How to Plan a Wedding Menu That Everyone (Yes, Everyone) Will Enjoy

Here’s one thing your wedding doesn’t need: hangry guests.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure your menu includes a little something for everyone. And yes, that means factoring in all of the dietary restrictions, from vegetarian to lactose intolerant.

We’ve got five ways to make sure everyone goes home happy and well fed:

Photo by Cameron Ingalls 

Ask for restrictions on the RSVP card.
Include a space on your RSVP cards for guests to list any dietary restrictions. That way, you won’t be guessing or making last-minute phone calls to track down a meal. Something simple like “Please note any special dietary restrictions” or “Please notify us of any dietary requirements” should do the trick.

If only a handful of people need special dishes, you can send their names to your caterer, who will likely be able to whip up special plates just for them (just know it might cost you a bit more).

How to Plan a Wedding Menu

Photo by Daria Shevtsova

Plan a well-rounded menu.
Not every item on your menu needs to meet everyones’ dietary needs, but there should be plenty of options. If you’re serving a plated dinner, consider offering a red meat, a white meat or fish, and a vegetarian option (you may even want to go with a vegan option to cover more bases). If you’re having a buffet, remember to include options for those who are vegetarian, vegan, and possibly gluten-free or dairy-free.

If you can, make your smaller courses and sides fairly safe for everyone: For example, pick a salad that’s just veggies — no cheese, meat, nuts, or croutons — and serve dressing on the side. If you opt for something with more ingredients, make sure items can be easily left off.

Make it clear which the options are vegetarian, gluten free, etc., either in the invitation, on the menu card or on the sign in the buffet.

How to Plan a Wedding Menu That Everyone

Don’t confuse dietary restrictions with distaste.
You should absolutely do your best to serve those with health- or religious-related dietary restrictions. However, you don’t have to alter your menu just because your brother hates mushrooms or your aunt just gave up carbs. Picky eaters can maneuver the menu themselves.

Don’t forget the drinks.
Depending on your guests’ restrictions, certain drinks might be off the table for them. Those with gluten intolerance likely can’t drink beer, for example. Either opt for a full bar so guests have lots of options, or plan your drink menu with them in mind.

Consider your sweets, too.
While you shouldn’t ditch your wedding cake, it’s nice to offer a few extras for guests who will need to skip the slice. Fresh fruit is usually a safe bet!

Snag more sound advice on Loverly:

14 Thoughts Every Couple Has While Planning Their Wedding Menu

6 Unnecessary Things You Can Totally Cut from Your Catering Bill

11 Questions You NEED to Ask Before You Book Your Caterer