Everyone knows that a wedding is supposed to be about the bride and groom. Mostly the bride. So I was unsure how to tackle not only my first wedding gluten-free, but a wedding in which I was participating. At an out-of-town location. I stressed about it quite a bit (Me? Stress? Surely this is the first time!). I didn't want my homie to be worried about my wacky-celiacy, but at the same time, I knew I was going to have to be able to feed myself, away from home, for at least a couple of nights, all while feeling (or at least looking) fantabulous and making my gorgeous friend feel like the special bride she was. No small task.
|Jaime, the bride, and I|
Planning. Lots of planning. And maybe just a tiny bit of luck.
I love love LOVE staying in hotels. It's one of my favorite things to do. I like the change of scenery. I like making a mess that someone else has to clean up. I like jacking the AC up as high as it will go so it feels like sleeping in a refrigerator. I especially love it when my hotel has both a fridge/freezer and a microwave, so that I can haul down a cooler full of breakfast foods and snacks. It certainly made it easier knowing that I had absolute control over at least a few of my meals. We were lucky to stay in a place that also gave us comped drinks (hello, wine at 4 p.m.) and had a great breakfast spread ... or so Luke told me. I took my own food down to eat with him, but the only option they really had for me was fruit and yogurt. I was really glad I had planned for it, instead of just hoping for the best.
|Luke is my gluten watchdog|
When my buddy told me where the rehearsal dinner was, she told me they didn't seem really gluten-free friendly, but that I could have a salad, which, as most of you probably have gathered by now, is not my favorite thing to do. I planned on showing up to the dinner, but not eating, saving my appetite for a gluten-free friendly restaurant I had dined at before. Luke and I were planning on ducking out early enough to still make it over to that place while their kitchen was open. But when we got to the country club, my ballsy husband marched right up to the hostess counter and demanded to speak to the chef. My hubby arranged for the chef to cook me up an off-menu, totally gluten-free meal on the spot. Yeah, it was a grilled chicken breast and baked potato, but it was sustenance. And it was gluten free. And I was swoony over my darling husband. Love is always keeping your wife fed, safely. Put that on a mug.
|Bridal party, post ceremony. We'd been out in the heat for more than four hours at this point, and the temp peaked at 107 degrees during the ceremony. But we all still look pretty good!|
I was terrified of the wedding day. I swear, I was more nervous about this one than I was about my own. We were outside for several hours in the heat for pictures and the ceremony, which didn't help (hello 107 degrees at ceremony time). My friend had assured me that she spoke to the caterers at the hall, and that several components of the meal would be gluten free. But I was skeptical, as I am wont to be. So I made myself some pasta salad and fruit, all ready to go in the hotel room right next door to the reception hall, and Luke was once again at the ready to go fetch me something edible while I did my bridal party duties. We even brought cupcakes from Sweet Ali's, so that I could enjoy the cake time, too.
Sure enough, I give my speech (it was fab, by the way), we get seated for dinner ... and it's a buffet. Huge red flag for me. Now, even if some of the components were gluten free originally, they could have been tainted with all manner of OTHER nonsense. I panicked. And once again, Luke marched himself right up to the chef, who assured him that at the bride's request, the steak dish, the sides (except for the pasta) and the salad were all gluten free. She demanded it. So I hugged my thoughtful newly-wed friend, dug into the food (I got to go first, yay!) and ate to my little heart's content. Topped it off with a salted caramel cupcake (Sweet Ali's, I can't quit you!) and made it through the whole weekend without getting glutened.
Bottom line? The wedding weekend went off without a problem, two of my favorite people are now hitched, and everything was gorgeous. Now the heat exhaustion that took me down Sunday is another story...