Sho Takahashi

Breaking Bread: Richelle celebrates a gluten-free wedding with friends, family, and her Nima

Nima community members share their #nimatested photos on Instagram and Twitter everyday. While we usually see pics of a smiling or “gluten-found” Nima next to a plate of food or packaged food item, Richelle (@tinyboss_terrorizes_gluten) posted this elegant and heart-warming picture of her gluten-free wedding with family and a Nima in hand.

We reached out to Richelle to find out more about her wedding story.

Hi Richelle Thanks for joining us ! Where do you live?

Vancouver, BC

Why do you use Nima?

I get very sick from cross contamination. Some of my reactions can be scary. I missed going out to eat and eating with my friends. I missed being with people I love at the table. I missed not worrying.

What’s been valuable about having Nima in your life?

I get sick for weeks from cross contamination so going out to eat was always an anxious experience. I love exploring and trying new things and I couldn’t ever explore food because new foods are always risky, even when you ask all the right questions.

Now I get to explore Vancouver through cycling, walking and food! Some weekends I get on my bike with people I love and tour patios, food trucks, parks and picnics. I will be going to the Greek Islands soon and I can’t wait to have some food adventures. Nima has given me the freedom to explore culture through food and this has made my life a better one. A life with more love, adventure, culture and food.

Most of our community members are from the United States, but we’re starting to see more Nima results come in from Canada. What is gluten-free dining like in Canada?

There are more people in the USA than in Canada, so I find the USA has more choice for most things. However, Vancouver is exceptional for gluten free choices. We have lots of 100% gluten free bakeries, poutine, fish and chips, tempura and gyoza, fried chicken, 100% gluten free gelato shops, pizza, samosas etc… I tried a lot of these places with Nima a few times and I always get a smile!

Smaller towns can be a little more difficult. A couple of years ago on my way to a holiday, I stopped by a little place with a sign outside that said, “Gluten Free Bakery” I thought I had asked all the appropriate questions. I asked if they baked any gluten items there. She said everything here is gluten free. I asked about raw ingredients, they were fine. I ate a few samples.

I ended up getting sick and it ruined my whole holiday. I called them and it turns out they bake normal bread there, just not on that day! It was the worst trip. I had terrible nausea but couldn’t get sick, and was in a ton of pain. Not only that, but it was November and I was sick all the way through Christmas. That was one of my worst Christmases ever. I ALWAYS bring Nima on my trips now. And I don’t trust bakeries I don’t know anymore. They need about a million positive celiac reviews first!

We saw your post using Nima at your Bachelorette Weekend in Las Vegas. How’s the gluten-free dining in the city famous for hospitality and all the restaurants from chefs of the world?

It was really good! There were a lot of options. However, even after calIing the restaurant beforehand and explaining to our server and the manager, we did get a “gluten found” right before our big night out at Magic Mike Live! The restaurant was lovely and tried to find the answer to why there was gluten in the dish. If I hadn’t tested that dish, it would have ruined our big night out!

Where was your wedding?

It was at Trout Lake Park. We had our first date there in 2013. Our first date was a beautiful day and we had a picnic with cheese and food from the Farmer’s Market by a tree near the lake.

Choosing a wedding venue or deciding on food options seems already hard enough for anyone getting married. What were some of the challenges for you considering you wanted to avoid Gluten at all costs on your special day?

In a way, it made it easier to choose something creative and fun like a food truck. We aren’t super traditional so we didn’t really want a formal sit-down dinner. The other thing is we really wanted was to put our guests first. They were the ones who were there loving us and supporting us from the beginning and we wouldn’t have been there without them! We really wanted to make sure we had things for everyone no matter what the food restriction and have tons of food and tons of booze.

That presented some challenges so I wrote a number of food trucks about all the needs we had and Tacofino gave us the best answer. They cleaned the truck from top to bottom and changed the oil for us so I could have fried foods! They had vegetarian and dairy free options as well as no bell peppers as a dear friend has a severe allergy.

I thought it would be a cool personal touch if we made the cake décor with cakes from our favorite gluten free bakery. Shane and I would go there every weekend for a while because their cakes are incredible! The thing is, I didn’t know how to do an elaborate cake décor. So, my dad and I used wood rounds and logs from the beach to make a 3-tier cake stand together. We made it on a rickety patio table with a coping saw! It was such a funny moment for us and a great memory! The day of, our florist decorated it with greenery and flowers.

With a food truck we had to think extra about seating, which was free (no set places). We wanted to give our guests a lot of choice so we had picnic benches, tables and covered chairs, fleece blankets to sit on and use, and some indoor seating if guests wanted to avoid the elements. We had lawn games and prizes (like an Okanagan beer and wine tour, a date night out etc.) to keep everyone from mobbing the food truck. We also had an amazing friend bartend for us the whole time, separate from the truck, so it kept people in three or four different places to prevent crowds anywhere. I’m still so thankful for everyone’s help and that it worked out so well! We got SO many compliments on the food and on the whole wedding in general. It’s almost a year later and people still sometimes tell us it’s the best wedding they’ve ever been to. I think maybe because there were challenges with food, it forced us to be creative and toss out a lot of traditions that didn’t work for us or our guests. In this way, the challenges were actually a really surprising blessing.

What did you test during your wedding? (meal, cake?) Was everything gluten-free?

Everything was gluten free. The only thing I was unsure about was the tacos because I had never eaten at Tacofino before. Everything came up smile!

What does your husband think of Nima?

He loves how much freedom I have with it. He also loves riding around with me on our bikes and exploring different patios and food trucks.

What advice do you have for any couples out there either newly dating or about to get married with food sensitivities?

Even though it seems tough, in a way, it’s a blessing because you can weed out the jerks and people who don’t have patience with the fact that you have a legitimate medical condition that can limit you. I ended up with someone really kind and I think that’s in part thanks to the fact that I have to stand up for my health. Having to stand up for myself and my health may have gotten rid of some that aren’t as thoughtful and caring as Shane and I am so, so thankful for that! He really is such a dream and so kind and funny.

Bonus question: If you can only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

What I love about Nima is the variety and my ability to explore different foods. That’s why this question is impossible for me!

Thanks Richelle for sharing your story with the community! Make sure to follow Richelle and her upcoming GF honeymoon adventures on @tinyboss_terrorizes_gluten

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