Gluten-free, vegan, kosher, nut-free, and vegetarian diets are among the most common dietary restrictions that encompass our society. Speaking as a vegan, I have left so many weddings, events, and other parties STARVING. Here are a few tips to help you host your next event and make sure all of your guests are happy, full, and satisfied.

1. Show & Tell

When designing your invitations or your event website, make sure to showcase the menu to your guests ahead of time. If you are having a buffet, present all of the food options that will be available. Sit down meal service is easy to accommodate as well. List the food choices and list an option for your guests to check “Food Allergy” when they RSVP. This way you will know ahead of time and plan accordingly.

2. Talk with the Chef

When booking a catering company or an event location, make sure to ask the chef how they accommodate food allergies. Most catering companies will want to know before hand what type of allergy they are dealing with. Having your event at an established restaurant or banquet hall with a kitchen will give you a bit more flexibility with last minute food allergy options.

3. Factor in Seating

Some food allergies are life threatening and they need to be accommodated properly. If there is a guest with a severe nut allergy, think about not serving anything made from nuts at the event. Can’t live without peanut butter pie? Then make sure that your guest with the allergy sits far from the dessert table and will not come in contact with any nuts. Also consider placing hand sanitizer at all the tables to eliminate any cross contamination for those with allergies.

4. Have Options

For those guests that are either too shy to admit they have a dietary restriction or they don’t RSVP, then make sure you have options. For each course, have more than one dish to choose from. It is always safe to stock up on some vegetarian food and some gluten-free bread just in case your cousin brings his vegan, gluten-free girl friend at the last minute.

No matter how you slice your food allergy, dietary restrictions are becoming more and more common. Those of us with these special diets will not stay quite if there is nothing for us to eat at your next event. Everyone comes together to celebrate, so make sure that everyone is accommodated accordingly.


Mandy France is an event designer and a professional blogger. Her resume includes working for the Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida. Mandy travels the world and finds inspiration from seeing new places and meeting new people. Her experience in the design world and at Disney has prompted her to design some incredibly well-themed events that have been featured in several local and national publications.

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