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Weddings
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Hi everyone,

 

I’m looking for some advice on attending weddings. I recently got married before I was diagnosed with celiac and had to go gluten free, so I understand the stresses and expense of wedding planning and I don’t want to be either to the bride and groom. I read a few other threads for advice, but I thought I’d bring it up again for some guidance.

 

Just last month, I went to my cousin’s wedding where I followed the advice of calling the caterers ahead. I was told by the venue that gluten-free would not be a problem and to just tell the wait staff the day of. The woman I spoke to seemed put-off that I would even question their ability. (This was a very lavish, 350 dollar a plate event near NYC so I thought this seemed plausible.) When I got to the event, I spoke to the waitress and she was also put-off and indicated everything is gluten-free except for the dessert. That was all well and good until the salad came out with a huge onion croute…I continued to eat dinner even after this, BIIIIIIIG mistake since I was majorly glutened.  As my husband had said, the scallops were probably flour dusted.

 

Now, I have two more weddings to attend this year and I was wondering what I should do? Both weddings are sit-down meals.

 

1) Should I contact the caterer and see if they can do gluten free again even though I was burned by the last wedding?

2) Should I contact the bride/groom and tell them I will be attending, but will not be eating and let them negotiate a different price for no food/alcohol only for one guest?

3) Combination of 1 and 2

4) Just go and not eat at the wedding (more costly to bride and groom)

 

I’m still new to gluten-free and I don’t want any more setbacks. This feeling like a normal person is great and I want to keep it up up!

 

Thanks for the advice! :) 

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whatever you decide to do, bring 'backup' food!

 

i would call the caterer and if they don't sound absolutely clueless, explain what you need and that it needs to be handled separately and kept crumb free.  i have tried this before and it's hit or miss - i think the next time i will see if i can send them some 'guidelines' - everybody who doesn't know what gluten-free diet is tends to think it's vegetarian lolz or they are 'crouton removers' and don't realize that one crumb might do you in.  take everybody's name that you talk to, too, that way you can say, 'so-and-so said he/she would be taking care of this issue' in case you need to point a finger of failure  <_<

 

or, you can find out what they're having and fix your own similar meal to bring with you.  slide it onto the caterer's (hopefully safe!) plate at dinnertime, and *viola!* 

 

as far as informing the bride and groom, that's a judgement call - some friends/relatives of mine would understand, some would make it  into a Big Deal, when it doesn't really have to be.  

 

secret option "e" :  eat before, bring a snack, drink wine, dance ;)

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Sorry that  happened to  you... The  caterer   should  be  notified  about  the  server for  sure, esp  if  he/she  stated   the  gluten-free food  would be  no problem....I  attend  many weddings  &  never once  had to  bother the bride  or  groom.. I just  went  through the  caterer &  even  asked  if  I could  pay  for my gluten-free  meal  which  always  was  no  its  okay we  do  this all the  time  for people,,, it  is  very  common  place now  days for  caterers  to understand .. Of  course  some  like doctors  never  get it....

I  would  contact  the  caterer  & work  something out..

I once too  had  a  nasty  server at  a  wedding  but  just  asked  for  the  head  person /caterer  &  told  him  we  had  spoke  about  a gluten-free meal  for me... He  remembered  &  said  everything  but the  breaded  chicken  is  okay  & I have  you a  piece in  the back  heating  by itself.   It was  delish  . The  nasty  server  brought it  to me  at the  table never  making  a  fuss. Many never  even  noticed...

When  they  can't  provide  gluten-free  I  would  eat  before &  enjoy  the  wedding....

I  have been to church  funerals  where  the  ladies from the  church  make the luncheon.. Usually  a  disaster  so  I just eat  salad  if   there is no  croutons  &  if  it  does  I just  have  a  drink coffee/ ice  tea   &  say  oh  I'm not  very hungry.

Sometimes  it  is better  to  just  ask for the main person... If  you contact  them early  on  then a  gentle  reminder  may be  needed  closer to the date....

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I am attending a wedding this weekend.   My dinner choices on the RSVP card were Chicken Caccatore and Roast Beef, I knew the chicken would be breaded and hoped I could eat the beef, and chose that.   I called ahead and asked to speak to the chef, we talked extensively about the menu and what was going into the roast beef for cooking and any type of gravy.   I got a great vibe from him, he seem to be very knowledgeable and before I hung up said "just let your waiter know so that I can plate your food first so that no one else in the kitchen grabs tongs or something from the chicken and cross contaminates your dinner".     I am choosing to eat at the reception, am I taking a chance?   Of course I am, I do that anytime I don't personally make my own meal, I will take my own picnic in the car just in case things don't seem right.  

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Hi everyone,

 

I’m looking for some advice on attending weddings. I recently got married before I was diagnosed with celiac and had to go gluten free, so I understand the stresses and expense of wedding planning and I don’t want to be either to the bride and groom. I read a few other threads for advice, but I thought I’d bring it up again for some guidance.

 

Just last month, I went to my cousin’s wedding where I followed the advice of calling the caterers ahead. I was told by the venue that gluten-free would not be a problem and to just tell the wait staff the day of. The woman I spoke to seemed put-off that I would even question their ability. (This was a very lavish, 350 dollar a plate event near NYC so I thought this seemed plausible.) When I got to the event, I spoke to the waitress and she was also put-off and indicated everything is gluten-free except for the dessert. That was all well and good until the salad came out with a huge onion croute…I continued to eat dinner even after this, BIIIIIIIG mistake since I was majorly glutened.  As my husband had said, the scallops were probably flour dusted.

 

Now, I have two more weddings to attend this year and I was wondering what I should do? Both weddings are sit-down meals.

 

1) Should I contact the caterer and see if they can do gluten free again even though I was burned by the last wedding?

2) Should I contact the bride/groom and tell them I will be attending, but will not be eating and let them negotiate a different price for no food/alcohol only for one guest?

3) Combination of 1 and 2

4) Just go and not eat at the wedding (more costly to bride and groom)

 

I’m still new to gluten-free and I don’t want any more setbacks. This feeling like a normal person is great and I want to keep it up up!

 

Thanks for the advice! :) 

Hey Hey,

I have a wedding coming up. I told the bride and groom I am brining my own food. :-( Tacky I know, but they can't gurantee the food being gluten free. So I decided not to eat. :-( Good Luck.

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We went to a wedding in early June. Both me and my daughter (age 14) have celiac. She was glutened at the rehearsal dinner that I did not attend. She was with her grandparents who asked several times if the meal was gluten-free and the waiter kept saying yes. I think they confused gluten-free with vegetarian. She spent hours vomiting from about 1 am to 5 am. At the reception the caterer was rather brusque and assured me the meal was gluten-free. However it was chaotic in that they brought the food to the event from elsewhere and there was bread everywhere. I ended up deciding to push the food around my plate rather than risk it. We have generally good experiences at restaurants where the food is cooked for you when you order. However, caterers make all the food at once and then plate it and often hire untrained (in food safety) waiters such as college students. 

 

I suggest that you bring your own food or I prefer just to eat before or after. It's definitely just a meal and it's not worth hours or days of misery. 

You can drink wine and be social. 

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I would always bring a back-up, even if it's a collection of fresh fruit, nut bars, chips (the catered meal would be indulgent, so why not be a little indulgent too?!), whatever you can manage depending on how you're traveling. I had a great experience recently at a wedding that I expected not to be able to eat anything at - I'd prepped a whole meal and was going to go out to the car to eat quickly at some point, but wound up being able to eat a lot of the many salads and beautiful fruit. One of the catering managers helped me with what was safe and what wasn't. Of course, it helped that it was really relaxed, buffet-style and everyone just grabbed plates when they were ready to eat (they didn't call up specific tables).

 

No need to involve the bride or groom, unless to get the caterer's info - they have enough going on and will likely stress over that additional detail, even if you tell them not to. Contacting the caterers in advance is a great option, as is offering to pay for any price difference. I don't think many places are likely to give a "discount" if you don't eat, since they're pricing by attendance and not by who is eating what - the caterer still has to provide drinks, etc., and it's all part of the contracted package, especially if the caterer is tied to the venue.

 

Remember, too, that with all of these online review sites you can help encourage "good behavior" by sensitive and helpful caterers by providing good reviews and by reviewing those with snide servers or those that essentially poison you with bad reviews. Lots of good websites - The Knot, Wedding Wire, and others have lots of quick and easy review options, and that really helps those of us planning weddings, too! Chances are, if that wait staff was rude to you, they were also rude to someone else.

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For an acquaintance or non-family member, I have no problem with going to a catered meal like a wedding and pushing the food around on my plate, but not eating.  I'm not really going to tell the host (unless I know that money is super-tight for them) because I try to avoid making my celiac the topic of conversation (it gets boring after a while)  and it creates just another thing that they have to go and argue with the caterer about.  It's really not that big a deal for me to keep a banana or other snack in my bag and eat it as normally as possible. It's just one meal, and a few hours.  And as for the host not getting charged for my meal, well, i am drinking wine (some of you may not, but I do), and using the napkins and possibly having coffee at the end, etc.

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thanks for all the advice everyone. I guess I am really confusing too things - feeling guilty about having a bridge and groom pay for food I'm not going to eat and afraid of being glutened. I'm just feeling guilty about the food part since money was really tight for our wedding and we had different prices for different meals, so I don't want to cause them more money by not even eating the food!

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I would first go to the caterer's website and see if they even list gluten-free options.  If they don't, I would plan on not eating the meal.  It could be that there are some things you could eat like fruit, cheese, shrimp, but keep in mind that those things could be cross contaminated.  I would bring my own food and eat before, after or during.  I would sneak out to my vehicle and eat there or bring the food in and eat it off to the side somewhere quickly then return to the table.  It would be highly unlikely that all food at a wedding would be gluten-free unless the bride or groom were gluten-free themselves.  And even then it might not all be.

 

If the caterer does have gluten-free options I might speak to them first but I would still bring at least a big snack just in case.  There have just been too many times that people have gotten things wrong.

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We have 3 over the next 18 months, one I know where it's held and have eaten there before ordering their gluten-free vegan dishes and they do a marvellous job.  The other 2 I'm not so sure about.  One is a buffet style one so I'm thinking of taking my daughter's food for her but it's not until next October so I'll wait and see.  The one in october this year I'm not so sure about.  It's in a different state and I've never been to that restaurant before or heard anything about it.  I've taken to carrying baked beans and Orgran tinned spaghetti with us to various places because it keeps well and doesn't if all else fails, she can have that and we'll leave early or perhaps race back to the motel and she can eat then we can go back to the reception.  Still undecided!

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