article was written by Alexa Hanrahan.
you want an intimate indie love fest or a royal-level extravaganza, diving in
to wedding planning can seem a little taxing. Toss your desire to have a
cruelty-free vegan wedding into the mix, and planning can seem borderline
intimidating. But have no fear, compassionate brides-to-be—and grooms-to-be
too!—we've got some fun and easy ways to "veganize" your nuptials.
Get the jump on the 2012 wedding season with PETA's Top 10 Vegan Wedding Ideas:
1. Trade a bachelor
or bachelorette party for a day at a sanctuary or an animal shelter.You can party down in the evening, but
take a day (or three) with your besties and volunteer at an animal shelter or
visit a sanctuary. It will be a great excuse to do something selfless in the
middle of a very "me" time. Who knows—the visit may unearth
compassion that your friends didn't realize they possessed. (Be sure to ask the
sanctuary if you can bring a vegan picnic—or better yet, inquire about having
your ceremony on the property!)
2. Look good.If they haven't already, people will ask
you what you're going to wear on the big day, and if you do it right, they'll
want to know where it came from after you've rocked the aisle. Whether you're
thinking about a gown, a three-piece suit, or something a little less
traditional, there are cruelty-free
options galore! Avoiding animal products (including silk
among others) is easier than ever. There are some great alternatives to silk that
you can wear without looking like you're going to prom in 1987. And brides: Using
cruelty-free makeup and hair products can also be a conversation piece—when
your cousin wants to know the secret behind your glow (other than a healthy
vegan diet and, you know, being in love), you can bust out your line of
eco-friendly, cruelty-free beauty supplies. Check out PETA's extensive list of cruelty-free
companies and products to get started.
You can also adopt
a "no fur, no skins" policy. Whether you're asking your bridesmaids
and groomsmen to wear specific outfits or letting everyone express themselves
freely, request that they leave the shoes, belts, and accessories with bits of
animal skins at home. Offer a hand in finding alternatives for those buying or
renting (vegan shopping spree, anyone?), and challenge your friends to find
options in their own closets that are animal-free—they may be surprised!
3. Opt for vegan
catering.Vegan catering is a great way to spare animals
and introduce your loved ones to food that can keep them healthier! If you're
tying the knot in a major city, finding a practiced vegan catering company
shouldn't be a problem. If you're in a smaller city or town, shop around for
someone who feels right to you and your betrothed. Most caterers will be happy
to … well … cater to your dietary
choices. Just be upfront about what you want (and don't want) and get involved—offer
to provide vegan
recipes and make suggestions. This is a day to feast, so make sure that
your caterer understands that vegan meals go above and beyond grilled, steamed,
and puréed vegetables! Stress full, hearty dishes with your favorite veggies,
grains, faux meats, and fixin's, and be sure to have them cook a sample meal
for you beforehand so that you know it's what you had in mind.
Cruelty-free dessert is a vegan cakewalk.
With so many delicious variations available, guests will be circling the
dessert table for seconds … or thirds. Vegans are crafty and have great dairy-
and egg-free versions of red
velvet cake with buttercream frosting, cheesecake, lemon
king cake, chocolate peanut butter cake … you name it. If you feel like your
baker might be a little lost, try some recipes out at home and take them with
you when you have your first appointment.
You can take food to a whole new level
by printing out recipes or information about what you're serving and including
it with place settings or favors—that way, people will know what they're eating
and have a chance to learn about all the benefits of a vegan diet. Knowledge is
power—especially for any relatives who may not understand your compassionate
4. Have a "Be
Kind" bar.Take back the bar and test your tender's
skill by renaming drinks! Quirky and thought-provoking titles will get people
talking. Example: "Horseless Carriage Ride: Formerly the double Manhattan,
this drink will inspire you to take New York's most famous cruelty-free method
of transportation home—a cab!"
5. Give cruelty-free
gifts to your wedding party and guests.
6. Plan meaningful speeches.Talk to anyone who's planning to make a
speech about including some details about your vegan lifestyle. Parents,
siblings, and close friends probably have a pretty good idea about why you've
made the choices you've made, but some distant relatives, work friends, etc.,
could probably use a little background. Your compassion for animals is another
thread that ties you to your future spouse, and any quirky or heartwarming
details about how that thread binds you two together will bring down the house.
7. Create a compassionate
send-off.Not thrilled by the prospect of being
pelted with tiny projectiles or blown out of your veil by a well-meaning friend's
Supply your well-wishers with bubbles, dried lavender, or sparklers … just make
sure that any onsite animal companions are safely inside.
8. Create a "My
Vegan Wedding" comment box.Ask your guests to write down a few
things before the end of the reception that were unexpected but thoroughly
enjoyable. Did flesh-loving Uncle Ronnie think the black-bean sliders were out
of this world? Was Grandmommy surprised that your gorgeous hair and makeup was
the result of cruelty-free products? It's a great way to give folks a moment to
reflect on not only the day itself but also the values that you and your boo
9. Request that
wedding presents be given to animals.You are starting a new life with the
person you love, and what better way to celebrate than to help save lives with
your gifts? Ask your loved ones to donate
to an animal rights organization, an animal shelter, or a sanctuary in your
names, and you'll not only feel good but also save paper by not requiring gift
receipts! Keep in mind that money isn't the only item that these groups need. Encourage
guests to look into volunteering,
attending demonstrations and rallies, or donating blankets, toys, and food to rescues
out vegan-friendly honeymoon locations and travel resources.Just outside Rochester and Buffalo, New York, Minty Wellness uses vegan, organic, and ethically sourced products and boasts an
all-vegan restaurant. Known for its beautiful views and spa treatments, Minty
Wellness offers a relaxing honeymoon environment.
In "America's Finest City," the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel offers a vegan menu (available through room
service as well, no less!) that would make omnivores drool. With great rooms
that feature bath products by cruelty-free company Crabtree & Evelyn, you can
kick back in luxury without compromise!
If you're looking for a Costa Rican adventure, a short walk from
the center of Puerto Viejo lies the Cashew Hill Jungle Lodge. Made up of several cottages that include full
kitchens and spectacular views, Cashew Hill is in close proximity to a number
of wildlife refuges and national parks—and if you don't want to leave the oasis, gardens on the grounds
have a number of resident sloths!
Venture to the Ginger Cat Bed &
Breakfast, where you can snuggle
up to one of the many kitties native to the Watkins Glen, New York, spot. With
an all-vegan menu and a long list of vegan-friendly wineries nearby, what more could
you ask for?
Viva Las Vegans! The Wynn and Encore Tower
Suites have vegan menus,
approved by Steve Wynn himself. With 18 restaurants on board, vegan
honeymooners can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner in bed!Plan your perfect newlywed getaway at Veg
Earth Travel, and Active
Veggie Tours International.
you a vegan groom- or bride-to-be? How has your lifestyle influenced your
special day? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.