Allegery Free Wedding?

April 7th, 2010

My fiance and I are trying to plan our wedding and we are running into a big problem: His “baby” brother is severely allergic to nuts, sesame seeds, among other things. My fiance wants me to make special arrangements and limit the food selections, all for his brother, which normally I would consider but:

1) His little brother, although 5 years younger, will be 24 by the time we hold the wedding!

2) My fiance has indicated that even if we take precautions his brother will probably not eat at all. He has done this at other family functions because he and his family are overly cautious in my opinion. This behavior hurts my feelings a lot.

3) Probably the most important issue- My parents are paying for the majority of the reception. His parents are contributing to different expenses but not nearly as supportive financialy despite being well-off. My husband and I are also helping with the reception.

What is my responsibility in all this? Thanks for the help.
I am more than happy to provide him with an allergy free meal and dessert; he can even watch it being cooked if he’s gonna be that obsessive. But my finance and his demanding mother doesn’t think this is acceptable since “traces” of the forbidden foods will be all around. I love peanut butter and really want it to be an option at my Vienesse hour, and honestly theres so many foods he doesn’t eat it’s impossibe. Any one with severe allergies care to comment? Am I being insensitive?
The thing is, i have been around him for many years and while he is very allergic, he has it under control but his parents are obsessive (clincially) and over protective, so it’s more to due with them than him reacting actually. He does not usually have a severe reaction from fumes or traces, despite his parents insistance that he does!

10 Responses to “Allegery Free Wedding?”

  1. kfred says:

    Slap a bib on the brother and feed him Gerber. Sounds like that’s the only option. Honestly, maybe go a little precautious for his sake, but not to the point that you’re sacrificing everything.

  2. jackie b says:

    offer some foods that are “safe” for the brother and if there still is a problem tell him to stop at Mc Donalds before comming to the weddingLOL

  3. weddrev says:

    You do not need to alter your whole reception for this young man.
    Tell your caterer (might cost you a couple extra $$) & they will prepare him a special plate of his very own with food he can eat.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I wouldnt change your entire menu just for him, make a allergy free meal option for him so he has a choice if he wants to eat or not, but if he does like he has done in the past you dont have to worry so much about it because it is only one plate and everybody else will still get something that has flavor lol

  5. nova_queen_28 says:

    As an allergy sufferer (Food Allergies), I have to be up front. You should take his condition into account – but not necessarily revolve your entire wedding around HIM.

    You should speak to your venue caterer about the situation. Your fiance should ensure you have a complete list of the allergies your BIL has as well as the severity.

    There are actually food allergies that are so sensitive the smells can trigger a reaction. Do you really want your BIL rushed to the hospital during your reception? Probably not.

    “Overly Cautious” is the only way to be when someone has a severe allergy. It is not pleasant having your mouth, lips, tongue, and throat swelling shut because you accidentally came into contact with something you are allergic to.

    Nuts and sesame seeds are pretty easy to avoid – unless you are serving chinese or japanese food at your reception.

    I realize you are figuring ‘this guy is an adult, why can’t he watch out for himself’ – – because he didn’t prepare the food in the kitchen and doesn’t know if the food might have come into contact with something he is allergic to. It happens.

    If this was your child, your mother, your father, your sibling – – would you take the precautions or not bother?

    I will say, you should be kind enough to take precautions, or have the caterer ensure you BIL can have something they are able to prepare. But you do not have to revolve your entire wedding menu around his allergies. Perhaps your BIL would be willing to discuss with the caterer his allergies/needs?

  6. Just tryin' to help says:

    Your responsibility is to the safety of your guests. If your BIL has a “severe” allergy to these things and you know about it, you should be able to accomodate.

    First, ask your venue if they have any options to prepare meals for these allergies. It’s probably more of a commonplace now than it ever was. You may find that you can get a meal that is safe for your BIL – and any other attendee who might have similar allergies.
    (This happened to me; I had a respondent write on his card that he was allergic to basically everything under the sun. My venue had a specially prepared meal for him.)

    You SHOULD make special arrangements for your BIL, but that doesn’t mean that the whole event should be directed to that. I’m guessing your brother has a tactile allergy. What does he do when he goes to, say, the mall? Perhaps you can have a Lysol disinfectant spray at his seat, waiting for him.

    DO NOT say that he is “overly cautious.” This could be a LIFE OR DEATH situation. If he doesn’t eat, so be it. But provide a safe environment for him to do so.

    And, probably the most important – you need to get over who is paying. My parents paid for most of my wedding, with his parents pitching in here and there. My parents invited 90 people, his invited 150+. Who is paying has NOTHING to do with anything. (As you will see when your mother says you absolutely “have” to do something a certain way and you don’t agree. Money won’t matter then!)

  7. Lis says:

    I have a severe food allergy as well. When I go to certain events like weddings I tend not to eat much, or at all either. It’s my choice and it’s not to offend the person who paid for the food, I just don’t want to risk getting sick and not being able to enjoy the wedding. So don’t be offended or hurt that he won’t eat. But talk to your fiance and if he won’t eat anything there is no need to cater to his allergy. Why go through all the effort to plan everything around him when he’s not even going to eat.

    You can talk to the caterer and ask them if they can provide a special dish that is not made using nuts or with the same equipment that has touched his allergy causing foods.

    Or plan on him or someone he trusts making him a special meal and bring it there.

    Be supportive, because although it is your wedding it is his health and peanut and other allergies can cause anaphalatic shock. Do you want him to get severly sick or die because you didn’t want to take an extra step to make sure he was take care of? It will ruin your wedding if he gets sick, so talk to your fiance and make a compromise so that everyone is happy.

    Generally people who are allergic, especially those who are deathly allergic, take their own precautions to make sure they don’t get sick. So the responsibility is just as much his as it is yours. Don’t change everything for one person but make sure he has options.

  8. Amy B says:

    How allergic is he? There are people who are so allergic to peanuts, for example, that if they so much as touch something that was exposed to peanut oil – they will go into shock and could die from it.

    And just because he’s going to be 24 doesn’t make his food allergy any less serious.

    If you having peanut butter at the reception is more important than the health of your future brother-in-law, then that’s your choice. But expect backlash, because to be honest, that’s pretty shallow and self-centered.

  9. BW says:

    I have celiac diease (which is a toxic allergen to the protein found in grains). I can understand how your fiance and his mom feel. BUT, all that said, your fiance needs to remember that NOT all of the guests are allergic to the same foods. What you can do for his brother is ask him what foods he would like to eat at the wedding, and make sure they are prepared ahead of time. Lable the foods for him ALONE, and make sure there is NO cross contamination. That way you don’t have to have the huge expense and headache of preparing all fo the food according to his dietary needs.

    For example: Lemon Chicken with basil, garden salad with a light Vinegarette, Asparagus soup, and for dessert a small dessert just for him.

    I hope this helps. Good luck. 🙂

  10. Stained Glass says:

    That puts you in a tough place and i certainly understand how frustrating it is! You cannot realistically cater an entire reception around one person. Even if you pick an allergy free menu, who is to say that the food cooked for an event prior to yours did not leave traces of nut oils somewhere in the kitchen that could contact your food. Even storage of these foods in the same places can cause problems. It seems that your fiance’s brother is well aware of his limitations and is willing to not eat your food rather than cause a fuss. Maybe you can offer to bring him in a safe meal from elsewhere and have it served with the rest of the food or allow him to bring his own so he feels good about what is in it. As far as the rest of the food, this is your wedding not your future brother in laws so plan it how you want with the foods you want. Your fiance I’m sure is just worried for his brother’s safety but he if the guy is 24 then he needs to let up on the reins a little and not try to be his brother’s mother and care taker. I would highly doubt that most 24 year old guys would want to be singled out and publically fussed over because of a nut allergy. Explain to your fiance that you understand the risk and the concerns of his family but that this is your big day not his brother’s. Offer some alternative solutions and let him pick one that will make him feel the best. Good luck and congratulations!

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