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Food and Cakes

Dairy Free Wedding

A little backstory, as someone who is lactose intolerant going to weddings or any sort of catered event is always a bit worrisome as you never really know for sure what does and does not have dairy in it. I always ask a staff member if there is a buffet and even with their advice i've had to make emergency trips to the bathroom on numerous occasions. So as a result, it has always been my dream to have only have food that I could eat at my wedding. My FI is aware of this odd request and is 100% on board with it. However, our parents think that its unreasonable that we want to have a dairy free wedding. What do you think? Is it unreasonable to want a wedding with no butter, cream, cheese etc.? 
KnotRiley
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Re: Dairy Free Wedding

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Not completely, but I do not get why it has to be entirely dairy free?

    My wedding had a huge ass raw bar for the cocktail hour.  I do not eat that kind of stuff, but I had it because my guests love that kind of food.

    Our entree was a duo of filet of beef and crab cake.  I do not eat crab cakes, but again I did it for my guests.   

    I guess I do not understand why there can't be a some with and some without?     I had a ton of other options that noting eating some of the options was not a big deal.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2015
    No, I don't think that is odd.  There are plenty of foods that can be made without dairy so I am not sure what your Mom's issue is.

    But there are also ways to have things with and without dairy.  For example if you have pasta then make sure the cheese is on the side.  If you have baked potatoes, make sure that the butter is on the side.  And so on.

    I think your best bet is to talk to your caterer/venue about this.  See what they can come up with for you that will meet your needs and still taste hella good.

    ETA:  tell your Mom, just like you make sure you had appropriate food for those who are vegan, vegetarian or have a food allergy, it would make sense that you also have food that the bride can actually eat without having to try and take a crap in her wedding dress later on in the reception.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2015
    I would try for a combination of dairy and dairy-free items. I agree that you should be able to eat at your own wedding, but it's okay to have items for your guests that you don't eat yourself.
    PrettyGirlLostjaprincess24
  • Thanks ladies for your advice. I'm going to talk to the caterer and see what they can do that's a halfway point between what I and the parents want. The on the side idea is a good one. :) 
    lyndausvi
  • I think it's fine to have mostly dairy-free offerings and to have any dairy on the side, but I'm also not sure why it has to be entirely dairy-free.  I would be a little bummed for example if there were no butter for my bread or cream/milk for my coffee, and I would find that a little odd.  It sounds like you're on your way to working with the caterer towards a good compromise, which sounds perfect.
    japrincess24
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think it's fine to have mostly dairy-free offerings and to have any dairy on the side, but I'm also not sure why it has to be entirely dairy-free.  I would be a little bummed for example if there were no butter for my bread or cream/milk for my coffee, and I would find that a little odd.  It sounds like you're on your way to working with the caterer towards a good compromise, which sounds perfect.
    I guess I just assumed OP was only talking about dairy in the main entrees and appetizers.  I don't believe she wouldn't have butter for bread or cream for coffee.  I think she is just more worried about making sure she doesn't ingest dairy from foods that she is unsure about and having to run to the bathroom.  

  • I would try to have some options for both. Remember, the reception isn't a party for you. It's a thank you to your guests for coming.

    Nothing says thanks like, "here's food I can eat but that you may not really enjoy."

    Glad to hear you'll be providing a mix of things.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I think a safer bet is making sure there is at least 1 entree, appetizer, and dessert choice for you, vs making sure every single item (most of which you wont touch) are also dairy free. So make sure 1 entree, that you love, will be dairy free and available. Make sure the cake is safe for you to eat, and make sure that there are some appetizers you can handle. But if you make the WHOLE menu, including food you don't plan to eat, dairy free, it seems kinda overkill. 

    PrettyGirlLost
  • I think it's fine to have mostly dairy-free offerings and to have any dairy on the side, but I'm also not sure why it has to be entirely dairy-free.  I would be a little bummed for example if there were no butter for my bread or cream/milk for my coffee, and I would find that a little odd.  It sounds like you're on your way to working with the caterer towards a good compromise, which sounds perfect.
    I guess I just assumed OP was only talking about dairy in the main entrees and appetizers.  I don't believe she wouldn't have butter for bread or cream for coffee.  I think she is just more worried about making sure she doesn't ingest dairy from foods that she is unsure about and having to run to the bathroom.  
    She said in her original post that her dream was to have "only food that I could eat at my wedding."  That to me meant that she wanted to make the entire wedding a dairy-free zone.

    Nobody's saying that she needs to make her entree a pasta in cream sauce, or that she has to serve her salad course with cheese on it.  But a little bit of dairy on the side would go a long way toward being accommodating towards her guests.  It's sounds like she's well on her way to working that out with her caterer.
    snowywinter
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited July 2015
    I think it's fine to have mostly dairy-free offerings and to have any dairy on the side, but I'm also not sure why it has to be entirely dairy-free.  I would be a little bummed for example if there were no butter for my bread or cream/milk for my coffee, and I would find that a little odd.  It sounds like you're on your way to working with the caterer towards a good compromise, which sounds perfect.
    I guess I just assumed OP was only talking about dairy in the main entrees and appetizers.  I don't believe she wouldn't have butter for bread or cream for coffee.  I think she is just more worried about making sure she doesn't ingest dairy from foods that she is unsure about and having to run to the bathroom.  
     Is it unreasonable to want a wedding with no butter, cream, cheese etc.? 


    That was the last line of the OP.  One could think she only meant in the actual food.  Or one could think no where in the room.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I have Celiac Disease and a dairy allergy, not lactose intolerance. We had an entirely gluten free wedding and a mostly dairy free one too (appetizers had dairy but we weren't really there for cocktail hour and one dish out of three had butter but was not at our table) Our cake was dairy free and gluten free. No one complained in fact I've had several people ask for the baker's info so they can use them for events.
    We had no butter on the table because we had no bread. But beware if you go 100% dairy free someone will ask for it. My own step father who knows my health status very very well asked for regular bread and put me on the spot in front of everyone so I had to say yes despite being pretty pissed about it he was well aware it was a gluten free even and I even added an extra dish for him on his plate and he still went there, but that's another issue.
  • A little backstory, as someone who is lactose intolerant going to weddings or any sort of catered event is always a bit worrisome as you never really know for sure what does and does not have dairy in it. I always ask a staff member if there is a buffet and even with their advice i've had to make emergency trips to the bathroom on numerous occasions. So as a result, it has always been my dream to have only have food that I could eat at my wedding. My FI is aware of this odd request and is 100% on board with it. However, our parents think that its unreasonable that we want to have a dairy free wedding. What do you think? Is it unreasonable to want a wedding with no butter, cream, cheese etc.? 
    I don't think it's unreasonable.  No one ever died from not getting to eat dairy for one meal.

    I would, however, recommend the same thing I do to vegetarians who want an all veg wedding and that's pick things that are naturally X-free rather than just making substitutions with a faux substitute.  I also wouldn't pick things that are traditionally accompanied by a dairy product.  So, for example, I would not serve stuffed shells or lasagna, subbing in a tofu-based ricotta sub for the cheese.  Likewise, I wouldn't serve spaghetti marinara when most people (in the U.S. at least) are pretty accustomed to drowning theirs in Parmesan or serves rolls with dinner when most people are accustomed to slathering them in butter.  Serving those sorts of things just calls attention to what is missing and opens the door for grumbling.  But if you serve good food that also just happens to be dairy-free, likely no one will notice.
    MesmrEwejaprincess24
  • jacques27 said:
    A little backstory, as someone who is lactose intolerant going to weddings or any sort of catered event is always a bit worrisome as you never really know for sure what does and does not have dairy in it. I always ask a staff member if there is a buffet and even with their advice i've had to make emergency trips to the bathroom on numerous occasions. So as a result, it has always been my dream to have only have food that I could eat at my wedding. My FI is aware of this odd request and is 100% on board with it. However, our parents think that its unreasonable that we want to have a dairy free wedding. What do you think? Is it unreasonable to want a wedding with no butter, cream, cheese etc.? 
    I don't think it's unreasonable.  No one ever died from not getting to eat dairy for one meal.

    I would, however, recommend the same thing I do to vegetarians who want an all veg wedding and that's pick things that are naturally X-free rather than just making substitutions with a faux substitute.  I also wouldn't pick things that are traditionally accompanied by a dairy product.  So, for example, I would not serve stuffed shells or lasagna, subbing in a tofu-based ricotta sub for the cheese.  Likewise, I wouldn't serve spaghetti marinara when most people (in the U.S. at least) are pretty accustomed to drowning theirs in Parmesan or serves rolls with dinner when most people are accustomed to slathering them in butter.  Serving those sorts of things just calls attention to what is missing and opens the door for grumbling.  But if you serve good food that also just happens to be dairy-free, likely no one will notice.

    That was exactly what I was thinking. Plus most substitutes just end up tasting weird or having an odd texture. 

  • And I would definitely have cream for coffee or butter on the side for rolls if that's something we decide to go with. Going without would be strange for most people and would (like PPs have mentioned) draw more attention to the 'absence'. 
    MesmrEwe
  • DH is lactose intolerant as well and our wedding was comprised of foods he could eat (he primarily chose the entire menu), but are items you wouldn't know or miss the dairy in..  Wild Rice, Chicken Kiev, Pork tenderloin, roasted red potatoes, rolls (butter doesn't get added, it's a side optional item), tossed salad, corn, beans, and cake... There was butter/margarine packets for the bread and creamer available for coffee, but otherwise, really you wouldn't know of the missing dairy because of the selections made.  I'm not going to fault you for wanting to actually be able to eat at your wedding just as I wouldn't for anyone else with food allergies/intolerances, just remember the balance factor (people will notice if there aren't butter and margarine packets for rolls for example..)



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    japrincess24
  • I think it's a bit unreasonable. I'm gluten free and I would never even dream of having a completely GF wedding! Yes, I need food that I can eat and enjoy, but so do my guests. 
  • I think it's a bit unreasonable. I'm gluten free and I would never even dream of having a completely GF wedding! Yes, I need food that I can eat and enjoy, but so do my guests. 
    So, you're saying that people who aren't forced by health circumstances to eat gluten-free are incapable of enjoying other food besides bread and pasta et al?  No other human being could find the food palatable? 

    I better warn the people at the upcoming party I'm planning that they are in for an evening of spectacularly shitty food then, what with my gluten-free spinach apricot salad, gluten-free honey ginger chicken served over rice pilaf, gluten-free red wine braised short ribs over marscapone polenta, roasted lemon scented broccoli, and gluten-free flourless chocolate cake with bourbon whipped cream.  I'm a monster!
  • jacques27 said:
    I think it's a bit unreasonable. I'm gluten free and I would never even dream of having a completely GF wedding! Yes, I need food that I can eat and enjoy, but so do my guests. 
    So, you're saying that people who aren't forced by health circumstances to eat gluten-free are incapable of enjoying other food besides bread and pasta et al?  No other human being could find the food palatable? 

    I better warn the people at the upcoming party I'm planning that they are in for an evening of spectacularly shitty food then, what with my gluten-free spinach apricot salad, gluten-free honey ginger chicken served over rice pilaf, gluten-free red wine braised short ribs over marscapone polenta, roasted lemon scented broccoli, and gluten-free flourless chocolate cake with bourbon whipped cream.  I'm a monster!
    It's my opinion and I'm entitled to have it. If other people want to have X free whatevers, fine, but I wouldn't ever do that.
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited July 2015
    jacques27 said:
    I think it's a bit unreasonable. I'm gluten free and I would never even dream of having a completely GF wedding! Yes, I need food that I can eat and enjoy, but so do my guests. 
    So, you're saying that people who aren't forced by health circumstances to eat gluten-free are incapable of enjoying other food besides bread and pasta et al?  No other human being could find the food palatable? 

    I better warn the people at the upcoming party I'm planning that they are in for an evening of spectacularly shitty food then, what with my gluten-free spinach apricot salad, gluten-free honey ginger chicken served over rice pilaf, gluten-free red wine braised short ribs over marscapone polenta, roasted lemon scented broccoli, and gluten-free flourless chocolate cake with bourbon whipped cream.  I'm a monster!
    It's my opinion and I'm entitled to have it. If other people want to have X free whatevers, fine, but I wouldn't ever do that.
    No one said you weren't entitled to an opinion.  If you wouldn't do an X-free wedding, that's perfectly fine, but you completely avoided the question.  So, you are saying that delicious gluten-free food can't be made (or dairy-free food) and that people not forced to by circumstance are incapable of enjoying such food then?  I just find it a tad ridiculous to perpetuate the fallacy that people must have gluten or must have dairy to enjoy food.
  • jacques27 said:
    jacques27 said:
    I think it's a bit unreasonable. I'm gluten free and I would never even dream of having a completely GF wedding! Yes, I need food that I can eat and enjoy, but so do my guests. 
    So, you're saying that people who aren't forced by health circumstances to eat gluten-free are incapable of enjoying other food besides bread and pasta et al?  No other human being could find the food palatable? 

    I better warn the people at the upcoming party I'm planning that they are in for an evening of spectacularly shitty food then, what with my gluten-free spinach apricot salad, gluten-free honey ginger chicken served over rice pilaf, gluten-free red wine braised short ribs over marscapone polenta, roasted lemon scented broccoli, and gluten-free flourless chocolate cake with bourbon whipped cream.  I'm a monster!
    It's my opinion and I'm entitled to have it. If other people want to have X free whatevers, fine, but I wouldn't ever do that.
    No one said you weren't entitled to an opinion.  If you wouldn't do an X-free wedding, that's perfectly fine, but you completely avoided the question.  So, you are saying that delicious gluten-free food can't be made (or dairy-free food) and that people not forced to by circumstance are incapable of enjoying such food then?  I just find it a tad ridiculous to perpetuate the fallacy that people must have gluten or must have dairy to enjoy food.
    Sure you can have good GF or DF food, but most people like what they are used to best. I know when I went GF, I hated almost everything that wasn't naturally GF, and I know of almost no GF products that are as good as their gluten filled counterparts. 

  • I think it's a bit unreasonable. I'm gluten free and I would never even dream of having a completely GF wedding! Yes, I need food that I can eat and enjoy, but so do my guests. 
    So clearly you don't have celiac disease. Even the quickest touch to food with gluten in it can produce a powerful and long lasting side effect. Safety is top priority well unless proper etiquette has protocol for holding a person over the toilet while they black out from pain and have bathroom problems that could be mistaken for ebola... True story love my hubby for doing that the week before our wedding!


    Why are you gluten free if you hate it so much?! If it's medical message me I have some great recipes that even my DH prefers of gluten filled foods and he can pretty much eat anything I mean the man could probably eat rancid meat and feel fine so for him to ASK for my gluten free meals I'd say it's pretty darn good.

  • I think it's a bit unreasonable. I'm gluten free and I would never even dream of having a completely GF wedding! Yes, I need food that I can eat and enjoy, but so do my guests. 
    So clearly you don't have celiac disease. Even the quickest touch to food with gluten in it can produce a powerful and long lasting side effect. Safety is top priority well unless proper etiquette has protocol for holding a person over the toilet while they black out from pain and have bathroom problems that could be mistaken for ebola... True story love my hubby for doing that the week before our wedding!


    Why are you gluten free if you hate it so much?! If it's medical message me I have some great recipes that even my DH prefers of gluten filled foods and he can pretty much eat anything I mean the man could probably eat rancid meat and feel fine so for him to ASK for my gluten free meals I'd say it's pretty darn good.
    I'm severely intolerant. I can't even be somewhere when a person is baking regular cookies. In fact, once at my old job, doing that made me so sick I both went home early AND called in sick the next day. I know what gluten poisoning is and what it's like. I know it's worse thn regular food poisoning. Not only are there GI symptoms, but I get rashes and migraines and other allergic reactions like a stuffy nose as well. Still, even with all that, I wouldn't dream of having an entirely GF wedding.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think it's fine to have mostly dairy-free offerings and to have any dairy on the side, but I'm also not sure why it has to be entirely dairy-free.  I would be a little bummed for example if there were no butter for my bread or cream/milk for my coffee, and I would find that a little odd.  It sounds like you're on your way to working with the caterer towards a good compromise, which sounds perfect.
    I guess I just assumed OP was only talking about dairy in the main entrees and appetizers.  I don't believe she wouldn't have butter for bread or cream for coffee.  I think she is just more worried about making sure she doesn't ingest dairy from foods that she is unsure about and having to run to the bathroom.  
    She said in her original post that her dream was to have "only food that I could eat at my wedding."  That to me meant that she wanted to make the entire wedding a dairy-free zone.

    Nobody's saying that she needs to make her entree a pasta in cream sauce, or that she has to serve her salad course with cheese on it.  But a little bit of dairy on the side would go a long way toward being accommodating towards her guests.  It's sounds like she's well on her way to working that out with her caterer.
    Which is exactly what I suggested.

    MesmrEwePrettyGirlLost

  • I think it's a bit unreasonable. I'm gluten free and I would never even dream of having a completely GF wedding! Yes, I need food that I can eat and enjoy, but so do my guests. 
    So clearly you don't have celiac disease. Even the quickest touch to food with gluten in it can produce a powerful and long lasting side effect. Safety is top priority well unless proper etiquette has protocol for holding a person over the toilet while they black out from pain and have bathroom problems that could be mistaken for ebola... True story love my hubby for doing that the week before our wedding!


    Why are you gluten free if you hate it so much?! If it's medical message me I have some great recipes that even my DH prefers of gluten filled foods and he can pretty much eat anything I mean the man could probably eat rancid meat and feel fine so for him to ASK for my gluten free meals I'd say it's pretty darn good.
    So similar to other diseases, celiac effects people different. My mom has celiac (diagnosed, all the painful tests, she was hospitalized for weeks it got so bad), and can be around gluten, and can even consume small amounts sometimes--cross contamination isn't an issue for her. I have other friends that are like you described--small amounts can set them off bad. But don't assume just because someone can be around gluten, that it's not celiac. When my mom hosts parties she serves a mix of GF, and normal food. That doesn't make her disease less real, it just means she has a little more tolerance for gluten than your husband. 
  • I think it's important to have food you can enjoy and not have to worry about at your own wedding. IMO talk to your caterer and see what options that they come up with for food that are dairy free. Maybe once your parents see what a dairy free menu looks like, they will realize it's not so bad. To me as soon as I hear anything free I'm look oh oh. But once I started thinking about it, my wedding dinner was basically dairy free. I had roast beef, chicken, roasted red skin potatoes, mixed vegetables & salads. It was wonderful and all dairy free. Now my dessert table and app table, that was a different story. My app table was veggies, pizza & cheese & crackers. But if you do an app table, I'm sure you could find other options, or at least you would know clearly what items to stay away from. And my dessert table, a fair amount of dairy, but I also had a fresh fruit available. Something like that is something you could clearly pick out the items you would know are safe and avoid the others. It might be an option for a happy compromise.
  • FosmohFosmoh member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    jacques27 said:
    I don't think it's unreasonable.  No one ever died from not getting to eat dairy for one meal.

    I would, however, recommend the same thing I do to vegetarians who want an all veg wedding and that's pick things that are naturally X-free rather than just making substitutions with a faux substitute.  I also wouldn't pick things that are traditionally accompanied by a dairy product.  So, for example, I would not serve stuffed shells or lasagna, subbing in a tofu-based ricotta sub for the cheese.  Likewise, I wouldn't serve spaghetti marinara when most people (in the U.S. at least) are pretty accustomed to drowning theirs in Parmesan or serves rolls with dinner when most people are accustomed to slathering them in butter.  Serving those sorts of things just calls attention to what is missing and opens the door for grumbling.  But if you serve good food that also just happens to be dairy-free, likely no one will notice.


    I think this is really good advice. 
  • To me it sounds kind of petty to want it to be dairy free for everyone just because you've been to a bunch of events where there isn't Dairy free. I'm vegetarian so while it's different because I choose to be it's not an allergy, but I have my reasons for being vegetarian and I still struggle at events wondering if there will be a veggie option that I can eat. I have totally been told by staff that something is vegetarian and I bite in and it's definitely not (in which case I spit it out as politely as possible in my napkin and give the remaining amount that wasn't in my mouth to my fiance). 

    That being said I would never subject my guests to a meat free wedding because there are only 1 or 2 vegetarians besides me going to be there. I have one Entree and a third of the Apps which are going to be vegetarian. The reception is for your guests so definitely make sure there is plenty for you to eat and indulge in but chances are you aren't going to eat every entree and every app that is there (or you'll be full, tired, and miserable) so have some options that have dairy for your guests.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Another thing OP: Can you take lactase? My dad is very lactose intolerant (pretty much his entire side of the family is) and they all take the pills before they eat dairy and are fine. I only know two people who actually can't have dairy, and that's because it's an allergy, not an intolerance.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I'm still not understanding why OP can't have a dairy free wedding?  When we have a poster who is vegan come on here and want a vegan only wedding we say that it is fine and she should not change her beliefs to provide meat to her guests.  So it is okay if it is a belief but when it is an actual food allergy/issue it is not okay?  There are many options that one can have that are non-dairy and still taste good.  And yeah OP has control over the menu but what happens if there is accidental cross contamination between the dairy and non-diary food?  OP will then be stuck in the bathroom rather then enjoying her reception.

    Just like people can survive without alcohol at a wedding people can also survive without dairy.  And this is coming from a person who loves all the cheese and butter and cream.  So just like how you may really want a rum and coke with your dinner but instead drink an ice tea because that is what is available you can also eat a plain piece of bread even though you may prefer it with butter.

    MesmrEwehellohkb
  • The only cake I've ever found that's worth eating is dairy free. http://thecraftingfoodie.com/2013/04/dark-moist-rich-chocolate-cake-with-creamy-chocolate-frosting-dairy-free.html It's awesome and I don't care what anyone thinks.

    Our reception is mushroom free. I'm truly allergic to them, and feel no desire to use my epi pen and go to the ER. If anyone feels they're lacking, they can deal.

    For dairy - I'd do food that doesn't require it, but can have added by each person - butter for rolls, cheese on pasta, creamer for coffee, etc.
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