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So you’ve gotten engaged and now you are planning one of the most important days of your life: your vegan wedding. There’s a lot to consider; who will you invite? Where will you have the wedding? What type of music should you play at the wedding?… The list goes on. However, this is a momentous occasion in both yours and your partner’s lives and although there are many things to get done, all the planning and preparation should be filled with joy as you count down the days until your wedding. But, as a vegan, wedding preparation may involve some research and unfortunately result in some family members/ friends starting to become critical in your decision to have a fully vegan wedding.
However, do not fear, you can still impress your meat and dairy eating family and friends with mouth-watering cuisine that will have them thinking “Wow, all of this was vegan?”. This guide is here to help you plan your wedding in a way that aligns with your morals while simultaneously impressing your guests!
What Alcoholic Drinks Are Suitable For a Vegan Wedding?
When it comes to weddings, most people provide an open bar for their guests so the hosts can show their appreciation for them. as they don’t have to spend money on drinks. However, you can have a paid bar, or set alcohol on the day if your budget is on the lower side. Fortunately, there are many different vegan alcohol brands, so you shouldn’t run into any major issues while trying to find suitable beverages. But firstly, let’s get into why some alcohol is not considered vegan.
As it’s commonly known, some alcoholic drinks contain dairy, honey or eggs. But the good news is these ingredients are usually easily identifiable so there’s no need for rigorous research when it comes to these ingredients, they will just be present on the ingredient list.
However, the lesser-known factor that makes some varieties of alcohol not suitable for vegans is the process called ‘finning’. This process uses animal products such as gelatin (a food ingredient derived from boiling animal body parts and bones), Isinglass (a substance made from dried fish bladders) and chitin (a crustacean shell fiber) to clarify certain beverages, usually beer or wine. Carmine (a red food coloring made from insects) can also be found lurking in some alcoholic drinks that are red in color. Unfortunately, these ingredients are usually not listed on the drinks’ ingredient list. This is because alcoholic beverages usually do not have to adhere to the same labeling standards of food products. In saying this, pretty much all clear spirits are completely vegan (vodka, gin, tonic, rum, etc) apart from cream-based liquors and those which have honey, which will be easy to identify as mentioned above.
Now that we know what’s not vegan, how do we find out what is vegan? The great news is you can search up a large number of alcoholic products on barnivore. This is a website with a comprehensive library containing different brands of alcohol and lets you know which ones are vegan, so if you’re unsure of a brand, you could search it up on here! If a certain product or brand doesn’t exist on the website yet, you can contact the founders of the website and ask them to research the brand for you, the barnivore alcohol directory is forever growing! There is also an app called vegaholic that collects the information from barnivore and compacts it in a simple and easy to use the app. This is very convenient as it saves you having to search for the website each time you want to find out if an alcoholic drink is vegan.
Here are a few vegan alcohol brands/products you can check out to get you thinking about what you may want to serve at your wedding. This list only mentions some popular brands but it will get you started with familiarizing yourself with the vegan products that are on the market.
Although there are many varieties of vegan alcohol, you should also consider offering mocktails (nonalcoholic mixed drinks) and other types of nonalcoholic drinks for children and those who don’t want to drink alcohol, so you can offer them more variety than just water. These also don’t have to be boring and there are many options out there for those who don’t consume alcohol. However, be aware that some juices, like orange juice, might be fortified with vitamin D, which is in the form of D3 (a substance obtained from sheep’s wool), is not vegan. Additionally, some orange juices also contain nonvegan sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, like fish oil.
Non-alcoholic vegan beverages ideas
- Pumpkin spiced latte– for something a little different try flavored latte’s to add some variety to your drinks menu.
- Fruit flavored kombucha– kombucha not only tastes just as good as a soft drink, but it claims to have health benefits such as promoting healthy bacteria in your gut!
- Basic soft drinks/fruit juices– you can never really go wrong with these and they would be perfect for kids.
- Tropical flavored granita – if your wedding is held on a summer day, this would be the perfect refreshment.
- Iced chocolate/coffee drinks- as well as granitas, iced chocolate or coffee drinks would be perfect for a wedding held on a day where the sun is put and shining.
Planning a Vegan Wedding Buffet
The food served at your wedding is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of the day and one of the day’s main attractions, after the married couple of course! Therefore, it’s important to provide food that you’re proud of and to provide a wide variety so that your guests can choose what they want and what they don’t want. This is why a buffet is a nice idea, as it allows people to choose what they want and eat as little or as much as they want of it.
When choosing food for your wedding, consider what you love to eat but also the foods in which the guests would most likely like to eat. The good thing is, with the many meat and dairy substitute varieties available, it is easy to replicate most of your guests’ favorite meat-based dishes and add vegan dairy alternatives to them as well. However, if you want to have primarily wholefoods meals at your wedding, you could just provide one or two “replica meat” dishes for the dedicated omnivore. Something else to keep in mind is allergies. Make sure to become aware of everyone’s dietary requirements before you start planning your meals. This ensures that you will provide everyone with a variety of food they can eat, so no one is left with nothing they can eat or drink.
Additionally, if you’re finding it hard to pinpoint exactly what you want at the dinner table or want more inspiration, consider hiring a vegan catering service that will be able to help you with the meal planning and food preparations. You can also check to see if any of your favorite restaurants offer catering services for weddings if you have any favorite restaurants in your area.
Here are some ideas to get your imagination flowing, all of these dishes will have your guests raving about the food all night!
Vegan Wedding Appetizers
- Grilled Vegetable skewers – these are a perfect healthy variation to the well-known kebab skewers.
- Tofu Bahn Mi Sliders – sweet and spicy, Tofu Banh Mi sliders are a lovely light and fresh treat for all.
- Italian stuffed peppers – these simple but flavourful stuffed peppers are filled with warm and comforting vegetables that will make anyone feel good.
- Mini lentil tacos – lentils are a great plant-based meat substitute and can be substituted for any minced meat type of recipe, they star perfectly in this dish.
- Stuffed mushrooms – (vegan) cheesy and delicious, these will be sure to kick any form of dairy cravings to the curb, never to be seen again.
- Mini pizzas– any pizza can be turned into a mini pizza and the flavor options are endless. Mini pizzas are a great addition to any wedding menu as they are easy to eat and very aesthetically pleasing.
- Raw sushi rolls– this caters to those who love eating raw wholefoods and also those who have gluten intolerance. Not to mention their yummy and delicate taste.
- Indian Punjabi samosas – deliciously crunchy on the outside and soft and spicy on the inside, these samosas will make your mouth water in no time
- Lemon, mint and pea mini toasts – these adorable toasts are great for replicating the taste of summer, fresh and tangy!
- Creamy mushroom arancini balls– encased within a crispy shell and filled with creamy mushroom goodness, everyone will want to try this Italian staple food.
Vegan Main Course Meals
- Vegan meatballs with spaghetti – a vegan take on a classic dish, this hearty meal is the perfect comfort food after a night full of dancing and celebration.
- Vegan chicken kiev– now, you may think this only existed in your dreams, but vegan chicken kiev does exist.
- Sweet and Sour Pulled Jackfruit pie – jackfruit is a great substitute for pulled pork with its succulent consistency! It stars perfectly in this Asian inspired dish.
- Vegan lasagne – another vegan take on a well known and loved dish. It features tofu ricotta and vegetables cooked in a robust garlicky tomato sauce.
- Green salad – an essential to any vegan wedding, it’s simple but can be very versatile in ingredients letting your creativity run wild!
- Simple potato salad – this tangy dish filled with herbs and vegetables is both fresh and filling.
- Spicy chickpea curry– the humble chickpea paired with an array of spicy curry flavorings produces an earthy and robust burst of flavor in your mouth, no one will be able to resist giving this one a try!
- Mexican Quinoa and bean stew– there won’t be any queries about protein with this nutritious and protein-packed dinner.
- Creamy vegan linguine with wild mushrooms– this rich dinner dish is going to fill you up but makes you want more all at once.
Vegan Wedding Desserts
The finishing touch to the feast, a dessert at a wedding is a must! Luckily there are so many vegan desserts you could choose from. As mentioned previously with the buffet of food, it would also make sense to have a dessert buffet, so people can pick and choose what they want at the time they want it.
It is very easy to veganize non-vegan desserts as the number of vegan alternatives is constantly on the rise. Substitute dairy milk with a variety of nut kinds of milk, soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk…the choices are never-ending! There are also products like vegan whipped cream, vegan eggs and vegan cream cheese for that delicious cheesecake or cream cheese frosting many of us love! These substitutes for common ingredients used in desserts and baked goods will make meal planning a breeze.
Variety in your desserts is also important. Think about balancing an even ratio of hot and cold desserts, lighter and heavier desserts and also consider including many different and unique flavors so that everyone’s favorite flavors and tastes are catered for!
In saying this, if you want to have a simple wedding with just one dessert, it’s your best bet to pick something “safe” rather than a niche taste that maybe only you and your partner would enjoy. This ensures that the majority of your guests will enjoy it too.
Finally, the cake. The dessert of all desserts. You probably won’t have trouble finding a vegan wedding cake or a vegan catering service that provides this for you, so have fun and choose something you love, or of course, you can get it custom made!
Here are some recipes and ideas to get you started! Most of your guests probably won’t even be able to tell that they are vegan!
- Baked mini chocolate gluten-free donuts – soft, fluffy, baked not fried, gluten-free, packed with chocolatey goodness…what more could one want.
- Tiramisu– we all missed you, tiramisu until we realized there was a vegan version, then we celebrated.
- Ice cream sundae– create some American diner vibes, but in a much more classy and sophisticated way of course…With this guide on how to create the perfect vegan sundae, you’ll never run out of ideas!
- Creme brulee– yes, this can definitely be made vegan and you’ll be surprised at just how good it tastes.
- Green tea matcha cupcakes – matcha is becoming increasingly popular and it’s for a good reason, it’s said to increase antioxidants and increase relaxation. If you can have this in a dessert, you’re in luck.
- Raspberry brownie Ice cream sandwiches – why not have a brownie and an ice cream sandwich in one dessert?!
- Gluten-free creamy lemon slices – this is what happiness, sunshine, and rainbows taste like
- Aquafaba french macarons– travel to France without actually leaving the country…everyone will thank you later.
- Raw wagon wheels– this iconic Australian chocolate-covered biscuit with jam and marshmallows allows you to melt into dessert heaven.
- Creamy raspberry cannolis – the contrast between the crunchy shell and the fluffy cloud-like filling is what makes this sweet treat super tasty.
Vegan Wedding Favors
After everyone has celebrated and danced the night away, you want to make sure that the night doesn’t actually go away. This is why giving small favors (gifts) to your guests is a great way for them to remember the special occasion. Wedding favors can also be used as a token of appreciation for your guests, and highlight your gratitude towards them for coming to celebrate your special day with you.
There are many different types of wedding favors, but most fall into the categories of edible wedding favors (usually including sweet treats) or small items that have more longevity. Sometimes it is easier to opt for edible favors as it is extremely unlikely that this type of favor will be “wasted” or thrown out. However, if you want the guests to have something they can keep to remember your wedding day, it is important to think about the practicality and usefulness of the gift. You can also consider the individuals and their interests. A lovely touch to any wedding favor is personalization. Writing the guests’ individual names on the gift is just that extra touch that makes your guests feel a little more special and a little more valued.
However, if you’re on a tight budget, it is definitely not essential to give wedding favors. Verbally communicating your appreciation towards your guests will be enough, or if you would like them to take something that is “physical” home with them, a small and personalized thank you letter would be a nice takeaway gift.
Favor ideas to give to your guests
- Small succulents – these are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they can also help to freshen a room and purify its air!
- Sugared almonds – you can’t go wrong with these sweet treats- unless of course, someone is allergic to nuts and in that case, make sure to provide an alternative.
- Seedlings– seedlings are a great wedding favor as everyone loves to watch something grow from a seed to a little plant. This can also have a metaphorical meaning and represent your blossoming relationship with your partner.
- Flavored jam– jam is so versatile, have it with pancakes, bread, biscuits, the options are endless! If stored in a little glass jar, it can be the cutest and most delicious little gift.
- Pressed/preserved flowers- pressed flowers are so beautiful as decorations in a home/apartment. You can even place them in a small test tube or frame for added interest.
- Handmade bath salts/ soaps- shower/ bath products are things everyone needs, so to add a handmade touch to them would make something that is usually ordinary, into something very special.
- Letter in a bottle- this can be a personalized letter thanking each of your guests for coming. Handwritten letters have a sort of nostalgia connected to them that will be treasured by all your guests.
- Tea in a test tube– this is a nice idea for tea lovers but you can also change it up by adding coffee beans in some and tea in others.
- Personalized placeholders- can we ever have enough placeholders? I think not. But these ones can be personalized to add that extra special touch
- Vegan fortune cookies– these can include personalized fortunes that help guests become motivated and hopeful for the future, they are a great addition to any wedding.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on how to prepare for your vegan wedding and you’ll be able to impress your non-vegan guests with your mouth-watering vegan menu and thoughtful favor gifts. All of the effort you will put in will pay off at the end and the memories you make from your special day will be priceless. All the best of luck!