New! Gluten Free Weddings Online Community

I’ve been a bit busy – I got married! And my husband and I went on our dream gluten free honeymoon to Italy! I’m planning on writing blog posts about gluten free wedding planning and restaurant recommendations in Rome/Florence, but until then I’m posting recaps of our GF Italy adventures on Facebook and Instagram (I took a social media break while I was on my honeymoon). 

Also, another new announcement – my friend Paige (aka blogger Gluten Free & Glittery) and I love weddings, but we also know firsthand how tricky it can be to navigate them with celiac disease. We decided to create a space just for the subject – a Gluten Free Weddings Facebook group! We welcome all gluten free individuals to join, chat, ask questions, and offer advice about all things weddings – catering, cake, bachelorette/bachelor parties, bridal showers, honeymoons, attending weddings as a guest, etc. 

Hope to see you in the group! Click here to join! 

To kick off the group’s launch Paige and I would like to re-introduce ourselves and offer a quick overview of our GF wedding philosophies. 

(Photo credit: Everly Studios)

1. Introduce yourself! Why are you gluten free? When did you get married? 

PAIGE: Hi! I’m Paige (also known as Gluten Free & Glittery). I was diagnosed with celiac when I was in college, after being misdiagnosed with stomach ulcers and told to only eat bread. That clearly didn’t go well and after many tests, I was happy to finally have an accurate diagnosis: celiac disease. I started dating my husband about 1.5 years before I was diagnosed with celiac disease. We were married September 2018 after nearly 8 years of dating. It was a perfect day.

JESSICA: I’m Jessica (aka Tasty Meditation). I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2011, and I’m one of the organizers of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup Group. I started dating my now-husband in 2013. We had a super chill and beautiful wedding in May 2019, and we just came back from our dream gluten free honeymoon in Italy. 


(Photo credit: Everly Studios)

2. What do you normally eat when you attend weddings?

PAIGE: Normally I eat before I attend a wedding to be safe. I make sure to book a hotel (if traveling) near the venue so I can run to my room between the ceremony and reception to eat. If I know the bride or groom really well, I ask about gluten free WELL in advance (think: when I receive the save the date!). I explain about cross contact and assure the bride/groom that they do not need to accommodate me. Usually, my close friends are wonderful and already planned to have gluten free for me (YAY!), but I then check directly with the venue if the bride/groom is planning to have gluten free options. I ask the venue directly about cross contact, my options, and how I will receive my meal.

JESSICA: Cake? No joke, I totally bring my own cake. Unfortunately, I’ve never been to a wedding where I could safely eat the catered food, and I will never expect nor demand accommodation. I always ask the bride/groom for a higher up contact in the kitchen so I don’t put any added stress on the couple. I ask a lot of questions, and ultimately I’ve found that most caterers don’t understand cross contact. Also unfortunately, I have yet to perfect the art of packing a nice meal that lasts throughout transit, the ceremony, the cocktail hour, until dinner time, all without needing to be refrigerated/reheated. But my trusty homemade gluten free cake always has my back. 

3. Describe your wedding in three words.

(Photo credit: Rachel Phillipson)

PAIGE: Romantic, personal, elegant.

JESSICA: Chill, intimate, personal.

(Photo credit: Everly Studios)

4. What components of your wedding were gluten free? How did you navigate and why was it important to you?

(Photo credit: Rachel Phillipson)

PAIGE: All appetizers, sides, and entrees were gluten free. This was super important to me as I did not want to get glutened on our wedding day! My venue was absolutely fantastic and I worked directly with the chef to create a custom gluten free celiac-safe menu for everyone to enjoy. With a buffet, any gluten would be a huge issue due to cross contact so everything was entirely gluten free, including the bread. We even had a dessert buffet (we love dessert!!) and all options were gluten free. The only food-related gluten we had was a sheet cake that was brought out after the buffet ended and was kept at a separate table across the room. We had a gorgeous wedding cake that was entirely gluten free and nut free and that was kept away from everyone and available upon request. In addition to gluten free, it was super important to me to have allergy-safe options. When I sent out my invitations, there was a spot to list food allergies. I worked with the chef to ensure that everyone had a safe salad, side, entree, and dessert option and that anyone with an allergy could reach out to staff during the wedding to have a plate made from the back to avoid cross contact. Each item was labeled for the allergens that affected the guests.

JESSICA: I definitely wanted to eat on my wedding day, and about one-third of our guest list had celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or various food allergies/intolerances. Good food and being inclusive was very important to us. We decided to rent out one of our favorite restaurants that is well known for catering to customers with celiac and food allergies. It was also where my husband and I had our second date, so having the opportunity to celebrate there was really meaningful. We worked with the restaurant on choosing select appetizers, entrees and desserts. The staff is highly trained and asked everyone what their food restrictions were before they chose their dishes. Everyone raved about the food, and all of my friends with celiac (yes I have several – we stick together!) were so excited to be able to eat safely at a wedding.

5. Tell us about your wedding cake!

PAIGE: My wedding cake was made by a local baker (we wanted to be almost entirely local !)  who specializes in allergy-friendly cakes. At the time, if she had a cake request for someone with an allergy, she wouldn’t bake any of that type of allergen within 48 hours prior to making the allergy-free cake. For gluten, she had separate baking equipment, utensils, everything! Kept separately and entirely dedicated equipments (bowls, mixers, pans, decorating items etc). We had a lovely 2 tiered red velvet wedding cake—one tier was red and one was (edible) sparkle gold.

(Photo credit: Rachel Phillipson)

JESSICA: Our venue was providing dessert, but I still always wanted to have a wedding cake. We decided to order a six-ish inch single tiered cake so we could still enjoy the cake cutting tradition. One of my friends owns Krumville Bakeshop, a 100% gluten free bakery in NYC. We chose a lemon and berry cake that matched our wedding style and colors perfectly. We got all the cute pictures, shared a slice, then took the rest of the cake home and ate it on the couch together the following day. It was beautiful and so delicious. 

6. What is your best piece of advice for someone planning a gluten free wedding?

PAIGE: If you don’t feel comfortable with a vendor, it’s totally fine to walk away. Many vendors will tell you that they can do gluten free safely, but they just want your money. It’s okay (and GOOD!) to ask a zillion questions. Never sign before getting every single question answered and in writing. It’s your wedding day!!! You don’t want to be sick for it.

JESSICA: The wedding industry is just that – it’s an industry, and some vendors will lie about their allergen knowledge/cross contact safety policies just to get the contract. Ask all the questions, be your own advocate, and in the end don’t be afraid to do something “non-traditional”. If you find a great gluten free option that is safe and makes you happy go for it!

(Photo credit: Rachel Phillipson)

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