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GFDonna

Sit Down Dinner Wedding Reception Help!

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Help! I am fairly new to gluten-free and I have been invited to a wedding I have to respond to soon. The bride is vegetarian so the entree choices were ziti or chicken. I have only gone to one small family event other than that we cook at home or go to restaurants with gluten-free menus. Do I chose chicken and hope for the best? Do I add a note that I will attend but will not be eating? Do I ask the bride if she knows if any of the food being served is gluten free? This is a good friend of my husband's and it is an hour from our home in a rural location I have never been to.

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GFDonna,  "Hope for the Best", isn't an option for those that must eat gluten-free!!!      You must step up and ask if there's a gluten-free option offered!     I've found Chefs for Weddings to be very knowledgeable and go out of their way to accommodate our gluten-free requests.

 

Good Luck, 

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I do one of two things:

 

Call the bride or groom and ask if you can have the email contact for their caterer.  I've had brides try very hard to obtain me a safe meal and quite frankly it is a waste of their precious time.

 

Bring my own and RSVP that I will be bringing my own so do not count me in the totals for the caterer.

 

ok guilty...if it looks to be a very nice dinner I haven't mentioned my inability to eat it and let my husband and adult children have bigger servings ;)

 

It really is up to you...do what is most comfortable for you...but as others have said, the winging it approach never works.

 

Take heart...it really does get much easier to handle these situations with time :)

 

Most important, go and enjoy!

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Call the  place  where the  reception is going to be held  &  ask  if  the  reception  is  being  catered  by  one  of their  chefs  , if  so  ask  to  speak to   the  chef... Most  always  the  chef  can prepare  gluten-free  chicken...  In my  neck of the  woods  the  chicken usually  is  stuffed  chicken breast  , not  gluten-free  but  the  chef  will prepare  a  grilled  breast  for me.....Last year  we attended  six  weddings  at  different  areas  &  places &  I  always  called  ahead  , offered  to pay  for my own  meal   &  I  always  got  this  message  back....  Gluten  free  is  so popular now  days  , no problem  we  will  make  your  meal gluten-free  but  don't  eat  the  bruschetta  appetizers.  cookies on the  cookie  table  or the  wedding  cake....

Sometimes  they  are  buffet  type receptions  &  others  have been  sit down, served....

We  are going to a  sit down this  Saturday....  I called  ahead  because  it is  over  an hour  from our  home...  I  spoke  to the   chef  &  he  laughed  &  said  oh  I  already  have  three  gluten-free  attending  this wedding  & 2  vegans& 1  peanut  allergy...  so  I'll add  you to the  gluten-free  list....just identify  yourself  when  you get  here  so we  know  which  table to deliver  your  gluten-free  meal....

He  also  said  most  of his  menu  is  gluten-free  already because  so many  people  now  days  have  food  issues...

 

Do your  homework  first   & then enjoy yourself  at the  event...

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Call ahead to the venue and see if you can be accomodated. If not, bring a bag of chips in your purse and eat (a lot!) ahead of time. That's what I do! When I explain that I have significant food restrictions, people understand.

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Yes,  I  think most  chef's  are  a wear  of  gluten free.. I  usually make  my judgment  call after  speaking  with  the  chef..  If  I feel  confident  that  the  chef  has  knowledge  about  gluten-free  then  I  send  in my RSVP...if   I  don't  feel  they  have  any  idea  about  gluten-free  then  I  still go  but  eat  before  hand or  take  my own food  with  me...Taking  your  own food  seems  to be frightening  for  some  but  honestly  the only ones  who know  your  food  is  not  exactly like  the  other  food  are the  ones  at your  table or  near  you... If  it's a  sit  down  then  usually there are  people  I  know  somewhat & if they ask  I  say  I  can't  eat  wheat  products  as  I get  ill...many times  this leads into  a conversation but not  always..

If  it  is a firehall  reception  with the long  tables  &  you can sit  anywhere  I usually pick an  end  of a table  where  I'm not  out  in the open....

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I would presume that any food at a catered event is susceptible to cross contamination even if all of the ingredients in a dish were gluten free. 

I had to do this last summer. I ended up eating before the wedding reception and after and only drinking beverages while I was there. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to get up and move around at a big event like that so that you're not sitting at the table twiddling your thumbs while everyone else is eating. But I underestimated how long I could go without and was starting to get crabby and tired toward the end. Of course, that could have just been the effect of my mother. LOL.

If the chef/caterer won't have anything you can eat and you really want to have a full meal, you could ask if they could plate something you bring yourself though they would likely charge extra for the service. If you make something cold, I could imagine one of those little soft coolers with an ice pack being easy to bring in and just set under the table at your seat until you need it. And if you do go the route where you choose not to eat a full meal during the event, do load up your pockets/purse with things you can snack on. 

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I want to thank everyone that responds with suggestions. I thought you might like to hear how it turned out. We respondeded that we would be attending but not eating. Grabbed a couple sesame crackers on the way to the reception and had some expensive tasty flavored almonds I was saving for the event. I just have to mention how awesome my husband is. He knows how I have struggled with all of this so he chose not to eat either. Half way home from the wedding we found a great pizza place that had gluten free crust and made their own gluten-free sub buns. The waitress even said when they brought my sub (the first one in ten months) we checked the potato chips are gluten free too! Next time I might pack a cupcake so I can join in with that.

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We just attended a wedding this last weekend and I was debating this same topic.  I ended up calling the venue and was able to speak directly to the chef a couple of days prior to attending.  I told him of my dietary restrictions/issues, mentioned that I have celiac disease, etc.

 

They were very accomodating and had a meal especially prepared for me.  The regular menu was steak and chicken.  My steak was the same as others, however the chicken I got was a grilled chicken breast (no breading or sauce, that other had).  I came with roasted potatoes and asparagus.  The meal was delicious and I actually felt later that day and the next day.  So, it was a success.

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Here's  the update  on  my gluten-free  sit-down  wedding  dinner... Soup was  served  first,  I  was  given a  big  fruit  plate(delish)! Salad  next  no  croutons! I  ordered  the  chicken  looked  like  every other  chicken  dish  except  no gravy for me....asparagus & carrots...., potatoes  all good... Choc.  covered  strawberry... Dessert  was  the  wedding  cake, none  for  me  but  I got  a  three  scoop  bowl of  ice  cream,  with berries....The  appetizers  were  good  & the  bread  was  placed  away  from  the  appetizers.. There  was  a cookie  table  which  again  I did not  have.. 

So, I guess  things  are  getting  much better  with caterers.......glad  the others  also  had a great  experience....

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We just attended a wedding this last weekend and I was debating this same topic.  I ended up calling the venue and was able to speak directly to the chef a couple of days prior to attending.  I told him of my dietary restrictions/issues, mentioned that I have celiac disease, etc.

 

They were very accomodating and had a meal especially prepared for me.  The regular menu was steak and chicken.  My steak was the same as others, however the chicken I got was a grilled chicken breast (no breading or sauce, that other had).  I came with roasted potatoes and asparagus.  The meal was delicious and I actually felt later that day and the next day.  So, it was a success.

I wrote that I needed a gluten free meal on the rsvp card.  I wasn't expecting much, but the groom talked with my husband, and he explained the importance of gluten free.  When I got to the reception, I wasn't planning to eat, buy I was served a gluten free meal, and one of the servers double checked that everything was okay for me.  This response was probably the exception to the rule, but I was elated!

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One of our dear friends is getting married this upcoming Sunday. They are in college still and don't have a lot of money, so the reception is very informal and definitely not catered. (I think that some folks are cooking for them and donating the food to help them keep the cost down)

 

I called the bride's mom (one of my closest friends) and asked about bringing my own gluten free lasagna (they are having a lasagna reception) and mentioned that I'd be happy to share it with any other guests who were gluten free. :) My friend was thrilled and thanked me for it! She said that there was another gluten free guest coming and that they would let him know that there would be something for him. 

 

So, in informal weddings, something like this can work!

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Blessedmommy,,,,,, that  is  so  great....... I  think sometimes  we  overthink & some  even panic  about  issues  like  this but in reality  now  days  are  simple  to    fix.....  kudos  to  you..  and  you  will also  be  able to help  another  celiac........I  think  being  prepared  is  always  a good  thing....  

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Yep, the lasagna thing is a great idea, especially when it helps another gluten-free person as well!  Having the same kind of food as everyone else will make you feel more included.

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Yep, I made a gluten-free lasagna for my SIL's informal wedding reception last fall too! My lasagna was also vegan, so it covered those guests that were vegan as well, in one fell swoop. We had several people that shared our lasagna.

 

I also made a gluten-free/vegan cake for the dessert table as well. She was appreciative to me for donating food and I got safe food, so it was a win/win situation for everyone. :)

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