Friday, March 28, 2008


I received a very interesting question from a reader that relates to FOOD at the wedding AND INVITATIONS!

What an awesome combo topic discussion! Thanks.

Here is the question:

"how do you about finding out if people eat kosher or are allergic to certain things? on the rsvp card??"

I have never been a big fan of putting food options on an RSVP card, unless the wedding is rather casual/informal. For formal and semi-formal events, the best bet is NOT to include this type of question. I think it leads to more questions than answers (some people may give "cryptic" responses ("I'm allergic." Um...allergic to what?!?), you may not be able to read the handwriting of others (which is why I advocate having numbers on the back of reply cards in the first place), and you basically have to end up asking the same question in a different medium!)

The best bet is to find a "word of mouth" method of communication -- If your wedding is small (even up to 150 guests, I would think), then try and find out from your parents if any of their friends have allergies or kosher requirements (and with your grooms family as well). If your family members or friends have a dire allergy or require a kosher meal (or a meal for a different dietary reason), then most likely, they will say something to you directly about it.

If they don't? Make sure your caterer has a kosher-meal option, a vegetarian option, and a way to ensure that someone with a peanut allergy, for example, can have the food sans-peanuts or peanut-related oils or related ingredients. I use peanuts as an example because this is a fairly common (but can be unfortunately severe) allergy. If an allergy is not as common, most likely your guests will be coming to you.

If you are still worried, then putting a general note on your wedding website is a good way to go:("We're so excited you are coming. If there are any questions you need answered, or any help you need with arranging your stay in XXXXX, please contact us at XXXX"). (Of course, you need to spread the word about your wedding website, but you can put that on your save the date, if you want, or tell your respective families to communicate that to the guests).

I don't think you have to make specific reference to allergies/dietary issues on your website, but if you feel like it's a possibility because you are having a large crowd, then you shouldn't feel uncomfortable.

Having said that, if you make it clear that people can contact you---and they choose not to---then you aren't being a "bad bride" if you believe you have exhausted all your avenues by trying to reach out to your guests in advance of the event.

I hope this helps. Thank you again for bringing up an interesting question that ties into both of the last two topics on my blog!

Stay tuned!


Megan said...

I'm sorry but I think that is overkill. Kosher, vegetarian, no-peanuts, etc? Of course if you know half of the guests are of X religon or whatever then yeah, you should try to accomodate them, but otherwise, I think it is their duty to watch what they eat. Chances are, if they have such strict requirements, they are quite used to asking ahead of time, eating something before the event, only eating certain parts, whatever.

Linda said...

We knew a few of our guests had allergies so we spoke to the caterer about that. Our caterer is willing to work with those who have allergies or are vegetarian. But we could not accommodate someone who is vegan. If we know ahead of time, I would tell them that we could not accommodate their need and they would need to make their own arrangements. Unfortunately you can't please everyone!

Anonymous said...

I have a severe allergy to hops(beer) and I usually don't mention it on any invites , I just inform the people who are serving me to ask the chef. Usually it's not a problem , but some beer is sometimes added to roasts for flavor. Anyone who is allergic knows well enough to ask , just because I can't eat it does not mean everyone else should not enjoy!!

Dataceptionist said...

I agree with Megan & Anon here. Overkill, and unless the guests are children, they can look after their own interests unless they are immediate family. If my brother were allergic to peanuts then serving satay would be incredibly insensitive and selfish, but if so-and-so's girlfriend is allergic to something you shouldn't have to cater to her unless she goes out of her way to tell you.

We had a buffet, solves all these problems, the venue or caterer if you have a buffet will know well enough what to provide.

Dynamite Weddings said...

I agree that most people know to inform the kitchen of allergies, but sometimes a plate change could take a long time. Another option could be about putting something on the menu card that says "Please respond with any serious food allergies/requests".

laragale said...

I agree with the word of mouth/website approach, although I already know I have several people with allergies and vegans I need to accommodate...

PS: great blog, by the way. tag, you're it!

Danae said...

Ok, this doesn't have to do with food, but I'm curious, did you use a calligrapher? I'm a calligrapher, and would like to get a feeling why some brides hire a professional calligrapher to address their invites, and some don't. Is it purely cost related, or something ELSE.... hmmmm ??

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Mandino said...

would sending a DVD invitation be really expensive, I mean, the postage cost on a DVD invitation? I have been thinking of making a DVD invitation. I got that invitation idea from Silver Screen Invites.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this ... I'm doing my RSVP cards and was wondering if I should do this or not. Just googled the question and got this article. Awesome advice ... NO worries ... I'm not including it.