Wedding Ideas

Specialty Wedding Menus

Posted on June 24 by New Jersey Bride

On your wedding day, you want to feast on your favorites, whether it’s vegan (no animal products), vegetarian (no meat; sometimes chicken and fish) organic (no fertilizers or pesticides), gluten-free (no wheat, barley, rye, oats), peanut-free or shellfish-free. But if you’re worried about finding a caterer willing to cook to your dietary restrictions, it’s not a problem. We’ve found high-end chefs anxious to prepare a scrumptious feast to your specifications, and they report seeing more and more requests for these specialty wedding menus lately. Perhaps that’s because we are more attuned to food allergies or because “people are more conscious about what they put in their bodies,” says Chad Peters of David Ellis Catering in Cedar Knolls (973-539-3000; davidellisevents.com). Wedding planner Laura Bianco of My Bellissima in Morristown offers two strategies for a specialty menu: It’s your wedding day, so serve only your favorite foods. Or, since your family and friends will be there, serve your favorites, along with something for everyone. You might serve all veggie, for instance, assuming “your guests won’t know what they’re missing,” says chef Elaine Rust of Rustic Food Custom Catering in Clifton (973-783-0596; rusticfood.com). “People think veggie means all tofu, but it can be elegant party food with bright colors and fresh flavors. With food this tasty, your guests won’t miss the filet mignon.” Or you could offer gluten-free appetizers and entrees in a varied spread, in addition to the regular menu, labeling the dishes as such. You could even order dinners geared for each guest’s dietary preferences, tucking a custom menu into each napkin. “We’ll find creative ways to give you what you ask for and still make sure no one goes home hungry,” says Diana Crisci of Ome Caterers in Whippany. Suit your preferences, but still offer something for everyone, says Patricia Lindridge at The Food Company in East Hanover. “People want to eat a hearty meal, not just two lettuce leaves and a carrot,” she says. Your cake can also be ordered with vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free ingredients. “We can bake any of our cakes without flour. They’ll be beautiful and delicious, just slightly denser,” says Anne Heap of the Pink Cake Box in Denville. And don’t forget to have suitable drinks on hand, especially gluten-free varieties of beer and vodka. “A specialty menu is a solvable problem, not a roadblock,” Peters says. Bon appétit!