I may not know who the groom will be, and I may not know what I’ll be wearing, but I can tell you one thing about my wedding – it will be gluten free. Why? Because one bite of gluten and I will be sick all night, and my wedding is the one night that I don’t want to worry about that happening. I don’t want to have to grill the waiters about ingredients, I don’t want to wonder if I’ll be able to have dessert, – I want to feel free to eat whatever I please until my dress no longer fits. The only gluten I don’t see a problem with having at a gluten free event is beer, since it’s clearly labeled, and I think that beer is necessary in order to properly dance to “Shout.” Here are some steps you can take to plan a tasty, fun, and gluten free wedding:
Find a venue or caterer who knows what they’re doing
This is one meal you don’t want to leave to chance. If you’re planning on serving entirely gluten free fare, then having a top notch caterer is key. They can help you put together a menu that all of your guests will be happy with and suggest substitutions for typical gluten-filled items, such as the bread basket. It’s not very difficult to think of a delicious gluten free meal – start with corn muffins, then serve a seasonal salad. For the main course have salmon or filet with mashed potatoes, and ice cream sundaes or chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. In the DC area, gluten free brides have given great reviews to Wolfgang Puck’s catering services, Green Plate Catering, and Eat & Smile Catering.
Ask for ingredient cards
Especially if you are planning on serving a buffet at your wedding, ask the venue if they can provide a card with all ingredients in each dish, including which of the common allergens the dish contains (gluten, dairy, nuts, shellfish, egg, etc.). This will allow guests who has a food intolerance or allergy to choose items that work for them – and that means no sick guests! If you’re having a seated dinner, you can use food allergy cards to designate to the servers who is gluten free, soy free, vegan, etc. Download some for free here
Get yourself a killer cake
Did you know that wedding cakes were traditionally made to bring good luck to all guests and the couple? Gluten certainly brings nothing but trouble to me, but luckily there are lots of bakeries nowadays that offer gluten free wedding cakes. The cream of the crop in the DC area is Happy Tart Bakery. You can also order gluten free wedding cakes at Cakelove and Sticky Fingers. In addition to the cake there are plenty of gluten free options for the dessert table such as macaroons, ice cream or sorbet, chocolate covered strawberries, and fresh fruit.
Send guests home with gluten free favors
Having a non-edible favor ensures that everyone can enjoy and keep a memento of the day – some of my favorite ideas are a custom drink koozie, a mixed CD, or a book of family recipes. For gluten free food favors, you could consider giving bags of apples or pumpkin seeds at a fall wedding. Jars of honey, jam, and gourmet chocolates are always a winner. Or if you or your Aunt Mary is really set on having Jordan almonds on the tables, those are typically gluten free as well.
Don’t give up the midnight buffet
Typically weddings these days serve up some greasy fare at midnight to sustain the late-night dancers. I attended a wedding in Florida that had a nacho buffet, which was absolutely perfect for my gluten free junk food craving! Chips, cheese, guacamole – what’s not to love? Chicken wings, French fries, and tater tots (fried in a dedicated fryer) would also work, or bags of popcorn with butter.
With careful planning, it’s absolutely possible to have a gluten free wedding that will rival any other. Give your groom and guests beers and a steak and I promise he won’t miss those banquet hall breadsticks one bit. What’s most important is that everyone at your wedding, including you, has a delicious and substantial meal that won’t make them sick, and most importantly a memorable evening!
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