Last month, Verte Luxe and The Kind Bride hosted The Luxe and Kind Bridal Boutique and Pop Up, the world’s first vegan bridal fair. The event, which took place at the Bel Air Tree House in Los Angeles, offered advice for a vegan wedding about choosing a venue, picking a cake, finding a caterer, decorating …
… deciding what to wear …
… and everything else that goes into planning a vegan wedding. PETA’s very own Senior Social Media Manager Ashley Frohnert—who tied the knot in not one but two wonderful all-vegan ceremonies last year—spoke at the event.
The vegan bride shared her own wedding-planning experiences and offered recommendations to those in attendance. If you couldn’t attend, don’t fret—we’ve got her tips right here on making your wedding a lovefest for everyone:
The Dress (and Suit)
For some brides, the dress is the most important and exciting part of a wedding. For both of her ceremonies, Frohnert wore a dress from Anthropologie’s bridal line, BHLDN, and vegan leather shoes from SUSI Studio. Frohnert’s betrothed, Tony Safran, sported a burgundy three-piece wool-free suit from ASOS, a belt from Brave GentleMan, and dark brown oxfords from vegan shoe store MooShoes.
Pro tip: Check every label to ensure that your ensembles are free of leather, wool, silk, feathers, or any other material taken from an animal. (Because wearing someone else’s skin and other body parts is not romantic.)
Frohnert’s hair and makeup were styled using cruelty-free and vegan products. For your big day, make sure that your makeup artist uses vegan products—be sure to search PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies database to ensure that everything is cruelty-free, too.
Pro tip: Get your locks styled at Aveda and your makeup done at Sephora, where you can request that only vegan products are used. (Again, make sure that they’re cruelty-free, too!) If you’re not near one of these stores, take your own animal-friendly products with you to your local salon.
For their initial Los Angeles nuptials, Frohnert and Safran celebrated at The Mountain Mermaid in the hills of Topanga, California, which provided a perfect serene backdrop. A few days later, in Pennsylvania, the couple celebrated at the historic Braddock Carnegie Library.
Pro tip: When choosing a venue, avoid sites that contribute to animal suffering, such as ones that host circuses that use animals.
The couple’s Los Angeles menu featured jackfruit tacos with cashew crema, oyster mushrooms in mole sauce, semilla salad with fresh strawberries, guacamole and chips, and a vegan take on a shrimp cocktail, all from Todo Verde. In Pennsylvania, LadyFingers Catering provided an all-vegan spread of mac ‘n’ cheese, tacos, and fresh vegetables.
Pro tip: Chances are, you’ll have some nonvegan guests attend your special day. This is your chance—show your family and friends just how delicious and easy going vegan can be.
The best part about choosing the perfect vegan wedding cake is tasting all the varieties! Being vegan is so common that more and more bakeries now offer animal-friendly options—call around to your local shops to see if they’ll cater your big day.
Pro tip: It’s your day, so serve whatever dessert you want. In Los Angeles, Frohnert and Safran served cake and cupcakes so that their guests could sample a variety of vegan flavors.
Sipping on champagne, wine, or beer that’s been filtered with isinglass (a substance derived from fish bladders) is not something to toast. That’s why the vegan couple chose organic white wine from Frey Vineyards and beer that was local and animal-friendly.
Pro tip: When in doubt, check Barnivore.com.
Ever heard of a cookie table? I hadn’t, either. Apparently, at a Pittsburgh wedding, you’ll find a table (or two) covered with cookies. During particularly hard financial times in the U.S., Frohnert explained, instead of an expensive cake or wedding favors, folks would bake dozens of cookies—favors that guests could take home and satisfy their sweet tooth with. Decades later, the tradition remains.
Frohnert and Safran’s wedding registry was as animal-friendly as can be, and yours can be, too. If you’re registering for home goods, be sure to leave items made with wool, leather, or other animal-derived materials off your list. Or you can crowdsource your post-nuptial trip via a honeymoon fund—just be sure to leave off any activities that exploit animals. Or how about making the world a kinder, safer place for animals by setting up a charity registry?
The Wedding Party
Sometimes, incorporating your nonhuman best friends into your wedding is one of the most important parts of planning your big day. Frohnert and Safran did so by dubbing their adopted pups—Jackson and Howard—their “best men.”
Pro tip: Get your bride tribe and groom crew as excited about a vegan wedding as you are! Ask for their input on your silk-free bridesmaid dress preferences, or bring your best man with you to pick out the wool-free suit that he’ll be sporting on the big day.
Frohnert’s ceremonies are just one example of how easy it can be to mark momentous occasions in ways that align with your values. There are so many ways to “veganize” your ceremony and reception—discover a few more of them: