Our wedding was approximately 97% gluten free and 95% dairy free. The majority of our vegetarian dishes were also vegan. So if you ever get married in the Monterey Bay Area and you're looking for a caterer that can accommodate a specialized diet, I would highly recommend Classic Catering in Pacific Grove, California.
The only items with gluten were the blueberry and applies pies that we bought from The Buttery Bakery in Santa Cruz, California and the beer we bought from Costco and BevMo. The story with the pies is that we tried to find a local bakery that would make gluten free pie's but we had no luck what-so-ever. And while I was prepared to make a couple of gluten free pies myself the night before the wedding, I certainly wasn't prepared to make 13!
The only items with dairy were our tray passed apricots stuffed with goat cheese and pistachios, the honey butter to eat with the gluten free corn bread muffins, half of the stuffed portabella mushrooms which had some shredded cheese in them, and both the gluten full and gluten free pies which contained butter.
I think the corn bread muffins were perhaps my favorite part of the whole meal and I think they were the favorite of the other guests that avoid gluten as well. When I asked Classic Catering if they could make gluten free corn bread muffins I suggested to them that the mix by Bob's Red Mill is quite good. I don't think they used that mix though, because Classic's corn bread muffins were way better, and I find that impressive. Gluten free baking from scratch isn't exactly easy to master, so I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the corn bread muffins.
All of the food was truly amazing and we received lots of positive comments from our guests on how yummy it all was. It's funny though, just like with our flowers the unseasonably cold weather of the year also affected our food. We were supposed to have persimmon and blueberry skewers but Classic's Chef didn't feel the quality of the persimmons he had were quite worthy. (Which frankly, I am impressed with because of the level of quality he gave us.) So the skewers became cantaloupe, blueberry, and persimmon skewers.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, we bought our gluten full blueberry and apple pies from a bakery in Santa Cruz. But I made 3 gluten free pies after the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. To make it easy, I premixed the GF flour mix I developed earlier in the year in individual zip lock baggies. Then I used thawed out gluten free pie crusts from Whole Foods to use as the crust. I had originally planned on making 2 rhubarb pies and 1 blueberry pie, but I ended up not having enough rhubarb, so I improvised, again, the night before the wedding. We ended up with 1 rhubarb, 1 rhubarb blueberry, and 1 blueberry. To be totally honest, the rhubarb pies didn't turn out so well and that was probably because I used frozen rhubarb. The gluten free blueberry pie turned out amazing, but that was with fresh blueberries. To ensure that the gluten free pie made it to the gluten free guests, we gave the caterers little toothpicks tied with navy blue bows to stick in the gluten free pies to identify them. (The toothpicks were another DIY by the lovely wife of our officiant and our groomsmaid.
Toasts presented yet another opportunity to try something different to accommodate my specialized diet. Since I'm allergic to grapes, champagne was out of the question. So we ended up ordering a keg of pomegranate cider from Two Rivers Cider in Sacramento, California. It was wonderful as well.
When we would tell folks that the food at our wedding would be almost entirely gluten and dairy free we got a lot of confused looks. Sure we only had a couple of folks at our wedding with specialized diets that we knew about, but for anyone that knows anything about eating gluten and dairy free ... you can eat darn well without those ingredients and we wanted all of our guests to know that too!
I would highly encourage anyone planning a wedding with guests on specialized diets to look for a caterer that can meet your needs. One caveat to that though, I would encourage you to do a tasting with your caterer of the dishes you plan to serve at the wedding, just to make sure they really understand the special diets you are looking to cater to. We went to two different caterers for tastings and explained my dietary restrictions prior to the tastings. Classic obviously impressed us, but the other caterer actually served us dishes that I couldn't eat. So as always, do your research and don't be be afraid to go entirely gluten or dairy free (or anything else for that matter) for your wedding!
You can read more about our wedding, our DIYs, and our choices at our blog, Freckles and Blondie.