Why You Should Stop Using ‘Secret’ Ingredients

Learn from one bride's terrible mistake and be transparent about what you’re serving.

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Photo: Lisa F. Young (Shutterstock)

When your wedding day comes, yes, you want people to have a good time. You spend weeks and months and maybe even years planning to get every detail right. The food is one of the most important details: You don’t want to have one of those weddings where everyone dismisses the chicken as dry and basic, you want to have the late-night food trucks that everyone talks about for years. But don’t go too far to be memorable or you might be talked about for the wrong reasons. Such is the case with one Florida bride, who laced her wedding meal with weed and is now facing jail time for it.

Several guests at Danya Svoboda’s February wedding started feeling odd after dinner, some reporting tingly feelings and wild thoughts, while others felt certain their hearts were going to stop, The Washington Post reports. It turns out Svoboda spiked the food, putting pot in the olive oil served with the bread without telling anyone. The guests were more than a little pissed, and now Svoboda and the chef behind the meal have been charged with food tampering, the delivery of marijuana, and negligence. If the threat of legal repercussions isn’t enough to sway you, let this be a reminder of all the many reasons it’s not okay to unwillingly serve certain ingredients without consent.

Why you should always be upfront about the food you’re serving

Let’s start off with mind-altering substances—while it might seem “fun” to be the person with the flask spiking the punch or the bride dosing her wedding guests with marijuana, you should never do so on the sly. It’s perfectly fine to get a little tipsy or partake in some homemade edibles if those doing so know what they’re getting themselves into, but to serve these items without disclosing the THC content to your guests could be setting them up for a life-changingly bad time.

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Consider the dangers that come with unknowingly consuming alcohol and then driving. Beyond that, what if one of your guests has given up drinking or drug use? Is it “fun” to be the reason they broke their sobriety? Once someone’s state of consciousness is unwittingly altered, the consequences of whatever they do next are on you.

Sorry, the “secret recipe” excuse is out

But this rule doesn’t just apply to the hard stuff. If someone asks you what’s in a dish, you can no longer just say “it’s a secret recipe” with a wink and a smile. Maybe the person is asking because they have a severe allergy to a particular ingredient. They could be abstaining from meat or dairy. What’s even worse is if you know these things already and still sneak something in because “they won’t know the difference” or “the allergy can’t really be that bad.” Consider the scene in Freaks and Geeks where a bully tries to disprove Bill Haverchuck’s peanut allergy by secretly slipping some peanuts into a sandwich; Bill ends up being rushed to the hospital. The result of not being transparent about ingredients or pulling a food-related “prank” could turn deadly.

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You’re not a magician, and there’s not some code you need to uphold, so just let people know what they’re eating. And for the love of god, don’t drug your wedding guests. If you want your nuptials to stand out, just get creative with your wedding cake and call it a day.