For most people, the wedding day is the culmination of years of thought, dreaming, and planning.
But when you’re vegan, the celebration can come with its own share of challenges, questions, and quandaries.
Thinking through some of the details ahead of time can ensure that your day is both fun and in keeping with your beliefs and your plant-based way of life.
That will help you and your guests keep the focus where it should be-on love, laughter, and the joy of your special day.
Let’s get started with preparations!
For many brides, the venue may be a place you have envisioned since childhood. A church, a special home, or a favorite vacation spot might be among your options. Many vegan brides and grooms have a special connection to nature and the outdoors, so an outdoor setting might be the perfect option for your vegan wedding.
Keep in mind, the ceremony and reception are two different events, so it may be possible for you to have the ceremony in one place and the reception in another. If you have a setting in mind that is somewhat remote or if you like the idea of a more private ceremony, you can have the best of both worlds by choosing a separate venue for the wedding reception.
Splitting up the festivities can allow you to enjoy the ceremonial aspects of the day with just a select group of family and friends somewhere special, then have the reception at a venue that simplifies the logistics of hosting a large group.
Alternatively, you may choose a destination wedding, with a setting that celebrates your love for nature and your love for each other. There are a variety of eco resorts in spectacular locations offering luxurious amenities with a minimal environmental impact. A venue like this might be ideal to help you enjoy your vegan wedding with a more intimate feel and a more relaxed event.
The guest list is as varied as the people involved. For some, a small group of family and friends is preferable. For others, a large event for extended family, friends, and even casual acquaintances and business associates is the only way to celebrate.
The most important thing to remember about the guest list is that it should be primarily driven by the preferences of the happy couple.
While parents might want to throw a big to-do, if that is not what the couple wants it won’t be the happy celebration they deserve.
In addition, some vegan brides and grooms feel that a larger event is less intimate and meaningful.
In addition, some vegan brides and grooms feel that a larger event is less intimate and meaningful. Again, their preference should be the primary consideration. A compromise can be struck, however. Perhaps a smaller ceremony and larger reception is the answer. Alternatively, a destination wedding for a small group, then a larger celebration at home might allow everyone to have their preferences met.
One of the ways to ensure a green wedding that is aligned with your values is to consider ecologically friendly stationery. Recycled content paper for the invitations helps to lower the environmental impact of a large event. Or consider going green by foregoing paper invitations altogether in favor of personal invitations or emailed video or graphic invitation with all of the details.
One area where people have difficulty is deciding whether to announce that the wedding reception will feature vegan foods.
For close family and friends, there may be no need to announce this fundamental fact, but for more distant, extended family and friends there is some question as to whether or not people should be informed ahead of time.
As with so many aspects of wedding planning, much depends on your personal preference. If you are concerned that people will be upset if they arrive and find out that the food is all vegan, by all means let them know.
On the other hand, many people hold to the convention that a good guest does not question or criticize, but endeavors to enjoy what is served. Ultimately, you know your guests best, and you may choose to compromise by selectively informing those friends and family members who you think will have an opinion.
Beautiful bride is the center of every wedding. But which wedding dress to choose when you are vegan?
Vegans can choose from a variety of natural and artificial fabrics, ensuring that virtually any design or style can be created with vegan materials.
Fabrics that should be avoided include silk, fur, cashmere, wool, and leather or animal skins.
However, almost any of these can be approximated with faux versions of these materials.
In addition, many bridal styles include small pearls as part of the trim or decoration. However, these are almost always fabricated, so there should be little concern that a real pearl will find its way into the decoration.
Vegans avoid shoes created with leather, suede, or other animal skins.
However, there are many attractive options for vegan wedding shoes using fabrics and faux leather that approximate the look of almost any design the vegan bride could ask for.
Decorations are generally faux as well, so while faux pearls and beading may be used, they too are considered vegan.
Wedding accessories can include jewelry, scarves, belts, purses, garters, and more.
These should be made with either natural or artificial fibers and should not include silk, animal skin, or other non-vegan materials.
Pearl jewelry is very common for wedding accessories, and care should be taken to ensure that artificial pearls are used, since pearls are harvested from oysters and are, therefore, non-vegan.
Some brides carry holy books in religious wedding ceremonies. Care should be taken to ensure that these do not have leather covers. There are many attractive bridal versions with cloth or faux leather covers which will be both entirely suitable and attractive.
There are many vegan cosmetics and haircare products to ensure the bride will look her best throughout her special day. Most vegan brides will already use these in their day to day life and will be familiar with their favorite brands.
If professional hair and makeup are being scheduled, it might be a good idea to meet with the hair and makeup artists ahead of time to ensure that either their products are cruelty free and vegan or that they are willing to use vegan products for your vegan wedding.
In keeping with the bridal couple’s preferences, bridesmaids dresses, shoes, and accessories should also avoid animal products like silk, fur, cashmere, or wool.
A thoughtful bridesmaid’s gift might be faux pearl jewelry to be worn the day of the wedding in order to ensure that real pearls are not worn.
And the groom should be handsome too! Here’s how to achieve this.
The vegan groom’s clothing, shoes, and accessories should conform to the same guidelines as the vegan bride’s. Suit fabrics like wool should be avoided, as should silk neckties or pocket squares. Shoes should be made of faux leather, faux suede, or other fabric.
Tie pins, studs, or cufflinks should not include leather, ivory, or pearl in their decoration or fabrication.
Decorations, flowers, food – there are many things to think about.
Vegan wedding decorations are as varied as the people who marry…
Some will choose a very formal, elegant decor while others commitment to a vegan lifestyle might manifest itself in a more natural, outdoor setting. Either way, decorations should conform to the cruelty-free guidelines used for clothing and other materials.
No silk or feathers should be used in bunting, flower arrangements, tablescapes, or other decorative elements. Fortunately, it is very easy to find artificial versions of these materials in order to ensure that any stylistic choice can be accommodated.
Some people have chosen in recent years to use live animals, either as part of the decoration (for instance, goldfish in bowls as centerpieces) or as part of the ceremony (release of doves or butterflies, for example).
For the observant vegan, the use of animals for their ceremonial or entertainment value is not in keeping with a vegan lifestyle.
This also goes for horse-drawn carriages or other animal use. There are some companies that create novelties and animated elements that mimic the effect of fireflies, butterflies, or fish, so if such an effect is desired, an artificial element should be used.
Real flowers are entirely in keeping with your vegan wedding.
There is no need to use silk flowers in order to ensure long-lasting bouquets, centerpieces, or other floral elements.
Care should be taken to use flowers, plants, and preservation techniques that will allow the flowers themselves to last longer, rather than replacing them with silk versions. In addition, silk ribbon and bunting as part of the floral decor should be avoided.
For those who wish to underline the importance of their vegan beliefs as part of the wedding, a wedding favor is a great way to let guests take a home a memento of the special day that is also in keeping with your values.
A personalized soy candle, a live plant, or a vegan treat with a recipe card attached-all of these express your love for each other and for your guests.
There are many different types of menus that will please both vegans and non-vegans. Here are just a few.
Vegan Brunch Menu
– Avocado toast
– Dairy-free Waffle Station
– Grilled Asparagus
– Vegan stuffed mushrooms
– Vegan omelet Bar
– Home fries with onions and peppers
Elegant Vegan Dinner Menu
– Hors d’oeuvres: stuffed mushrooms, mini vegan grilled cheese sandwiches, vegan samosas
– Carrot bisque
– Vegan Caesar Salad
– “Green” Pasta Primavera
– Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sauce
– Eggplant Parmesan Crostini with Spaghetti Squash
– Crispy Kale and Tofu Stir Fry
Evening Vegan Dessert Reception
– Banana Tiramisu Trifle
– Assorted Truffles: Peanut Butter, Raspberry and Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Faux Creme
– Vegan Doughnut Balls with Assorted Dipping Sauces
– Dark Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons
– Vegan Cheesecake
– Fruit Salad Bar
Wheat flour, applesauce, almond milk, and other products have made it possible to have beautiful and delicious vegan wedding cakes. And the proliferation of bakeries specializing in or accommodating dietary restrictions means that the vegan bride, as well as the gluten- or sugar-free bride, all have more options than ever when choosing a wedding cake.
In addition, for those who embrace the non-traditional, there are many flavor options beyond vanilla, including dark chocolate, brownie, pumpkin, and even a pistachio-rosewater vegan wedding cake.
In addition, many brides and grooms indulge their taste for whimsy with alternatives to wedding cakes. Wedding pies, cookies, cupcakes, and other confections are often seen at even the most elegant soirees. If wedding cake does not appeal to you and your beloved, feel free to think outside the box for your celebration.
Many young couples, whether vegan or non-vegan, choose to make their wedding an opportunity to share their beliefs and ideals with their loved ones. This may extend to gift-giving. Especially for those couples who have already established households, there may be no need for new dishes, cookware, or linens.
In this case, many couples choose to have guests donate to a favorite charity.
If that is your wish, simply indicate it at the time of the shower invitation or upon inquiry just as you would communicate a wedding registry at a store.
If you wish to carry your vegan theme into the choice of charity, there are many great options like World Wildlife Fund, the American Humane Society, or even a local animal rescue, shelter, or other organization.
Your event could make a huge difference in the ability of a small organization to help the animals in your community.
During the days of film photography, there was some concern about gelatins used in the film that was non-vegan. With the advent of digital photography, however, this concern has been, for the most part, ameliorated.
Simply ensure that your photographer uses digital photography and, if you would like to be more environmentally friendly, ensure that proofs are sent digitally rather than printed.
If you would like to bring your emphasis on animal-friendly living to your photography session, you might choose to have your pets in your photos. One recent bride had animals awaiting homes from a local rescue charity included in her wedding photos and adoption information posted at the reception along with the photos. What a great way to do good and share your love for animals with your guests.
There are many possibilities for a fun, vegan-friendly honeymoon for you and your new spouse. There are many eco-resorts and hotels that offer an emphasis on the environment and natural, outdoor living. If you’ve always wanted to visit a big city like New York, this might be the perfect time.
You’re sure to find many exciting, gourmet vegan dining options, or even a vegan cooking class. One spot that has become very popular with eco-tourists is Iceland. With an emphasis on the natural world and great vegan food, you might just fall in love all over again.
One of the best things about a vegan wedding is that it can accommodate any budget. Not paying for silk dresses for the bride and bridesmaids and carving stations for the reception can help save money right at the start.
As with any other wedding, much will depend on how many people are invited. Cutting the guest list is one easy way to cut costs. This is where a destination wedding may be a great idea, as the savings in fewer guests may pay for the travel.
In addition, the type and quantity of alcohol, food, and other items can have a big impact. Remember, elegance is often found in simplicity, and this can extend to flower arrangements, food, and more.
ONE LAST TIP
Think about the timing of the festivities to save money on your vegan wedding. Catering, venue, and other elements may be cheaper on a Friday evening or Sunday afternoon than on a Saturday evening.
A noontime wedding with an elegant brunch buffet may create significant savings on wardrobe, venue, food, and alcohol compared to an evening wedding with full seated dinner.
Most people coming to your wedding will be there to celebrate your love with you, not to complain about the menu or the materials in the decorations. For the most part, you will not need to make special accommodations for non-vegans.
However, if you wish to let people know that the wedding will be vegan, you may want to send a card asking if there are dietary restrictions for guests. In that wording, you can convey that the reception will be vegan.
Here is some possible wording:
We look forward to having you join us at our wedding ceremony and reception. While the food will be vegan, we want to ensure that we accommodate our guests’ dietary restrictions. If your diet is gluten-free, sugar-free, or otherwise restricted, please let us know so that we can ensure your comfort.
Your vegan wedding is an opportunity to share your special day with the people closest to you. It can be, if you wish, an opportunity to share your plant-based lifestyle with them as well.
By ensuring that clothing, decor, and food fit the way you live, you’ll ensure that your wedding day is memorable and reflective of your life, your values, and your love for each other.