When you're invited to be a wedding guest, the last thing you want to do is impose or make things more difficult for the happy couple. After all, planning a wedding is hard! There are, however, a few things you should make sure to mention before you show up at the ceremony. One that impacts not only your enjoyment but also your health? Dietary restrictions. Here's the best way to make sure the bride and groom know what you shouldn't (or can't) eat on their wedding day.
First, we need to draw a distinction. If you don't love mushrooms but aren't allergic, or if you don't eat red meat but are fine with fish, poultry, or a vegetarian option, don't mention it. Choose a meal that will most likely work with your taste, and be prepared to pick the tomatoes out of your salad if you have to. On the other hand, if you have a true allergy or intolerance, speak up! If you've grown up with allergies, you know that requesting a special meal can be embarrassing or feel like you're making trouble, but when it comes to your health, don't let that stop you. You've made the guest list, which means the couple really wants you to be there—and they want you to stay healthy too.
The most important thing for an affected wedding guest to do is share any dietary restrictions early. As soon as you get your invitation, grab the RSVP card. Indicate a meal choice if one of them seems to fit within your dietary restrictions, then add a note to the card letting the couple know of any allergies or intolerances so they can pass them on to their caterer. If it's applicable to an entrée, make sure to include it—especially if you're allergic to something that's a common ingredient, like garlic, onions, wheat, or dairy. (There's butter in just about everything.) While you can't expect a full spread of hors d'oeuvres that you'll be able to enjoy, a main dish is definitely something the caterer will be able to provide.
A few weeks before the wedding, send an email or text just to make sure your note was clear. This is a good time to find out if the couple or their caterer had any questions about what you can and can't eat. However, this is also the last time you should get in touch with the couple regarding your dietary restrictions; they have a lot of other things on their plate (no pun intended…).
The day of the wedding, make sure to bring along any medication you might need in case you do come in contact with something you can't eat. Be sure to have a big lunch before you head to the ceremony (just in case you can't indulge in any of those appetizers), and pack a snack in the event that the caterer wasn't able to prepare something for you. The couple may have already alerted the waitstaff to which guests are to receive special meals, but mention it as they come around to pour water or wine as well, which will help to avoid any mix-ups. Then settle in for an evening of fun!