It's official: Having a vegan wedding is in.
Forbes named "high-end vegan" one of the top food trends of 2013 and The Guardian just published an article titled, "Relax, it's no longer weird to be vegan". Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Paul McCartney, and Chelsea Clinton are just a few of the big names to have all-vegan or partially-vegan weddings in the 2010's. And several caterers report in this 2013 St. Louis Business Journal article that vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free meal options are a major trend.
As more and more people go veg, more and more weddings are too. Guests are getting a bit more comfortable to the idea. We all have a vegetarian friend or co-worker nowadays. Even Beyoncé and Jay-Z gave it a try.
So, what are some key elements to throwing your own meat-free fete?
Choose the right caterer. Ask for example vegan menus and make sure they show an understanding of vegan cuisine. Though coming up with a dish for the vegetarian guest is something every wedding caterer should likely have experienced by now, find out if they gave them a salad or a full entrée. Don't feel shy to ask a professional chef to do a little research on a style of food and find something delicious -- they might love the opportunity to get creative! My wedding caterer (mandatorily assigned by the venue) did not understand vegan food and it showed. You don't want to be their first experiment in meatless cuisine.
Don't forget the non-food elements. The vegan lifestyle is about a lot more than not eating animal products. When it comes to a wedding, you will want to make sure non-edible animal products aren't making their way in to your special day. This includes:
- Wearing a non-silk wedding dress (there are many alternatives, and they are often cheaper)
- Wearing non-leather shoes
- Ordering a non-leather photo album
- Not renting/buying animals for your wedding (a horse-drawn carriage or dove release, for example)
- Using make-up not tested on animals
Be respectful of everyone's beliefs. Just like you would like your guests to be gracious in accepting the food you choose to serve, be understanding of your families' potential concerns. It can be seen as rude to serve vegan food, and you can address this by demystifying vegan food, clarifying that you aren't going to serve leaves and berries, but a hearty meal. You can also explain that a Jewish couple can serve Kosher food at their wedding and so a vegan should be permitted to also live out their beliefs on their wedding day, just like they do every day. If you're not a vegan but want to have a vegan wedding, give your reasons and why they are important to you. For example, if you're having a green wedding and want to serve vegan food because it has less impact on the environment, say so!
For more advice on vegan and vegetarian wedding planning, visit Vegan Weddings HQ.