When it comes to planning a bridal shower, navigating the realm of food allergies can be one of the most difficult parts. After all, making sure every guest (including the bride) is accommodated isn't always easy, especially if you're inviting a larger number of people. But the good news is that dietary restrictions have become more prevalent in the event industry, which means that venues are better than ever at accommodating guests with allergies. In fact, allergy-friendly meals are now far more creative than just plain pasta or a boring fruit plate.
To better understand how to plan a bridal shower for a friend with food allergies, we spoke to Christine Kornreich, Executive Director of Sales and Events at the The Skylark, to get tips every host needs to know.
Plan ahead and be proactive.
Kornreich says that careful planning is key when organizing a bridal shower for a friend with food allergies. You should let any prospective venue or caterer know about dietary restrictions in advance. The more proactive you are about telling the vendors, the easier it will be for them to create a balanced and thoughtful options instead of a last-minute meal. On the day of the event, you'll also want to remind the venue manager and servers that the bride (and any other guests) have food allergies.
Ask the right questions.
Kornreich also says that asking the right questions is important, as you'll likely be the person who handles communications with the venue. Two important ones: Has the facility catered to guests with dietary restrictions in the past, and are they flexible about creating a customized menu?
Be cooperative and inclusive.
It's important for any host to be aware of all the bride's preferences and be conscious of them when selecting the menu. To do this properly, Kornreich recommends choose a well-balanced menu with variety of different options. Although the bride may be gluten-free, most of her guests probably aren't, so it's nice to offer something for everyone.
Be prepared for unknown allergies, too.
Although having a well-balanced and inclusive menu is important, Kornreich says that you should also be prepared for some guests to have unknown allergies, too. While you'll definitely know about the bride's and any VIP guest's food allergies early, you won't hear about everything in advance. "Should you be unsure about other guests, ask the venue if they can include gluten free and vegetarian items on the menu just in case," she says.