Planning a major event is difficult under the best of circumstances, but when dietary restrictions are added to the mix, it becomes much more complicated—especially when the event revolves heavily around food, such as a wedding. 

The happy marriage of two people is celebrated at a wedding, but after the vows are said, there is a cocktail hour with canapés, dinner, and, of course, cake. You might even consider hosting a catered after-party if you’re going all out. 

If you or your future spouse must avoid gluten, you might be considering if it is worthwhile to keep the event gluten-free as a whole. After all, it’s your special day, and you ought to seize every opportunity to enjoy it. You don’t want to be left with a serving of salad, steamed chicken, and vegetables while your guests fill up on the buffet. 

It’s important to understand what you’re putting yourself into before deciding to have a completely gluten-free wedding. Here’s a step-by-step guide to organizing your gluten-free wedding reception. 

Step 1: Determine if you want to hire a wedding coordinator. 

There are countless aspects to consider when organizing a wedding. You might be worn out by the time you decide on a color palette, reserve a location, and hire a DJ. A wedding planner handles the details, relieving you of some of the burden. Even if you still have the decision-making power, someone else will also be involved in carrying out your vision. 

Dealing with caterers can make having a wedding coordinator especially crucial. You don’t want to be preoccupied with questions regarding the caterers’ cross-contamination prevention measures when you’re busy soaking in the happiness of your recent wedding. 

An expensive wedding planner will help ensure everything runs smoothly on your big day. There is no need to panic if your budget is tight. You can do it on your own if you want to.

Step 2: Look for a venue and a caterer.

Don’t decide on a venue without first reviewing the booking contract. Many venues demand that you employ their in-house caterers or make your selection from a predetermined list of vendors. Those that do frequently have predefined menus with minimal customizing possibilities.

Look for a location that lets you bring in your own caterer if you want complete control over the food that’s served at your gluten-free wedding. Another option to consider is hiring one or more food trucks. This allows you to choose a vendor who knows how to cater to gluten-free diets, and you may even sample the cuisine before contacting them.

Step 3: Plan your meal and get started. 

Moist and flavorful gluten-free cakes with buttercream frosting - Decadent allergy-friendly cakes from Wave The Grain.

Without question, weddings are costly, but one of the major expenses is food. After all, you are paying for the refreshments that will keep your guests pleased following the wedding ceremony and before dinner. If your wedding is in the morning or afternoon, you may be able to serve lighter dishes. 

Sticking with naturally gluten-free foods will help you stay within budget when creating a menu for your gluten-free wedding reception. Roasted chicken or grilled seafood, steamed veggies, herbed rice, and mashed potatoes are basics that will not disappoint your wedding guests—especially if they’re hungry after a few drinks during cocktail hour.

It could be easier to be creative if you have more money to work with. Your caterer can make snacks like chicken tenders and French fries, as well as drool-worthy hors d’oeuvres like arancini, fried mushrooms, and more, using a specialized fryer. 

Step 4: Consider the wedding cake (and other desserts). 

A spread of assorted gluten-free and vegan pastries - Delicious gluten-free and dairy-free treats.

A wedding reception would be incomplete without cake-cutting. A whole gluten-free and non-gluten-free wedding cake, however, may be pricey depending on the number of guests you are expecting. 

One choice is to have a little gluten-free cake to savor and use for the cake cutting. It can even serve as the top tier of a multi-tiered cake, preserving the traditional wedding cake appearance. The remainder of the cake can be made using conventional flour for the non-gluten-free guests to savor.

Another choice is to completely skip the wedding cake. Although having a cake is customary, there is a lot of space for innovation when arranging a modern wedding.

Why not choose gluten-free cupcakes in place of this? Cupcakes can be just as opulent and stunning when presented on a multi-tiered stand as a wedding cake. It is also simple to provide both gluten-free and conventional alternatives with this choice. 

If keeping things simple is more your thing, think about serving a dessert table rather than a wedding cake. Stock it with a range of cakes and sweets that are gluten-free, or mix in some standard delights as well. Just make sure you label everything. 

Step 5: Consider your drink selections.

Now that your gluten-free menu is complete, it’s time to decide how the beverages will be served. It is totally up to you whether or not to serve alcohol at your wedding, but if you do, making a gluten-free bar is crucial.

Serve hard cider instead of beer as one alternative that will please the crowd. Get kegs of the gluten-free ciders from a nearby cidery for the reception. For wine drinkers, choose a variety of red, white, and sparkling wines that you enjoy.

If you prefer signature cocktails, create a few cocktail alternatives using gluten-free liqueurs, mixers, and garnishes. Even better, design one unique “signature” drink to fit the bar’s theme.

To avoid cross-contamination when serving an open bar, let the bartenders know your specific requirements. For drinks without gluten, provide unique stirrers, strainers, and shakers.

Make sure that they have a record of the alcoholic beverages that are and are not gluten-free, and only serve your guests those. With a little forethought, you can easily offer a substantial gluten-free bar that gives your wedding festivities a tasty twist.

Step 6: Plan out your wedding favors. 

Wave The Grain logo with a variety of gluten-free baked goods - Gluten-free bakery in Denver.

Wedding favors are a sweet way to say thanks to your guests for sharing in your celebration, but gluten-free weddings might pose challenges with regard to edible delights.

At a gluten-free wedding, it’s preferable to stay away from food gifts, even if cookies, chocolates, and candies are standard favors. Aside from gluten, some guests are likely to have additional dietary restrictions.

Instead, choose valuable keepsakes that they may use after the wedding. Non-food favors that are popular include customized candles, soap, and wine glasses with the wedding date and names printed on them. If you have the money, a little bottle of fine olive oil is a fine gourmet (and gluten-free) take-home gift.

When choosing favors, think about what your visitors will truly utilize rather than pieces that will end up in garbage drawers. A small, thoughtful thing placed at each place setting works just great for a gluten-free wedding, so don’t feel pressured to present complex packages. 

The most crucial thing is to enjoy the occasion with your loved ones and avoid letting the wedding planning get too stressful!


We hope you found our guide to having a gluten-free wedding helpful and inspiring. Planning a wedding can be stressful enough, but adding dietary restrictions into the mix can add an extra layer of complexity.

However, with the right knowledge and resources, you can create a beautiful and stress-free celebration that accommodates all of your guests’ dietary needs.

Remember, a gluten-free wedding doesn’t mean sacrificing taste or elegance. With the delicious and gluten-free cake and dessert options from Wave the Grain, you can create a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone. Cheers to a joyous and gluten-free celebration!