“Back in 2008, I remember we had a request for one Gluten Free meal for a wedding at the Marquise Event Center—and to be honest, none of us really knew what that meant. Now, it’s not that unusual for almost all of our weddings to include at least one Gluten Free dish, and some bridal parties ask for a complete Gluten Free menu.”
--Chuck McHale, Owner of McHales Catering and Special Events
Latest reports show that there are nearly 44 million people who are ‘Gluten Free’, with that number rising each year. Whether it be Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, or a Wheat Allergy – there is a very good chance that as many as 20% of your invited guests will be looking for meal options that don’t include wheat, rye, or barley. Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky is no stranger to the trend, with websites such as Gluten Free Cincinnati appearing to help customers make informed decisions of restaurants that offer GF meals and drinks.
So what’s a bride to do? Here are the tips and advice we offer to brides who want to make sure they have Gluten Free options for their wedding reception.
Talk to your Event Planner
Our event planners are trained to make certain your menu is exactly what you want. Although we offer several packages, every meal, buffet, and station event can be customized to your liking. Just because you don’t see it on one of our menus, doesn’t mean we don’t offer it! Consider identifying Gluten Free guests who will be attending to your reception, and then simply tell your McHale's Event Planner in advance how many guests will be needing GF meals, and ideally, the table where they are sitting. We can take care of the rest!
Go with a Buffet Option
A buffet is the easiest route to take, since if you are offering both Gluten and Gluten Free options, you can allow your wedding guests choose what they’d like, saving food from going to waste. Buffets also allow your menu to be festive and food allergy friendly. At your request, we can also provide small placards to let your guests know which dishes were prepared in our commerical kitchen in a gluten free enviroment.
Even better, go with a Stations Option
If you are worried about cross contamination (gluten-containing foods to be alongside gluten-free foods) – a Station option is the perfect choice. Each station is set up around your banquet hall, so that a non-gluten option never comes into contact with a gluten meal. For example, you may have a grilled Antipasti Station, or a special Gluten-Free pasta station.
Consider offering special drinks at your Bar
Most of our wedding packages include an Open Beer and Wine Bar. Although wine works for most Gluten Free guests, you may want to consider asking to us to provide Gluten Free beer, or upgrading to a hosted cocktail bar.
Gluten Free Wedding Cakes and Cupcakes
Unfortunately, due to our bakery limitations (and cross-contamination) McHales’s catering does not offer Gluten Free Wedding Cakes. However, we work with several bakeries in the Cincinnati area that do offer such specialized cakes, and we make absolutely certain that your wedding cake will not come into contact with any Gluten rich products.
Planning your wedding (and your wedding menu!) should be enjoyable and stress free! We hope you will contact us today so we can walk you through the various options in customizing your menu, to give you and your guests a wedding reception to remember!