There's not much you need at a wedding to make guests happy—but food is absolutely one of those things. With a prevalence of dietary restrictions and food allergies, it can be difficult to design a wedding-day menu that works for everyone on your guest list. But even when your caterer can't honor every ingredient change, there are some things you can do to make the best of it. We consulted with wedding planners Adam Donovan-Groves and Jessica Sloane to find out how to handle this sticky situation with grace, and to make sure you end up with a menu that satisfies all.
Be smart with your menu.
Even if your caterer can't make substitutions, odds are they have plenty of options in their repertoire you can choose from that all of your guests are able to enjoy, says Sloane. "Try to not have dairy in everything, and be sure to choose a variety of sides that vegetarians can eat and still feel like they have enjoyed a full meal."
Take on takeout.
While Donavan-Groves says caterers are almost always able to accommodate any allergy with a little heads up, he understands that sometimes that's simply not the case. "If they are not able to, or are unwilling to, the best thing we have found to do is to reach out to a restaurant about providing a special dish which could be picked up and brought to the reception," he explains.
Call in reinforcements.
If your catering menu is set in stone, it's time to focus on getting more food rather than changing the food you have. Luckily, with the popularity of food trucks and pop-up stations, you should have a plethora of options when it comes to incorporating supplemental cuisine. Coal-oven pizza trucks, restaurant raw bars, and other specialty stations can will be a crowd-pleaser for all, while filling the gaps in a catering menu.