Wedding Etiquette Forum

Is this rude?

Usually when a post begins with that question, it probably is rude, but I haven't acted on it, and I just want hear your take. 

I have celiac disease, and cannot eat gluten. In the past I've found that gluten free baked goods to be a crap shoot, some are great, but most aren't. 

FI and I want to do a cake cutting during the reception. Our cake baker is contracted by our venue, and does not have much experience in terms of gluten-free baking (bringing in an outside contractor would cost a lot of money plus the price of the cake). I do not want to subject our guests to cake that could potentially turn out poorly. 

I know that it is against etiquette to serve something different for the guests, but do you think it would be okay for us to have a gluten free tier to cut into, or does the entire cake need to be gluten free? I am in a bit of a pickle because I want to make sure my guests are happy and comfortable, but I worry that if I make the entire thing gluten free, my guests will be less than pleased with a stale tasting cake. 

What would you do if you were in my situation?

Re: Is this rude?

  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I have no problem with a gluten free tier, cos 1. it's for your health, and 2. there is still the same cake for all guests.  Lots of people do different tiers (flavours) and that's fine as everyone still gets cake.   It would be bad if you got cake and no one else did.  

  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited July 2015
    I think I would be worried about cross-contamination having a gluten-free tier.  I'd probably go with cupcakes and have one batch g-free or an entire gluten cake with a very small g-free cake completely separate.

    I think there are some exceptions to the rules of serving different stuff - when someone's health is at stake, it's ok.  I just wouldn't make it wildly different.  You wouldn't serve everyone fried chicken and then serve yourself steak and lobster.  Likewise with cake, you wouldn't serve everyone plain vanilla Wal-Mart cake and then have chocolate genoise filled with chocolate raspberry mouse and garnished with fruit for yourself.  So, if everyone is having an almond cake with lemon filling, but yours is a g-free almond cake with lemon filling, then that would be ok.

    (Obviously, my top vote would be find a competent g-free baker and just have the whole thing be g-free or find non-cake alternatives, but if that's cost-prohibitive then I'd go with the above-plan.  And you probably already know this, but I would lean towards chocolate then - chocolate does a better job of masking the flavor of the alternative flours.  I've only had decent white/almond g-free cake from a bakery that actually specialized in g-free goods - everywhere else I stick with chocolate.)
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It's fine to have a gluten free tier or a separate gluten free cake.

    I would offer the gluten free version to any guests that also have to avoid gluten. 
  • We're planning on having 2 cakes, one regular, and one GF because I'm GF. I don't want just a GF tier because as a PP mentioned, cross contamination could be really bad. Also. GF baked goods cost so much more than regular ones, and cakes are expensive enough as is!
  • I would have zero issue with this. In fact, I'd probably be happy you did it - I don't think I've ever had a gluten free baked good that I've enjoyed!

  • do you know anyone who bakes cakes or does baking? could they give you some recpies or advice for making a gulten free cake? 

    could you ask this cake baker to find some gulten free cake recpies and maybe try a few out to see how they come out? 

    i am a hobby baker and i know if someone wanted something gf i would find some recipes that had great reviews i would try them out see if they tasted any good test them out on my family and then let the person know that i found a recipe i can work with.

    a good baker will try something new and tweak it until its perfect if you give her some time to find a recipe and tweak it you should be ok i would also ask for a cake tasting 

  • As everyone else has said, this is for your health, so as long as you're not serving yourself a more gourmet cake than the one your guests are getting, you're fine.

    @Jacques27 makes a really good point - are you sure that a gluten free layer in your cake won't get cross contaminated with a layer that does have gluten in it? Might it be safer for you to separate the gluten free dessert entirely?
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I think it's a great idea.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    What you serve your guests should be the same or better than what you have.

    DHs mom made a simple 2 tier cake for us to cut. Then the venue served white chocolate cake with strawberry filling. No one knew it wasn't the same and it was much better...don't tell mil tho!

    I feel the same about your gluten cake. You ate just opting to ensure they have the best tasting cake possible.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • particuliersylpheparticuliersylphe My heart belongs to Baltimore. member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    What about a very small cutting cake (nothing overly fancy) and some nice cupcakes? Then you don't need to worry about cross contamination, or having a whole gluten free cake.
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  • When my sister, who has celiac's, was served cake at my daughter's wedding, I was concerned.  She had no problems with it.  She ate the buttercream frosting off the cake and was very pleased.

    Your plans are just fine.  Perhaps you have other celiac guests who could have some of your gluten free layer?
  • I have a friend who eats gluten-free and at her wedding she had a normal wedding cake and then a platter of GF cupcakes for herself and anyone else who preferred that. So that's another option. But your idea of one GF layer would also work and I don't think it's rude. But I'll agree with a point a few PPs have made that it would be better to do that than to make the whole cake GF because, personally, I'd be disappointed if I went to a wedding where GF was the only dessert option. (I've just never had a GF baked good that I found tolerable, regardless of the talent of the baker - sorry).
  • CMGragain said:
    When my sister, who has celiac's, was served cake at my daughter's wedding, I was concerned.  She had no problems with it.  She ate the buttercream frosting off the cake and was very pleased.

    Your plans are just fine.  Perhaps you have other celiac guests who could have some of your gluten free layer?
    I have zero issues with gluten and still love this plan. 

    (As for the OP, what all of the PPs said.)
  • kvrunskvruns member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'd do a separate cutting cake vs a tier on a larger cake, especially since you would be working with two different bakers.  Definitely not rude
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Definitely not rude- it is the same cake, just GF version. And to be honest, I don't really want your GF cake ;)

    If cross-contamintion is an issue, you could have a fake cake with GF top tier, then the non-GF cake made as a sheet cake (still same flavour/icing) served from the kitchen. Would probably save yourself a bit of money that way versus two separate cakes.
  • I was going to do a smaller separate tier so that there is no possibility for contamination. It won't be better than what the guests are having. Thank you so much for your responses. I will give a gluten free option to guests at the venician table, but I would prefer guests to have an option.
  • Dittoing PPs. Not rude at all.
  • I just want to chime in and say that some GF baked goods are actually quite good! Most aren't nearly as good as regular ones, but just because it's gluten free doesn't mean it's bad!
  • minskat30minskat30 member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited July 2015
    I have Celiac and we did a separate cutting cake.  A GF layer within the regular cake is not recommended due to cross-contamination (in fact several bakers wouldn't bake a cake this way once they knew I had Celiac for fear of getting me sick).  It sounds like you are talking about a separate layer altogether though which is a-ok as well.  

    You can always take pictures of the cake cutting as well with a regular cake and then have your H give you a bite of a gluten free cupcake if you really want all of the "traditional" cake pictures and to save on costs.  Good luck!
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    It's a great plan. Also if you have any other GF people in your reception I'm sure they'd appreciate that there is a tier they could have a slice from too! 

    Achievement Unlocked: Survived Your Wedding! 
  • Serving yourself something that is vastly better than what you serve your guests is rude. What you are planning to do, serve something different but equivalent because of medical reasons is perfectly fine.

  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Is your tier of GF physically separated from the other tiers? My BFF has Celiac's and she cannot share utensils with other people or pots and pans and ovens used for both products due to cross contamination. A top tier of a cake that sat on the tier below would not work for her.  If her boyfriend drinks a beer she shouldn't kiss him. It's serious. I have eaten a lot of GF products in my life and find them delicious so I wouldn't mind if I was served GF anything. But I do agree with PPs that this is a scenario where you can serve yourself something different than your guests as long as you make sure the level of quality is the same. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    This is fine.
  • FosmohFosmoh member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    I've also seen some people do a very small top tier for cutting and then the rest is cupcakes.

    Maybe this would be an option for you ???
    Hope this is helpful! :)
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