Menu Planning: Catering to Suit Guests of All Ages and Diets

Arranging the catering for your wedding day is one of the most important aspects of your big day. Not only do you need to choose a caterer, but you also want to offer your guests a beautiful and delectable meal that fits in with the rest of your theme. Weddings attract guests of all ages and you want your both your oldest and youngest guests to have a ball and enjoy their meal.

What you decide to serve your guests is a responsibility when you take allergies, vegetarianism, alternative diets and health conditions into account. You want your guests to be happy, and you want to cater to their needs. So, how can you arrange a menu that will suit everyone and meet their varying dietary requirements?
What type of meal? 
Firstly, you need to consider what kind of cuisine you are going to provide for your guests. With the average number of guests at a wedding reaching around 178, it can be quite an expense. 
You need to consider that some of your older guests may not be able to handle certain types of food, may have to avoid foods high in cholesterol and may need bitesize pieces and easy to chew options.
If you are planning a sit-down meal, you will need to arrange an alternative for those who may have dietary needs. It becomes a choice of whether to have the same food that has no allergens in it or arranging a separate menu for them.
If you are choosing a buffet, this can be slightly easier as you can have individual dishes for diabetics, celiac, and others. It also means you can have more variety of food for everyone.
Who’s coming?
An important part of the process is finding out who is coming and if they have any special dietary needs. This will enable you to decide with the caterer what you will have and what they can provide. It is especially true if you have any elderly members of the family attending, as seniors may be on a healthier diet, so you will need to plan for this.
If you and your family are doing the catering, then you need to make sure all the food is labeled, and the particular dietary ones are kept away from other food to prevent cross-contamination.
Other things to consider 
A good way to try and cater for all your guests is to make the whole reception a healthier event. Having healthy foods either for a sit-down dinner or as a buffet, will help those with heart problems and can also cater for other conditions.
You may also want to adapt any snacks and other food left out at the bar or after the meal. 
It might seem like an impossible task, but with a little help from a caterer or some research, you can quickly adjust your reception event to cater for people regardless of their dietary requirements. 

Photo Credit: Sam Sarkis Photography

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