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Gluten-free etiquette

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I was wondering what would be the best way to try to have a gluten-free meal as a guest at a wedding reception. Should I just make a note on the RSVP card? I have already checked the website for the restaurant and saw nothing irt gluten-free options, and my next thought was to call the restaurant to see if they even make such accommodations, and if so to then make a note on the card.

I really don't want to create a huge inconvenience for the bride and groom (who I don't really know.....distant relatives) when they have so much already on their minds, but also don't want to undermine them as hosts by making own arrangements with the restaurant (if that is even possible). However, with GF becoming so much more common and accepted it doesn't seem too outlandish to request that my meal is prepared that way if possible, just not sure how to handle it.

Thoughts?
post #2 of 14

If the RSVP card does not ask you about potential food restrictions, then I would suggest that you do NOT put it down.

 

Instead, assume that this is major catering and that exceptions will not be made.  Instead, pack a few snacks for yourself (to eat discreetly) in case you get hungry and prepare yourself to avoid some or most of the food.

 

This is what I would consider to be polite.

 

Or, if you consider the lack of GF food to be a serious problem, and they are distant relatives who you don't think will really be upset if you skip it, just answer the invitation with a "No I have a previous commitment, but thanks for thinking of me".

 

 

 

post #3 of 14

1) Do NOT stress the bride about this.  She's got enough going on.

 

2) If you really want to go and think you may be able to eat at the wedding, call the restaurant on an off time and ask. 

 

3) If you aren't comfortable with the answers you get you have 2 choices, 1) don't go 2) eat prior/show up after dinner.

 

 

 

post #4 of 14

I wouldn't necessarily trust the restaurant with this, many people have no clue about cross-contamination and you might suffer after eating their "gluten-free" meal.

 

I had a great experience at a reception once - I was desperate to eat something, so I caught a waiter and asked for some fruit. He brought over such a large, delicious assortment, artfully arranged on a huge plate, it was great. All I wanted was a banana or an apple, and I got an excellent meal-sized dessert instead. It was such a nice exception.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

I wouldn't necessarily trust the restaurant with this, many people have no clue about cross-contamination and you might suffer after eating their "gluten-free" meal.

 

 



Always eat dinner before you go!

 

I think I would feel awkward not eating at the table, though, as it might draw attention and make the hosts feel bad.  

 

Is there a food, like fish or a steak, that is pretty safe?  I know "pretty safe" is kind of stupid, I just wondered if there was something on the plate you could make a show of eating.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post



Always eat dinner before you go!

I think I would feel awkward not eating at the table, though, as it might draw attention and make the hosts feel bad.  

Is there a food, like fish or a steak, that is pretty safe?  I know "pretty safe" is kind of stupid, I just wondered if there was something on the plate you could make a show of eating.

This is what I was thinking as well, that having a meal placed before me that I don't eat would be pretty awkward. I don't know what they will be serving, I guess I can hope there will be some plain meat/veggies on the plate.

So it seems the consensus is not to trouble the bride and groom but it may be OK to contact the restaurant to see if I can make some arrangements. If not, I just need to do the best I can, and bring something to eat between the wedding and the reception.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigeresse View Post

So it seems the consensus is not to trouble the bride and groom but it may be OK to contact the restaurant to see if I can make some arrangements. If not, I just need to do the best I can, and bring something to eat between the wedding and the reception.

And get a nice, fat piece of bakery-fresh GF cake to nosh on in the car on your way home!
 

 

post #8 of 14

Do call the bride's mother or the bride/groom.  The plate fee for each guest is hefty and it can sometimes irritate the happy couple if they notice someone not eating a prepared plate.  If you can be accommodated, go for it.  It might be impossible.  I generally don't find that these types of kitchens are safe for my needs, but I'm sometimes pleasantly surprised.  

 

I pack a laptop lunch for kiddo and ask for a clean plate if possible.  Then I plate his food.  I don't always eat even my own food at the reception--sometimes there are just too many x-contam issues.  I might run out to the car for a snack or just eat beforehand.

 

post #9 of 14

I never want the host of anything to rearrange things around our family's food allergies.  I always find out what the menu is and make something similar for our family and just bring it along with me.  When I get to the party/wedding/etc., I'll go to whoever is in charge of the kitchen and explain the situation and ask for an empty plate.  In the case of a wedding, I also bring cupcakes for my kids since they can't eat the cake.  People always seem to understand.  I just note it on the invitation that I won't need a meal.

post #10 of 14

It's sad but I usually end up not eating!

post #11 of 14
If you want to attend :
With the cost per person, I would contact the bride or her mother and tell her you want to attend, but will not be eating. That way they can save the cost of your food. And be sure to note it on the RSVP card as well. I would eat before and take snacks.
post #12 of 14

I have been to a few weddings since I've been gluten/dairy/soy free. One was my brother's, and I was flying out to CA for it. He said he'd find out about the food, and never did. I saw someone who was working from the kitchen (it was a buffet) and I said if the chef had a minute, could she just ask him/her if there were any foods that were safe for me, and if not, that was fine. He came out himself, and told me everything I could have and was very nice about it. The other two were cousins of my husband. On both of them, I put on the RSVP, "I cannot have gluten, dairy, soy. If it's not going to be a problem, could you ask if there's something simple that could be substituted like plain chicken breast and a plain baked potato. If not, that's fine, just let me know and I'll eat ahead." Both were great about it. When you're paying $100/plate, it seems kind of ridiculous to waste the food and the money. I also went to a dinner for my husband's work. And I called the hotel that it was being catered at, and they fixed a special meal for me. Restaurants/Catering halls want to have a good reputation for food. Special diets are becoming more and more common.

post #13 of 14

My 10year old daughter has Celiac Disease and we wen to a formal sweet 16. I didn't let the host know about my daughter's special diet. I instead brought food for her and the matridee put it in the microwave for her.

 

check out my blog: www.glutenfreealie.com

post #14 of 14

I've been to three weddings recently and all were happy to make accommodations for me.  I would perhaps call the restaurant first and ask them some questions so that you know whether or not you feel comfortable with the way they would handle a GF meal.  I would at the very least contact the mother of the bride (if she's involved in the planning) and explain your situation so that you can either choose to bring something on your own or have the restaurant make something special for you.  There's no reason to suffer unless you know the bride and groom would be grumpy about the whole thing, and if that's the case and they are distant relatives, well..

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