Since your partner proposed, you’ve been excited about planning your dream wedding. But there’s one thing that might possibly pose a problem: you’re vegan, and you want to fully embrace your veganism on your wedding day.
Of course, it’s your wedding, so choices like this are completely up to you and your partner. You’re the ones paying for the wedding, so it’s understandable that you don’t want to spend your money on meat or animal products, even if plenty of your guests aren’t vegan themselves. But you may worry: what if my non-vegan guests won’t enjoy the wedding as much?
The good news is that a lot of couples have already planned successful vegan weddings without making their loved ones feel out of place. With the advent of more and more brilliant vegan foods, decorations, cosmetics and more, you definitely don’t need to be vegan to enjoy a vegan wedding! Here are some tips on planning a vegan wedding that everyone will love.
Top Tips on Planning a Great Vegan Wedding
Having a vegan wedding isn’t only about what kind of food you’ll serve at your wedding breakfast or your evening buffet. As you probably know, there’s much more to veganism than just what you eat. You’ll also need to avoid certain animal-based materials like leather, wool and silk as part of your wedding day elements.
The vegan lifestyle is all about being mindful with the things that you use for your wedding. As well as avoiding animal products, you may also want to go for eco-friendly and fair-trade alternatives that will allow you to embrace the ethical lifestyle on one of the biggest days of your life.
To make your choices easier, you need to start by deciding on how “vegan” you’d want your big day to be. Are you just talking about vegan food here or do you want to go full vegan with all your wedding details? Decide this from the start so that the planning process is easier.
1. Give Yourself Extra Planning Time
Although you’re basically going through the same stages of planning your wedding as you would if you weren’t vegan, you’ll need to give yourself enough time to look for vegan-friendly alternatives for everything from your food, to your venue, your decorations and even your favours.
A vegan wedding will typically take longer to put together because of all the mindful choices that you need to make, so it’s best to start planning early. You don’t have the same pool of suppliers and resources to choose from as everyone else does.
2. Hire a Good Vegan Caterer
When people think of a vegan wedding, the food will be the first thing on their minds. So, you have to make sure that the food is the main attraction at your wedding. The first step to doing that is by choosing the right caterer to serve you a killer vegan meal.
This is actually an opportunity for you to showcase how truly great vegan food can be. A good caterer can offer you a wide variety of options that will surely wow the non-vegans on your guest list, who may erroneously believe that vegan fayre is all about salad and vegetables.
The trick to creating a good vegan menu that everyone can relate to is to choose foods that are familiar to everyone. A good vegan caterer will be able to create vegan versions of traditional non-vegan dishes – everything from “sausage” rolls for the buffet, to “steak” or “beef” wellington for the main course.
3. Find a Vegan Wedding Cake Baker
For your wedding cake, try to find a vegan bakery which would be able to create a cake free of animal products for your big day. But if you don’t have any in your area, you can always go to a traditional bakery and ask if they could create a vegan version of the typical cake that they have.
It isn’t as hard as it sounds: it’s just a matter of swapping out ingredients to make the cake vegan-friendly. For example, a good baker will be able to substitute soy or nut milk for cow’s milk, and will use alternative raising agents to eggs (such as baking soda).
You can also opt for a dessert bar that has an array of your favourite sweet treats and desserts that are all gluten-, egg- and dairy-free. Remember that this is your chance to impress guests with vegan dishes that they wouldn’t usually try.
4. Create a Varied Vegan Drink’s Menu
The great thing about throwing a vegan wedding these days is that you already have a wide variety of choices when it comes to your drink menu. If you can’t find a vegan-friendly bartender who can create the concoctions for you, then you can just talk to a regular bartender and come up with a menu together that fits your preferences.
Many people aren’t aware that certain types of drinks aren’t suitable for vegans. For example:
1) Wine - Certain wines are made using egg albumen, milk protein, gelatin or isinglass (from fish) in the fining process
2) Beer and cider. As with wine, animal products are often involved in the filtering process
3) Cream liqueurs. Certain liqueurs, such as Bailey’s, is made using dairy cream
4) Flavoured spirits. Some spirits, such as vodka and gin, may be flavoured with honey
Fortunately however, there are affordable vegan alternatives to all of the above. A good bartender will be able to tell you which drinks are suitable for vegans, and will be able to create some great vegan mixed drinks for cocktail hour, as well as recommending vegan wines to pair with the meal.
5. Find an Ethical Jeweller
Being vegan is more than just about what you eat and drink, as you well know. So, having a vegan wedding will also involve sourcing cruelty-free alternatives to the inedible parts, too – such as jewellery and accessories.
Some jewellery is manufactured using animal derivatives, so you’ll need to find an ethical jeweller who can make your wedding rings in a vegan-friendly way. You should also choose accessories that don’t use shells, pearls, leather, or any other animal products.
6. Use Cruelty-Free Cosmetics
Whether you’re hiring a professional makeup artist or you’re doing your makeup on your own, you need to invest in good cruelty-free cosmetics that haven’t been tested on animals or contain any animal by-products. You have a lot of options when it comes to this, so make sure to shop for the cosmetics that you need early on.
If you’re hiring a hair and makeup stylist for your big day, ensure they know to look out for sneaky animal ingredients in the products they use on you and your bridesmaids – as well as checking that every product bears the Leaping Bunny logo (meaning it hasn’t been tested on animals).
7. Source Plant-Based Wedding Decorations
When it comes to your wedding decorations, you’ll need to take some extra time to ensure that none of the materials you’re using to decorate have been made with animal products.
One fabric that can trip up new vegans is silk. Silk is produced by animals called silkworms. Silk farmers harvest their cocoons (killing the worms in the process) and turn them into the shiny fabric we associate with luxury. So, avoid buying or renting any silk decorations if you’re having a vegan wedding.
In particular, watch out for silk if you’re planning on using faux flowers in your bouquet, or to decorate your venue. The best alternative is using fresh flowers, which are (of course) plant-based!
As well as silk, don’t forget to avoid:
7) Sea shells and coral
8) Animal glue
9) Beeswax candles
The best way to ensure everything is vegan is to choose decorations made from paper, plant-based fibres (e.g. cotton) or man-made fibres such as polyester.
For example, this Vintage Affair Just Married Bunting is made from hessian, which is sourced from jute and sisal plants. And this Soulmates 20m Personalised Aisle Runner is printed on canvas, a durable material made from cotton, linen and PVC.
8. Make Sure Your Wedding Attire is Vegan
There are two main things that you should avoid when having your wedding dress made: silk and wool. This should also go the same for your groom’s suit and entourage’s dresses.
Even if you’re buying ready-to-wear dresses, it’s still very important to go for vegan-friendly options that don’t use non-vegan materials. You also need to choose shoes and belts that don’t contain real leather, but use faux or PU leather instead.
9. Be Creative with Your Wedding Favours
The final thing to be mindful of when planning your vegan wedding is your wedding favours. If you’re handing out edible favours, ensure they don’t contain any animal products.
Dark chocolate is a great alternative to milk and white chocolate (just ensure it doesn’t contain any sneaky milk powder or butter oil). Sweets should be free from gelatine, shellac and beeswax. If you’re more looking at inedible favours, make sure to choose soy candles instead of beeswax-based ones, or mini soaps that don’t contain any animal tallow.
Hopefully, this guide has shown you that throwing a great vegan wedding is perfectly possible, even if you have non-vegan guests. When you’ve had the vegan wedding of your dreams, don’t forget to thank your guests for attending and supporting you in your beliefs by sending out personalised thank you cards. You never know, you might even tempt some of your loved ones to try out veganism the