How To Plan A Vegan & Eco-Friendly Wedding!
So almost a month ago I did this thing where you get dressed up in impractical attire and cry in front of all of your family and friends as you spill your guts about how much you love your significant other.
In other words, I got married.
And it was definitely, 100%, the best day of my life.
Another bonus? It was completely vegan!
Today I'm going to share my top 10 tips for planning a vegan, eco-friendly wedding:
ONE Get On The Same Page
With your significant other.
Whether your partner is vegan or not, you need to be on the same page about your big day. Hopefully they will respect your wishes and acquiesce to a fully vegan wedding, but if not, you need to compromise and figure out what aspects of your day can be cruelty-free!
TWO Make Friends With Your Caterer
The first thing that comes to mind when you think about a vegan wedding is the food! This is likely going to be the most challenging aspect of veganizing your day. We were lucky and found a venue with a vegan menu option (albeit after months of searching), but if that isn't the case for you, it's time to become buddies with your caterer!
Most caterers or venues will be happy to offer vegan options at events, but not all are willing to do a fully vegan menu. Often this is simply due to inexperience with vegan cooking. Do your research and talk to people over the phone or in person, if possible, to show that you are a kind, friendly person that they want to help by doing a 100% vegan menu!
Another option is to reach out to local vegan restaurants and see if they would be willing to supply the food for your day. Even if an establishment doesn't advertise catering, it never hurts to ask!
THREE Keep Your Clothes In Mind
If you're anything like me, picking out your wedding outfit was a pretty exciting task. But there are so many options, no matter what your style, that it can be incredibly overwhelming. Add in the vegan materials factor, and things get a touch more interesting.
The big one for wedding dresses is silk - it's in everything! I wrote an entire blog post about shopping for a silk-free wedding dress, so go check that out if that's your thing!
Not the dress type? Also watch out for silk in ties, suits, and shirts. Suit-wearers should also consider whether their suits contain wool. And everyone should consider their footwear - leather-free, please!
FOUR Make Your Guests Happy
Your guests might not be excited by the prospect of vegan food, but that doesn't mean your wedding meal will disappoint! Be sure to include foods that are at least somewhat familiar in taste and texture for your guests to act as a bridge from their normal fare. Pasta (we did a potato gnocchi), soup (we had a fabulous gazpacho), and bread and cheeze are all great options!
I would also suggest doing a buffet, as we did. That way guests can pick and choose which foods they want to try and be as adventurous as they like!
We got rave reviews for our vegan brunch buffet - from vegans and non-vegans alike!
FIVE Ditch The Paper
I recently penned a post about my experience using MailChimp to send save the dates and invitations for the wedding. Not only did this facilitate the management of RSVPs, but it also saved a LOT of paper!
Another way we cut down on unnecessary paper products? No programs and no menus. Really feel as though your guests need this information? Consider creating one sign with that information for people to snap a photo of with their phones!
SIX Use Living Plants As Decor
This is something that people often don't consider. The transportation of fresh-cut flowers contributes to our growing climate destruction for a product that lasts a couple of days and then withers away. As much as you can, rather than buying flowers that will die, try using living plants as your decor!
We used potted mums across the front of our stage and loved the added greenery. After the wedding, we gave those plants to friends and family who wanted to plant them in their gardens!
My sister and I also used clippings from a couple varieties of living ferns in our bouquets - leaving us with new house plants!
While we still used cut plants and flowers for the wedding, the number was greatly reduced due to our utilisation of living plants.
SEVEN Keep It Simple
Another reason why we didn't need to buy a lot of flowers? We kept it simple.
Less is more. Don't buy a lot of stuff you'll throw out later. What's the point?
The jars and bottles we bought for centrepieces? They're in our house as vases, storage in the pantry, and water glasses.
The signs I made from store-bought frames? They'll be repurposed to house photos from our special day around our home.
You don't need a lot of stuff to make your day special. Trust me!
EIGHT Make Your Own Traditions
You don't have to do every "wedding tradition" just because it exists.
Can't find a vegan baker in your area? Don't have a cake! (We didn't.)
Don't like the idea of throwing your hard work into a crowd of single women expecting them to claw over each other to catch it because they obviously desperately want to get married? Don't throw your bouquet. (I didn't.)
Don't want your new spouse to put their head up your skirt, grab a piece of your negligee with their teeth, and throw it to a crowd of men? Don't do the garter toss. (We didn't.)
This is your day. Only do the things that truly matter to you.
That includes any tradition that includes killing and consuming an animal.
NINE Rethink The Guest Book
There's no reason why you should have your guests sign the pages of a book if it won't bring you joy. Jason and I decided to go for a guest guitar, and now we have a gorgeous and meaningful twelve string around the house to play, use, and cherish. Use the 'guest book' tradition as a way to create meaningful memories of your day, not clutter!
TEN Ask For Money
Ask for money rather than gifts that you don't want. With money you can be sure to purchase things that:
- Fit your ethics, and;
- Are items you actually need and want in your life.
Don't feel uncomfortable asking for money rather than physical gifts. Believe me, if someone really wants to get you a gift, they will anyway!
I hope these ten tips help you as you plan your vegan and eco-friendly wedding! Be sure to ask any questions or opinions you have on the topic in the comments below.
Until next time,