous food, or she’ll get sick; plus my grandfather has heart disease and is on a restricted diet. How do we accommodate everyone’s dietary restrictions in our wedding reception menu?

Answer: It’s impossible to please everyone all of the time and things are further complicated when it’s about health rather than preference. There is hope however. Some caterers specialize in restricted diets, whether its dietary preferences, food allergies or religious rules or observations and those who don’t are professionals who are used to special requests. Add a line on your R.S.V.P. card that asks, “Do you have any food allergies or special dietary requirements?” Leave a space for them to write in an answer. This will help you plan in advance and work with your caterer on options. Do your best to accommodate guests within reason. If you are unable to satisfy the request, let them know in advance, so that they can plan ahead. Ask questions, but be compassionate and nonjudgemental regarding their responses. In return, you’re guests will appreciate your care and effort to ensure that they have a great time and feel included in the feast.



Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.