Wedding Menus for Gluten-Free Guests
A gluten-free life is increasingly popular today, even among those who don’t have wheat allergies or intolerances. With roughly 30% of the population choosing to be gluten-free, your guest list will likely reflect this, and knowing how to delight them along with the rest of your diners is well worth the planning.
The good news is that there is no end to delicious and beautiful gluten-free menu choices and drinks that don’t compromise flavor or style. While you could offer a separate gluten-free menu, many delectable dishes exclude gluten without it even being noticeable. With this approach, your menu is bound to please every one of your guests.
Keep in mind, however, that your guests who are celiacs (or have other food allergies and sensitivities) have stricter requirements and should be prompted well in advance to communicate their needs. If you receive many responses in this category, it may be safest to hire a caterer who guarantees not a trace of gluten anywhere in your menu. Such top-notch caterers are not difficult to find and will add to your peace of mind.
For your bar, celebratory drink choices abound. For glittering toasts, you are generally safe to serve Champagne and Prosecco, which are naturally gluten-free. Most wines are also free of gluten, although celiacs may require certified GF wines which won’t contain even trace amounts of gluten from being aged in oak barrels typically sealed with wheat paste.
Beers may be designated “gluten-removed,” but there is no scientific test to determine if every bit of the gluten has been removed. Ghostfish Brewing Company in Seattle, and Glutenberg in Canada, along with dozens of other breweries, do have tasty, totally gluten-free beers, which is a safer choice. Hard ciders are almost always gluten-free and will say so on the packaging.
When it comes to cocktails, pure distilled liquors – even those made from wheat, barley or rye – are naturally free of gluten because of the distillation process they undergo. This includes vodka, gin, tequila and whiskey. We were actually surprised to learn this, so it may be wise to write “gluten free” on your bar menu. Keep in mind that flavoring and other additives may introduce gluten, so always double-check with the source.
To create a tasty and colorful GF menu, the possibilities are nearly limitless. For starters, choose continental charcuterie and antipasti platters. They can be presented with a choice of delicious GF toasts often loaded with dried fruit and nuts or made with alternative flours such as teff.
Fruit platters and vegetable buffets work wonderfully with all presentation styles and they’re delicious to eat and gorgeous to look at. Choose in-season fruits and veggies if you can and let your caterer create a stunning addition to your menu.
For main dishes, you can serve everything from steak to sushi, and manicotti to mushrooms. Serve a vibrant salad and sides without glutinous ingredients and consider seafood as a lovely alternative to pasta or other gluten containing foods.
When it comes time to cut your cake and serve your guests dessert, you’ll find plenty of delicious options in today’s bakeries in a variety of flavors and fillings. The main thing to look out for is how moist your cake will be when it arrives at your wedding as gluten-free flours can make a cake dry out quickly. Luckily there are many specialty bakers who expertly produce the most extravagant and delicious desserts that will both impress and please all of your guests, without exception.