Planning a wedding can be very stressful in itself. Planning a VEGAN wedding can be even more stressful, because in some locations food choices may be limited.
In this article, we share 9 tips to help you host an amazing vegan wedding. Not getting married any time soon (or already married)? These tips are great for any event you might be hosting.
You can listen to us discuss these tips in episode 404 of the podcast or read on for a summary and links to everything we discuss.
Larissa and I were married in 2015 (we’ve been together since 2002). We’ve discussed our wedding here and there on this show but we thought it might be a good time to discuss how we had a vegan wedding without people even realizing that it was vegan.
As things are starting to reopen (with caution, of course, during a pandemic) we thought this year and this month (February) would be a great time to share how we planned our wedding to help anyone out there considering a plant-based wedding.
Even if you aren’t planning a wedding anytime soon (or already had yours), these tips can also work for other types of gatherings.
What is a Vegan Wedding?
In discussing “vegan” weddings, we want to clarify that we aren’t only referring to food. In addition excluding animal products such as meat or dairy from the menu, a vegan wedding–just like the vegan lifestyle in general–is also about being environmentally friendly and cruelty-free.
In 2018, Veg News published an article titled “How Veganism is Causing a Quiet Revolution in the Wedding Industry.” The article discussed how couples were breaking the traditional norms of weddings by choosing more plant-based cuisine and making decor choices that are more environmentally friendly, cruelty-free, and sustainable.
The choices many couples are making these days are more in line with their own values (as they should be).
Our 9 Tips for An Amazing Vegan Wedding
1. Finding a Vegan Caterer
While veganism isn’t all about food, food is a big part of the big day. Depending on your location, securing a vegan caterer may prove to be tricky. If you’re having trouble finding a caterer who advertises as “vegan,” try calling and asking what accommodations can be made.
Note: Be very careful to be specific about your preferences and any dietary restrictions. Put it in the contract so there aren’t any disputes.
If you’re fortunate enough to live in a city with vegan restaurants, be sure to try them first and give them a chance to earn your business. Try searching for “vegan caterers (or vegan restaurants) near me.”
2. What Do You Serve At a Vegan Wedding?
As with potlucks and other events, I like choosing dishes that are easily “veganized.”
One thing to consider for your vegan menu is a cuisine that is easily adaptable to being vegan. For example, we had a Tex-Mex menu from one of our favorite restaurants, Viva Vegeria. Tex-Mex (or Mexican food) is pretty easily veganized. It’s also very popular in our area, so that was already a point scored with most of our guests.
As for vegan appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, there are plenty of options that any experienced caterer should be able to suggest, but if you’re looking for some great ideas that will please even meat-lovers, here’s a article from The World of Vegan with some great options.
You are not cooking vegan; you are cooking food that happens to be vegan. -Suzy Silvestre, Vegan Caterer
3. Have a Non-Vegan Friend Try The Food
If you are still a little nervous about whether your wedding guests will enjoy the food, try taking a trusted, open-minded, non-vegan friend with you to try some items you’re considering for the menu.
4. You Don’t Need to Advertise it as a “Vegan” Wedding
While we’re certainly not saying that you need to hide the fact that you’re vegan or that you chose a vegan caterer, some people (other than your vegan friends of course) may have preconceived notions and stereotypes about what that means.
The best way that I’ve found to dispel the stereotype that all vegan food is tasteless “rabbit food” is to normalize it.
We did not advertise our menu as “vegan” and many were surprised to learn it was. All they knew was the food was great!
5. DIY or Upcycled / Recycled Decor
Rather than spending a ton on flowers and disposable decorations, consider upcycled or recycled art for your decor. Larissa, who is very crafty, did our invitations, thank you notes, and centerpieces using upcycled materials such as old paper and sheet music.
If you’re not crafty yourself, consider supporting independent artists, either locally or on Etsy. Perhaps you even have a crafty friend who would love to create some centerpieces for your wedding as your gift.
6. Reusable Lights or Vegan Candles
As mentioned, Larissa created the centerpieces for our wedding. Everyone loved them and several people asked to take one. Larissa used old jars, sheet music, and reusable mini-lights inside each one.
7. Vegan Cake Options
Like caterers, more bakeries are starting to expand their offerings to the vegan community.
8. Vegan Wine
Back in episode 137 of The Vegetarian Zen podcast, we talked about alcohol. Specifically, we discussed that while many people assume beer, wine and spirits are vegan, not all are.
For example, the filtering processing in wine uses isinglass, which is derived from fish bladders.
When we recorded episode 137 several years ago, the selection of vegan spirits was very limited. Luckily, these days there are quite a few wines that are vegan-friendly. Check out the Barnivore website for an extensive guide.
9. Gift Registry
Let guests know that you would appreciate gifts that do not contain any animal products such as leather, feathers, wool, etc. Consider a donation to your favorite shelter / rescue as an option for gifts. If in doubt, a gift card to your favorite store is a good option.
We hope these tips have given you some ideas for having an amazing vegan wedding or any special event you may be hosting!