The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Vegan Wedding
"Your wedding day should be a reflection of you and your partner and truly honor your values," says Emily Monus, a wedding planner based in New York City specializing in LGBTQ+ and vegan weddings. So if living a vegan lifestyle is important to you and your soon-to-be spouse, hosting a vegan wedding is a beautiful way to celebrate your values and your union. As with planning any wedding, there are a lot of details that go into it. To help with this, we chatted with experts to learn more about planning a vegan wedding, including which vendors to hire, vegan wedding attire, vegan decorations and more.
What Is A Vegan Wedding?
But first, what exactly is a vegan wedding? According to Monus, "a vegan wedding is one that completely abstains from using animal products in all areas of the event—from fabrics for wedding outfits, makeup and beauty products, the food served. There is a conscious effort that the couple takes to avoid any and all animal harm and use to the best of their ability."
Finding Vegan Wedding Vendors
Finding your ideal wedding vendors can be a challenging feat in and of itself, and when you're looking for a particular type of vendor, such as a wedding vendor that specializes in vegan events, it can get even trickier. As a starting point, wedding and event planner Michele Fox Gott of Center of Attention Events in Los Angeles, California, recommends searching for local vendors that are active in PETA and support organizations such as Mercy for Animals or the Humane Society.
Monus also suggests searching social media hashtags like #veganwedding to find pros. She adds that working with a vegan wedding coordinator can also be a helpful resource. "I've built relationships with other vegan providers in my region and have them at the ready to refer to my clients," she says.
Another pro tip: The Knot Marketplace is an excellent resource for finding niche vendors, such as vegan wedding vendors.
All that said, Monus notes that it's important to select a wedding vendor that's talented and not hire someone just because they're a vegan vendor. "They should still do spectacular work, so you have absolutely zero regrets on hiring them," she says.
To find vegan wedding caterers in particular, Gott suggests checking with local vegan restaurants. Ideally, she recommends hiring a vegan caterer that understands what it means to be vegan. "Find someone who eats a vegan menu regularly so that they know how to really dive into the menu planning with the chef to create a food adventure that all of the guests will become excited to feast upon," she says.
If you can't find a caterer specializing in vegan menus, Monus suggests looking into non-vegan caterers but being thorough when interviewing them. "You'll want to be clear on your definition of vegan, so there is no question on what you're looking for with your wedding food," she says. "This may seem like a no-brainer, but clearly defining what foods can and can't be used eliminates any risk of a non-vegan food item being used."
As for what delicious vegan wedding menu to serve, there are endless vegan wedding food options that both vegan and non-vegan guests can enjoy. For instance, Gott suggests a multi-course menu featuring faux oysters and meatless roasts. Meanwhile, Monus points to vegan charcuterie grazing tables chock full of vegan cheeses, faux meats and vegan seared scallops.
Vegan Wedding Attire Considerations
"The vegan mindset strives to avoid all clothing choices that exploit or harm animals in the production and extends into mohair, wool, silk, feathers or angora," Gott says, as well as leather, suede and fur. Instead, she recommends selecting wedding clothing made of organic cotton, polyester, hemp and nylon. Monus adds that shoes should also be non-leather and beauty and grooming products should be cruelty-free.
For suiting, avoid wool in particular. Monus also notes that a suit jacket's internal structure is often made from horsehair canvas. So, she suggests opting for ones made with hemp canvas instead and a vegan fabric such as content or linen.
For wedding gowns, Monus advises avoiding silks and fabrics that may secretly contain silk, such as some taffetas and brocades. If you want a gown with lace, she suggests searching for lace made with cotton, polyester or linen.
Thankfully, shopping for vegan attire shouldn't be too tricky. Monus says you can find vegan wedding attire at almost any wedding retailer. "Just like shopping at the grocery store, you'll want to check tags for the fabrics used," she says.
Vegan Wedding Invitation Considerations
Yes, wedding invitations can also be vegan or non-vegan. "Most people don't realize that ink cartridges for our printers at home often contain gelatin," Gott says. For this reason, she recommends opting for invitations made with vegan ink derived from food products. Or, as another option, Monus says sending virtual invitations is also becoming a trend.
Either way, Gott suggests having a "What to Wear" page on your website instructing guests on how formal the wedding attire should be, educating them on cruelty-free clothing options, and listing some of your favorite vegan clothing, shoes and beauty brands. She also recommends including a short message such as: "Together we share our love for all in a vegan-conscious celebration made with love, not animals."
Monus, on the other hand, says it's unnecessary to let your guests know you're having a vegan wedding as it can bring about outside commentary and stress for the couple. You would still, of course, ask guests for dietary restrictions or allergies as you would for any wedding.
Overall, Gott says the main thing is not to make guests feel like they're being negatively targeted for their lifestyle choices. "Do everything you can to create a loving, peaceful and accepting environment where everyone is welcome, and your celebration is an opportunity for your guests to enjoy an elevated vegan experience which could potentially change their future habits," she says.
Vegan Wedding Decor & Vegan Wedding Favors
For wedding decor, Gott advises avoiding feathers, leather, wool and silk. If you're using florals, Monus recommends looking for a botanical designer that prioritizes seasonality, uses local growers and has a post-event composting program. Alternatively, she suggests going with a luxury faux botanical rental company.
Regarding wedding favors, Gott says you can't go wrong with vegan cosmetics like lip gloss or hand cream or a donation in the guests' name to an organization such as Mercy for Animals or PETA.