Master the Menu // Being Mindful of Your Guests' Dietary Preferences

Weddings are the ultimate sensory experience — the sound of a band, the smell of fresh roses, the texture of a hemstitch napkin, the sight of family and friends over candlelight...and the taste of a great meal!

When planning the menu for any event, it’s important to consider all of your guests and their needs. From kosher to vegan to gluten free and more, here are few tips on how to curate the perfect menu for your special day.

Who is Coming?

Take a look at your guest list, identify those who you know have a food allergy, dietary need, or abide by a religious dietary law. If you yourself have a dietary need or abide by a religious law,  this is a great time to decide if you would like your event menu to be inclusive of those who do not have the same dietary preferences and restrictions. If you are a vegan and are marrying into a family from Texas, this may not be the best time to introduce them to Quinoa…just a suggestion.

How to Serve

When creating your menu, how the food is served is an equally important detail to the food itself. Plated, family style, buffet, cocktail reception... shooting it out of a cannon...there are tons of options when it comes to food service. If your guest list includes a good mix of gluten free restrictions, vegetarian preferences, and more, consider serving the meal buffet or family style. This service allows guests the flexibility to pick and choose and to create a meal that is all their own. If your guest list highlights just one peanut allergy and one kosher preference, then a plated dinner will do just fine.

What to Serve

Your caterer will generally send over a list of all the magical things they can whip up. Go through and mark up your favorites — ALL OF THEM. Once you have picked everything your heart desires, look at the options again through the eyes of your Muslim guest, your vegan guest, your meat eating guest, or your gluten free guest. Identify how much of the menu they would all be able to enjoy. If they can have only two sides during of a four course dinner, try again. The mission is to ensure there is a little something for everyone, from the cocktail hour to the dessert. For your kosher guest, find a local kosher restaurant that may be able to deliver something just for them.

Test Run

The best part of the planning process has arrived: the tasting! The caterer should now have the list of ALL your favorites and is aware of your vegan, kosher, and shellfish allergic guests. Walk through your favorites and narrow them down together. Inquire about what modifications are available to make a menu items more inclusive. This could mean switching out the crust of a quiche to be gluten free, or upgrading a silent vegetarian option to something other than...mixed vegetables. It doesn't have to be major, just simple and easy changes that your guests will notice. Don’t forget dessert! If you have your heart set on a buttercream cake, talk to your baker and/or caterer to see if they offer any additional gluten free or vegan dessert options.

Voila! You have a menu and are all set to have your guests crown you as “The Best Host that Ever Lived.”  

Cheers to a successful event!


Originally on her way to law school, Fallon fell in love with planning weddings after she found herself accidentally assisting a friend with her nuptials in Paris, France. The moment she returned home, she quit her day job and headed to NYC, and Fallon Carter Weddings and Events was born. 

Specializing in destinations, Fallon Carter Weddings and Events is a full service planning firm that can manage everything from weddings for 20 in Italy, to corporate dinners for 900 in Brooklyn.