First and foremost, discuss your wishes with your partner and anyone who is financially contributing to the wedding and come to an agreement that everyone is happy with. I was very fortunate because my partner is also vegan and our families were pretty supportive of our desire to have a vegan wedding, but not everyone is so lucky. If you partner doesn’t want to have a vegan wedding, you might be able to come to a compromise such as having 50% of the food vegan. And if your parents or anyone else is financially contributing to the wedding, then they get to have a say too.
To tell or not to tell?
It’s really up to you whether you mention to your guests that catering will be vegan or not. Details of the menu don’t usually go on the invitation, so don’t feel like you’re obligated to tell people. If they know that you’re vegan and they’re concerned that the wedding will be vegan, they will ask you about it. My husband and I chose not to mention it. Some of our friends who are devout carnivorous asked us about it were a bit worried when we told them everything would vegan, but they still came and they even told us how much they enjoyed the food.
If people refuse to come…
Honestly, if someone doesn’t care about you enough to want to celebrate your big day with you no matter what, then why would you even want them at your wedding? I suspect that one or two of my guest’s partners refused to come because of the vegan catering, but that really didn’t bother me in the slightest. If people complain about your decision to have a vegan wedding, perhaps you could polity tell that you’re paying for the wedding, and you don’t want to spend your money on things that compromise your values. Or you could politely tell them there is a McDonald’s nearby that they are welcome to head to before or after the reception. Or you could just tell them to stop being babies and suck it up for one night (or maybe not). Try not to take it personally if people get upset, some people just really don’t like to be taken out of their comfort zone.
If people bring non-vegan food…
I’ve heard all kinds of stories about people bringing KFC or other non-vegan food to vegan weddings, and although that kind of behavior is incredibly rude, unfortunately there’s not much you can do to stop it. If you friends and family are good people they will respect your wishes on your special day, but sadly this is not always the case. In situations like this, the best you can do is try to ignore it and not let it upset you or ruin your day. On my wedding day, my mum insisted on putting cows milk on the tea & coffee station. Instead of trying to argue with her, I just choose to ignore it and focused on enjoying my day. In a perfect world, everyone would respect your values, but as this is not the case, the best you can do is try not to let people’s behavior upset you.
Remember what the wedding is really about
At the end of the day, your wedding is about showing your friends and family how much you love your partner. It’s a celebration of your love first and foremost. But it can be easy to lose sight of that and get caught up in trying to have the most vegan wedding possible, while trying to keep all your guests happy. Dramas will inevitably arise, but if you can keep in mind what the wedding is really about, then things won’t seem so bad.