Q & Advice

Guide to Wedding Guest Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

glosite wedding guest food allergies dietary restrictions

Tis the season of food people! Yes, we’ve got menus on the mind around here. If you’re planning a wedding celebration, a dinner party of any gatherings where people will enjoy some fabulous morsels, then we bet you are thinking about it too. But what about your guests that need to think twice about what’s on the table? It’s a fact of life that some people have restrictions on what they can put in their bodies – sometimes by choice and sometimes because of very serious medical conditions. For this reason, we always recommend including an RSVP question on your wedding website to specifically ask your guests about any dietary restrictions or allergies that you need to be aware of.

For those of us who don’t have food restrictions or preferences, this world can seem daunting. So today, we are going to do our best to cover some of the food considerations you might see come back as a response to the all important “Do you have any dietary restrictions?” RSVP question.


Vegetarian / Vegan

Vegetarian guests do not eat meat or animal flesh. This includes soups that have a meat-based stock. Some guests may refer to themselves as pescatarian, which means they eat fish, but not animal meats or flesh.

Vegans follow a plant-based diet and do not eat animal flesh, and also restrain from eating animal products. This includes eggs, dairy and other animal derived products (for instance, certain types to gelatins.)

glosite wedding website vegan wedding food ideas

Sweet Potato Bruschetta, recommend in One Green Planet’s Guide To Vegan Wedding Foods


Kosher diets follow the rules of Kashrut or Jewish dietary law, which dictates what foods may be eaten and how they should be prepared and consumed. Meat and diary foods may not be stored, cooked or consumed together. There are restrictions on the types of animal meats that can be consumed. Specifically only animals that chew their cud and have cloven hooves are allowed, which prohibits animals like pigs, rabbits. Kosher foods are also slaughtered and prepared in specific ways. Dairy must come from a Kosher animal and be processed in a Kosher facility. Non-meat and diary items are also subject to Kosher law, including wine.


A Halal diet specifies foods that are permissible for Muslims to eat or drink under Islamic Shariʻah (law). It includes both the types of foods that can be eaten, as well as how the foods are prepared and primarily applies to meat and animal tissue. Common restrictions include not consuming pork, blood, animals that are not killed in a Halal way, and alcoholic beverages.

glosite wedding website halal wedding food

Halal wedding menus by Silver Spoon Catering

Nut allergies

There are numerous types of nut allergies. Two of the most common are peanuts, which are legumes, and tree nuts, which includes almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, filberts/hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, and walnuts.

Shellfish allergy

Like those with peanut alleargies, individuals who are allergic to shellfish can have extreme reactions. This allergy can include shelled marine animals like shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, scallops, and oysters, as well as octopus, squid and squid ink.

glosite wedding website free food alleargy place cards

Free downloadable food allergy place card printables by Marry This

Celiac disease (gluten-free)

Those who follow a gluten-free diet do not eat barley, rye, triticale (a cross between wheat and rye), or wheat. Sone common food that they do not eat (unless they are specifically marked gluten-free) include: bread, cake, beer, cookies, crackers, croutons, french fries, pasta, salad dressing, soy sauce (and other types of sauces), potato chips, some soups/soup bases.

glosite wedding website gluten free sign

Photo by Robert Betz, featured on Gluten-Free Living

Lactose intolerant (dairy free)

Individuals who are lactose intolerant can not digest lactose, which is the sugar primarily found in milk and dairy products. Common foods that lactose intolerant guests will avoid are cheese, milk and ice cream. Lactose is sometimes found in bread, baked goods, salad dressing, candy, as well as foods that contain whey, curds and dry milk/dry milk solids.

glosite wedding website dairy free wedding cake

Dairy Free Naked Wedding Cake by The Organic Wedding Cake Company

If you are working with a caterer, it is essential for you to keep them updated about anything your guests’ can not eat. They are the experts and they will have many ideas about how to keep your guests both safe and happily fed. If you are planning a DIY potluck, working with a local food truck, or supplying your own food, then searching for alternative or complimentary food items for your restricted guests will certainly bring smiles to their faces. If your celebration includes any buffet tables, and you know you have guests with certain food restrictions, it is helpful to label foods or let them know about ingredients that could be harmful. Some guests with severe allergies may prefer to eat before coming or bring their own meal/snacks.

The important thing to remember is to communicate with guests so that you and others involved in the food preparation are aware of any concerns. Taking the time and thought to ensure that all of your guests are able to enjoy the day will mean the world to them.

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  • Reply lyamber 20 Feb 2016 at 03:54

    I like this post! I was brought up to always eat anything prepared by my host and to clear my plate at someone else’s house even if they serve something you hate. I find it horribly rude when people won’t eat things because they are picky (I do not find it at all rude when people are allergic to things and will go out of my way to make something they can eat).

  • Reply northdakota 14 Mar 2016 at 01:08

    I think it’s important for people without allergies to realize that for them a meal out may just be a casual event, but for someone with severe allergies, their life could be at risk just doing something others do all the time without thinking. That said, it’s both a huge honour for someone to take that risk by eating in your home, and a huge responisibility for you who is hosting them.

  • Reply wedding catering 2 Aug 2016 at 12:15

    Vegetarian guests do not eat meat or animal flesh. mostly in Brahmin marriage pure vegetarian. different type of vegetarian foods

  • Leave a Reply to lyamber Cancel Reply