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Top Five Tips for Planning a Vegan Wedding

Planning a vegan wedding can put you in a hyper control-freak mode that would make participants on the show Bridezillas look cool, calm, and collected next to the new hybrid—veganzilla. OK, maybe that’s just what it’s doing to me.

In addition to the normal stresses, planning a vegan wedding means you have to pay extra attention to every detail. Many people involved in your planning process aren’t vegan and may not be as knowledgeable about what is acceptable, so it’s often up to the bride and groom to be on patrol. Is the trim on that tablecloth silk or satin? Are those real pearls on my veil? Is the fondant vegan? And the little nonvegan surprises can pop up everywhere.

Food can be, by far, the most difficult thing to make vegan, and it can be even more difficult to get your parents, and your wedding planner, and your caterer on board with the idea. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, and I’ve compiled some tips to help you out.

Here are five tips that will help you navigate your way through planning a vegan wedding menu:

  1. Stick to Your Guns: Be up front with everyone about your plan to avoid animal products, and let everyone know exactly what those products are! Your caterer may not know that you’ve been vegan since you were 2 and might try to talk you into a little something for all the meat-eaters. If you make it clear from the start that you’re not going to budge, then you can avoid a few awkward exchanges. Trust me.
  2. Come Armed With Recipes: Many people don’t have the luxury of an all-vegan caterer in their city. This means you’ll have to call up caterers that serve animal products and see if they’ll be willing to do an all-vegan menu for you. Be prepared with menu suggestions. Use our guide, or look at the VegNews 2008 feature on vegan weddings for a little inspiration.
  3. Don’t Settle: Doesn’t this sound amazing: marinated vegetables, grilled vegetables, raw vegetables, and stuffed vegetables. Not! Sorry, I had to bust out an old-school “not” for this one. Unless you really, really like vegetables, don’t settle for a menu like this, because you don’t have to. There are endless possibilities for a gourmet vegan meal, so find a caterer who is willing to be creative.
  4. Pour Some Sugar on Me: Your wedding cake is another area where you might have to go to a traditional bakery and ask it to create a vegan cake for you. You’ll be surprised by the number of bakeries that will do this. Or you can skip all the calls and use Jolinda’s guide to vegan wedding cakes.
  5. DIY: The easiest way to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want is to make it yourself. Again, our vegan wedding menus feature includes recipes for all budgets and tastes, and most are already scaled to serve large crowds. Almost any vegan cake recipe can be turned into a wedding cake. Just take a decorating class at a local bakery or college, and you’ll be set. Also, be sure to ask your reception venue if self-catering is allowed (I believe it may be an insurance or health code issue for many places).

Hope this helps. Let me know if anyone has other tips to add!

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  • Wedding Catering Bay Area says:

    Having a vegan wedding can be a nightmare or a dream depending on how you deal with it. In my opinion, being adventurous with the menu in terms of ingredients or even names of dishes can add a zing.

  • Skye Coxe says:

    We at Skye Cooks London Wedding And Corporate Event Caterers, have catered for many vegan/vegetarian weddings and have converted many.

  • nicole says:

    Ive had vegan/vegetarian menus and catering for every major celebration in my life.
    I can guarentee you, if i ever choose to be married, my guests WILL be eating vegan/vegetarian….and they’ll damn well enjoy it!!

  • Jaclyn says:

    For a wedding, you chose colors, themes, centerpieces, flowers… why not your menu?

    I think people may feel obligated to serve chicken or beef because they are trying to accomodate their guests. But think about this, when you picked out your flowers, did you pick out flowers that all of your guests would like? What about when you chose your colors and your invitations? Did you make sure that all of your guests would approve of your colors and invitations first? No you didn’t. Same for the menu. It’s your wedding, it’s your menu.

    If you are vegan or vegetarian, definitely have a vegan or vegetarian menu!

  • Dale Kaup says:

    Wood does NOT absorb bacteria. This supposedly slam dunk common sense point-of-view was disproved by the USDA. In fact plastic cutting boards are FAR less sanitary than wood. Wood seems to have a built in germicidal property. On second thought it only makes sense as wood comes from a tree that would otherwise be vulnerable to being killed by bacteria.

  • Diane - your wedding reception planning guide says:

    These are great tips and timely advice for anyone planning a reception vegan style.

    Who knows, you just might convert some of those meat eater guests!

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