I posted a success story a couple weeks ago about Lindsay Wolf and her blog, kissmyvegan.blogspot.com. I recently met Lindsay, and she told me all about her vegan wedding, and I asked her to write a blog about it for all of you! Take a look at her vegan wedding story:
My Big, Fat, Vegan Wedding
by Lindsay Wolf
“So, you’ve found the guy/girl of your dreams. Check. You want to spend the rest of your lives together. Double check. You’re vegan (triple check), he’s vegan (quadruple check), and a vegan wedding would be an easy and beautiful way to celebrate your love (endless amounts of checks).
That was the mindset I had when I decided to get married to my best friend of seven years, Steve. With excitement and hope in my little vegan heart, I created a vision of a wedding that would be the exact reflection of us as a couple – a lovely, intimate celebration with the best vegan food the venue had to offer. Vegan food that would be so utterly delicious that people’s hearts would open up with each bite. A vegan wedding that may propel people to go vegan themselves! It would have been perfect – had Steve been vegan at the time.
You see, I went vegan about a year and five months ago. When the major planning began for our November 2009 nuptials, Steve was still a meat-eater.
Veganism was a wonderfully new way of life for me – I became so passionate about it that I began a vegan blog, I started volunteering for animal advocacy organizations, and every day, I would try to find ways to incorporate the subject of veganism into my daily conversations. I had found a new love I felt compelled to share with the rest of the world, and to me, that was a very good thing.
Steve, on the other hand, met my new way of life with a gentle stance of resistance. All of a sudden, the girl he knew and loved was changing before his very eyes. While he supported my new efforts, the idea of following in my footsteps seemed impossible to him. So much so that the mere thought of having a vegan wedding was simply out of the question, especially since most of the people we’d be inviting were not necessarily vegetable lovers, let alone willing to indulge in a vegan meal. Being the amazing guy that he is, Steve compromised with me, as all good husbands-to-be do, and he agreed to a vegetarian wedding. Reluctantly, I accepted his compromise. ‘Hey, at least there would be no meat at our wedding,’ I thought to myself, as we began to work with our venue to create vegetarian dishes that would appeal to our guests.
And then” Steve went vegan. Two months before the wedding. All of a sudden, our idea of compromising for the sake of Steve’s former palate seemed silly. We started emailing our venue, asking about ways to veganize some of the dishes being served that night. By the time November rolled around, about 90% of our wedding food was vegan.
Our delicious vegan wedding cake, courtesy of Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA.
photo courtesy of Brian Moore Photography
Sounds simple enough, right? If a wedding was only about the two people getting married, it would always be a simple endeavor. But that is hardly ever the case.
While the concept of a 90% vegan wedding was still a bit of a compromise for me, it was a whole other world for our non-vegan families. Judgments and fears slowly arose as reality set in, which was difficult for us to handle, especially since Steve and I were not paying for the wedding ourselves. No filet? No salmon? No “regular” wedding cake? What would people eat? What if people refused to come?
Having never planned a wedding before, Steve and I responded in a way that just felt right to us. We sat down with our parents and explained to them how important this aspect of the wedding was for us. We’re a pretty laid back couple as it is, so we were happy to compromise with other elements of the day, as long as we could have this one thing remain completely our decision. It was a tough pill to swallow, but eventually, our families came to understand, support, and even respect how strongly we felt.
Looking back, the wedding was everything we wanted it to be, and a whole lot more – we got to have a celebration that truly encompassed the spirit of us – a compassionate, silly, and loving duo who openly share that with the people we love. And everyone who witnessed our ceremony and celebrated at the reception joined us in that spirit. And to me, that’s what the whole day should be all about.
Our favors were homemade vegan cookies, and at the same table sat a photo of a turkey we adopted from Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Program.
photo courtesy of Brian Moore Photography
Now, I know some of you sitting there reading this might be thinking, Well, it was easy for her, but my parents will never allow me to have a vegetarian, let alone a vegan wedding! To that I say, take a deep, easy breath, and keep reading. Below, I’ve devised a few simple steps to have the wedding you want, without compromising your vegan lifestyle.
1) Talk it out early in the game. If you have resistant parents, plan a time to sit down with them to discuss your desires for the wedding as early in the planning process as possible. Come from a place of love and calm as you explain how important a vegan wedding is to the both of you. If it helps, write your reasons down, so you can refer to them when needed. Don’t allow yourself to get angry if your parents still disagree with your choice – this will just alienate them more. Tell them to think about everything you and your partner have said, and plan to meet in a few weeks to discuss it again.
‘The most heartfelt thing about it was when Lindsay said she didn’t want anything killed or harmed on the day of her wedding, and that she wanted it to be the most kind day she could have. How can you not respect the wishes of someone who doesn’t want anything to be harmed or killed on the day they get married? That was so profound to me. What a gift that is – for someone to go to a wedding and honor that.’ – my mom
2) Pick your battles. As in my case, having vegan wedding food may be the most important part of the whole thing for you. If so, communicate to your family how willing and open you are to compromising in any and all other areas of the wedding – wedding colors, reception music, table centerpieces, etc. Showing your openness may have a ripple effect on your family.
3) Try cooking for them. If you happen to excel in the kitchen, invite your parents over for a delicious, home-cooked vegan meal (or take the meal to their place). Having a conversation about the wedding over yummy food can’t hurt. Make sure to have an awesome dessert to end the night with – that always helps in my family!
4) Relax. Planning a wedding can be tough, so don’t waste precious energy on anger or frustration over family members who don’t agree with your choices. Remain positive, and be persistent in communicating how vital your want for a vegan wedding is.
5) Remain flexible. Hey, most often in life, we need a plan B. If having a vegan wedding matters more to you than having a wedding paid for by your family, then be open to other ways of celebrating your love. Spend some time saving up a little money, and pay for your own wedding. Have a simple ceremony at a casual location and a vegan potluck for the reception. Get married in a park, and celebrate with a vegan wine and fruit picnic afterward! Make a list of what really matters for you on the day of your wedding, and find a way to make that happen by being flexible about the rest of the details.
6) And most of all…
Know that the people who come to your wedding should be caring more about honoring you as a couple than what is on their dinner plate. Keep that close to you as a gentle reminder to push for a wedding that reflects you – all of you.
Engagement Photo under Santa Monica Pier in California.
Photo Courtesy of Joanna WIlson Photography
And what do you do if, after everything, your family finally allows you a vegan wedding? In the words of my husband Steve:
‘Have faith in the quality of the food. Good food is good food. And when it comes to the food you eat while living vegan, it’s much more than just good taste. It has to do with making a contribution to your health, to the world, and to saving many lives out there.’
I wish you all the best with your own wedding endeavors. Remember: be kind, stay calm, and remain positive. May you continue to hold on tightly to the beautiful truth that is your relationship – and may the people in your life who love you hold on to that truth as well.”
I also had a vegan wedding, and the food was absolutely insane! We served Grilled Tempeh with Black Rice, Vegetables in a Saffron-Sage Sauce with Vegan Aioli, individual Chocolate-Almond Midnight Cakes topped with Raspberries and Maple-Almond Pecan Pralines… And then we all had mini Veggie Burgers at midnight after lots of dancing. Take a look at this article about my wedding: http://www.celebritybrideguide.com/christopher-jarecki-alicia-silverstone-wedding/
Although in that article it says that the candles that we used were beeswax, and I really thought that we used soy candles…. But I may have slipped there. If they were beeswax candles, then that was lame of me cause it’s so easy to use soy candles. But if I did use soy candles, then I’m sad that they printed it that way. I will be doing a whole blog about beeswax soon, so keep an eye out for that.
I’ll also be posting a blog about www.recycledbride.com, a really great website that you can use if you are planning a green wedding.
top photo credit: Hal Augustine