10 Tips for Pulling Off That Amazing Vegan Wedding
Not so long ago, planning a vegan wedding would have proved quite the challenge.
However, with more people practicing veganism these days, the options have greatly improved.
Here’s our list of the top ten things to consider when planning your big day:
1. Be clear about your intentions
Let’s face it. You may well be in the minority here. Plenty of people are going to balk at the idea of feeling you are “forcing” your diet on them.
It is beyond comprehension for many who do not live as vegans that this is not simply your choice for meals, but a way of life for you. You must explain to them, perhaps repeatedly, that you are not willing to compromise your desire to protect the animal kingdom just to please them.
Gently remind them that this is your day and there is no harm in them seeing how the other side lives for a mere matter of hours. Calmly stand your ground and don’t let any negativity you may encounter get under your skin.
2. Location Matters
When selecting a venue, be sure to indicate that your wedding will be vegan. You may find that you are limited to a specified list of caterers, none of which provide vegan fare.
If you have your heart set on a venue and you run into such a problem, simply try to convince one of the caterers to do a vegan spread or ask the venue for an exception, providing them with the details of your preferred choice.
Most venues will be happy to work it out with you, but be sure before dropping a non-refundable deposit on a lost cause.
3. Food and Drink
Ideally, you’ll be able to employ a caterer familiar with vegan meals. Like any other caterer you consider, you’ll want to attend a tasting.
If your caterer isn’t familiar with your dietary requirements, feel free to educate them by providing recipes and giving them the opportunity to expand their business knowledge and thus, customer base.
With the right caterer, even the most steadfast carnivore won’t be able to deny the deliciousness of your wedding fare.
4. Dare to Dress
Silk is a major component in a lot of dresses, but you can get around it. There are a lot of options out there that may not be certified vegan, but are still made of animal friendly materials such as cotton, polyester or chiffon.
However, beware that some satin, chiffon and tulle can contain a kind of silk, so be sure to check the label carefully.
The same principles can be used in dressing your wedding party, with pre-owned dresses or dresses made to order from kinder materials. You’ll find that non-silk ties for your groom and his party are cheaper and steer clear of animal products by using polyester or cotton.
It is really a matter of budget and how much you are willing to compromise on your desire for a completely vegan wedding in favour of a mostly vegan wedding.
5. Put a Ring on It
It is a little-known fact for most people that diamonds are not considered vegan. While most consider vegans to only be concerned with what they would consider an animal, they neglect to understand that vegans are also concerned with the human animal.
Diamonds do not come without a heavy toll on the human lives that endure harsh work conditions and exploitation.
Fortunately, there are many options here for man-made diamonds or other cruelty free stones. Ask your local jewellers for suggestions or explore a custom creation from start to finish by a social justice minded designer.
6. Bride Beautiful
The simplest option when it comes to hair and makeup is to use the products you already have at home, but most brides want something a bit more professionally done for their wedding.
Fortunately, many makeup artists are familiar with cruelty free makeup and carry it as a part, if not all, of their collection. Either way, products from Paul Mitchell, Urban Decay, Tarte Kat Von D, LUSH, Milani or Pacifica will provide plenty of vegan options to create the look you want.
7. Do Yourself Some Favours
There are plenty of places out there to choose from when it comes to vegan wedding favours. Etsy is ripe with providers of vegan goods, but there are usually plenty of local vendors more than happy to provide yummy treats your guests will enjoy.
In fact, you can donate to your favourite animal charity in the name of your guests. PETA will send note cards that you can present to your guests or attach to a sweet treat.
8. Don’t Fake the Florals
Your best bet when it comes to flowers is to go natural and use fair-trade fresh plants only. If budget is a factor, you’ll want to go with whatever is in bloom during your wedding season. This will make them easier to source from a local vendor, as well as reducing cost, as in-season flowers are usually less expensive.
Go for a good Earth bonus by choosing live plants rather than cut flowers, gifting them to guests or planting them in your own garden after the honeymoon, of course. Not only will they add life to your venue, but you can enjoy flowers from your wedding day for years to come.
9. Wedding Environment
Many caterers will use their own setups. If you’ve selected one that isn’t familiar with vegan catering, they may not even consider that those silk table cloths are a no go.
Make sure you’ve discussed not only the menu for the day, but the details involved in presentation and that they fully understand what is required of them.
Consider using recycled materials only or even seed paper for notes, invitations and place settings. Once the wedding is over, guests can take them home for planting and grow useful things like basil or tomatoes.
Perhaps it is being picky, but let’s face it, many of your guests will have no clue as to what is truly vegan and what is not. One idea is to request donations to your favourite animal charity.
Alternately, consider requesting online gift vouchers or setting up a wedding registry with a local retailer or online venue so that your guests can select from the items you’ve indicated you would love to receive from them.
Finally, while some may find it crass, many a wedding features a simple money tree, where guests clip gifts of cash to branches in envelopes that include their well wishes. You’ll find that many guests will appreciate the simplicity of such a choice.
By Amy Naves, Excalibur Press