My husband and I are both vegan, so when we tied the knot, it was important to us that we make our wedding as vegan as possible. At first we were a bit worried, but it wasn’t nearly as difficult or as controversial as we though it might be, and we ended up getting great feedback from our guests. Our vegan and vegetarian guests were delighted that they didn’t have to order a special meal, and even our most carnivorous guests told us how much the enjoyed the food!
How I made my wedding vegan:
The Reception Meal
I looked at several catering options and was pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of catering companies were happy to create vegan menus or included vegan options are part of their standard packages. But I found most wedding caterers to be incredibly expensive with prices ranging from $60-$180 per head, and their vegan options weren’t particularly appealing. I’d heard stories from friends about having truly awful vegan meals at weddings, so I really wanted to find a caterer that would do good job.
I shortlisted two mobile caterers – the first offered wood fired pizza and was happy to do vegan pizzas provided we were able to supply the cheese, and the second offered paella (a Spanish rice dish) and was happy to make everything vegan. At just $20 per head each, both of these options were incredibly cheap.
I also looked at restaurants as another catering option and found that are large portion of restaurants were able to wedding catering. Overall I found restaurants to offer better prices, a larger menu, and more flexibility than caterers.
In the end, I hired a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant called Kuan Yin to do our catering. My husband and I chose them because it was the same restaurant that we went to on our very first date, and they also make very, very yummy food. We were able to choose from a huge menu and they were happy to make everything vegan. They brought in a team of chefs and cooked everything fresh on-site. We chose to do a buffet so that our guests could chose whatever they liked. We chose a variety of different dishes to suit all tastes, ranging from healthy raw vegan options, through to deep fried mock-meat dishes. They kept re-filling the buffet until everyone had finished eating, and there were plenty of leftovers that guests were able to take home. At $40 per head, it was incredibly good value for money.
Beer, Wine & Other Drinks
For the cocktail hour and reception, we served beer and wine as well as non-alcoholic drinks. As some beer & wine contains animal products, we wanted to ensure our drinks were vegan also. We made our own beer at a micro-brewery called Brews Brothers because it was much cheaper than going to a bottle shop, it was also a lot of fun, and the beer tasted great. For wine, we severed a variety of Yalumba wines as it is a brand that offers a large variety of vegan options and at around $10 per bottle is fantastic value for money. For the toasts, we served champagne purchased from Goodwill Wines.
I looked at several cake suppliers and was pleasantly surprised to find that many offered vegan cakes as an option. But because they were so expensive (the type of cake that I wanted was going to cost over $1,000) my mum volunteered to make the cake instead. Every year she makes gorgeous looking Christmas cakes, so she felt confident that she could make a 3-tiered version. But she’d never made a wedding cake before, and she’d never made a vegan Christmas cake before. I purchased all the supplied that she needed for $60 (including bases, cake tins, smoother and fondant) and gave her a few different recipes as well as an instructional wedding cake making DVD. The cake ended up looking amazing and no one could believe that it was her first ever wedding cake.
The Candy Bar
I filled the candy bar with a mixture of home-made and shop bought vegan lollies including:
- Fairy Floss (homemade)
- Coconut Ice (homemade)
- Sweet & Salty Popcorn (homemade)
- Black & Gold brand milk bottles
- Black & Gold musk sticks
- Sweet William Chocolate
Hair & Makeup
My good friend and hairdresser did my hair for me, and I provided her with De Lorenzo styling products as it is my favourite brand of vegan hair products. For makeup, I hired Kristen Judge because I loved her portfolio, and although not vegan herself, she uses vegan makeup brand Arbonne.
When choosing my wedding dress I avoided anything that included silk, fur or pearls and ensured my shoes were leather-free. My husband chose a suit that was made of cotton instead of wool, avoided shirts and ties that were made of silk, and ensured his shoes were leather-free also. Our circle of compassion also extends to humans and environment, so we purchased second-hand where possible and chose reputable brands that don’t use slave or trade labor.