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Exploring Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions in Destination Wedding Planning

dietary restrictions

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When you are planning your destination wedding, it can feel like there are countless boxes to check off of your list. While you are busy choosing the perfect attire and the perfect destination, your wedding menu might fall down the list of priorities. 

When you are planning dinner for your friends and family, there is no doubt that you will want to offer them the best wedding foods possible. This means taking the time to account for any dietary restrictions they might have. 

This article will discuss how you can start navigating the world of food restrictions and preferences for your destination wedding. This includes how to ask about dietary restrictions and some different serving options for your dinner. 

how to ask about dietary restrictions

Dietary Preferences vs. Restrictions

One concept that is important to have a grasp on as you start planning your wedding menu and catering options is the difference between dietary restrictions and preferences. It is important to respect and accommodate both to the best of your ability, but they present different levels of severity when it comes to the safety and health of your guests. 

Food preferences are typically dietary choices that are made voluntarily by an individual. This might mean that someone decides to be a vegetarian or vegan to take a stand against meat production or simply change up their diet. Preferences still limit a person’s diet, but do not typically pose a threat to their health. 

A food restriction can come in various forms: allergies, intolerances, or even religious practices. Restrictions are foods that a person can not eat under any circumstances. Eating certain foods might harm a person’s health and well-being or can go against their religious beliefs.

Common Food Restrictions and Allergies

Some common food restrictions to keep in mind are: 


  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Shellfish 
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Eggs

Additional Restrictions:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Halal
  • Kosher

Having an understanding of these intolerances, preferences, and restrictions can help you prepare in advance for what might appear on the list after you have asked your guests about their dietary needs. 

best wedding foods

How To Ask About Dietary Restrictions

In order to be properly accommodating to your wedding guests, you have to ask them about their dietary restrictions and needs. The best way to go about receiving those needs is to ask for them in advance.  

On your wedding invitations, provide a space for your friends and family to write in their dietary needs on their RSVP. This is an excellent way to get confirmation of your guest count and your menu needs at the same time. Then, you have plenty of time to plan ahead. 

If some unexpected circumstances come up and result in your guests needing to make an adjustment to their dietary preferences, try putting a space for it on your wedding website. This way, you can receive the most efficient updates without being bombarded with texts and emails. With a website, your wedding planning can stay perfectly organized and stress-free. 

Destination Wedding Meals

Dietary preferences are bound to play a part at any destination wedding. Luckily, there are a few different conversations you can have with your planner and catering team to curate the best menu that everyone can enjoy. 

Local Cuisine

When you are planning your destination wedding and deciding on the menu, you may want to incorporate some local cuisine into your dinner. This is an excellent way to connect with your wedding location. When you connect with your wedding planner and catering team, let them know what interests you.

If you are in Jamaica, maybe try adding some curry chicken to the menu. Add tamales if you are in Mexico, or some fresh seafood dishes in Costa Rica. The possibilities are endless, and you might even find some local dishes that will be diet-friendly for all of your guests. 


One way to serve the best wedding foods to your guests is through a buffet-style setup. A buffet offers your guests a lot of options for what they would like to eat, and can also offer a more social option. For dietary restrictions, though, it can be more likely to encounter cross-contamination. 

Plated Meals

The other option is to have plated meals at your wedding. This means that all of your guests are served full plates that have already been curated. This option is much more controlled and offers less waste. However, it also means that your guests have fewer food options from which to choose.

dietary preferences

How To Find the Best Wedding Foods for Everyone

There are a lot of factors at play when you are trying to adhere to everyone’s dietary restrictions at your wedding. You will have a budget that you need to honor, too. So the question becomes, how do you accommodate everyone at your wedding while still keeping costs low? 

The best way to answer that question is to communicate with your wedding planner and the catering team. At a destination wedding, it is common that your resort will have a catering team and planners to help you curate the menu. The best caterers are the ones who will listen to your needs and figure out a plan to help accommodate them. 

If the wedding dinner is buffet-style, make sure that every dish is clearly and properly labeled. Flag any foods that have ingredients containing possible allergens. Keep foods spaced out evenly and ensure every dish has its own serving utensil to avoid cross-contamination. If the meal is plated already, communicate with the kitchen about seating arrangements and ensure that everyone is served the appropriate dish.  

At Destify, we create meaningful memories and work hard to make your destination wedding unforgettable. That means helping you plan every step of your wedding journey, from helping you learn how to ask about dietary restrictions to curating the perfect wedding website. We will help you find the best catering and menu options for every part of your destination wedding celebration, whether it be the rehearsal dinner or the reception. 

Work with us at Destify today to plan the perfect destination wedding. 

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