A close up of a waiter holding a tray of bruschetta. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

7 Tips for Planning a Successful Vegan Wedding

You’ve got the no-silk wedding dress, the animal-friendly decor (fresh flowers, linen, and lace), and the vegan wedding favors you know your guests will love (succulents, rose soy candles, homemade herbal soap), but there’s still one thing that has you stumped when it comes to planning your vegan wedding.

The food.

This could be for any number of reasons.

  • You’re vegan, but your fiancé isn’t.
  • A large number of your guests are/aren’t vegan.
  • You don’t want to alienate anyone, but serving vegan food is important to you.
  • You want delicious food for everyone, including yourself.

The good news is, it’s easier now more than ever to find vegan-friendly vendors. A couple of decades ago you’d be hard pressed to find a baker or caterer willing to create a cake or menu with specific guidelines, but as more and more people have decided to take on the vegan lifestyle, more and more wedding vendors are saying yes to vegan food with zest.

Dessert table with a spread of donuts on serving platters surrounded by succulents. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Here are 7 tips for planning a delicious vegan wedding menu that will have your guests saying, “I can’t believe this is vegan!”

1. Start by searching vegan-friendly venues in your area, as well as caterers and bakers. Some are specifically vegan, which is great, but don’t be afraid to reach out to those who don’t directly say they accommodate vegans. Sometimes you’ll find chefs and bakers who have never created anything vegan, but are more than happy to take on the challenge.

An important thing to keep in mind when it comes to selecting a venue is that compromise is key, especially if the venue has a set list of vendors to choose from. Before signing on the dotted line, check in with them to make sure they can accommodate your requests.

2. If you find a caterer who is willing to work with you on a vegan menu, offer to provide recipes or sample vegan menus if it helps. This shows how important the food is to you and that you’re excited about creating a meal that will delight even the most adamant meat and potato folks. 

3. If you want to make sure your meat-eating guests are satisfied, bring a non-vegan friend with you to taste test food and drink. Of course, you can’t ensure that 100% of guests will enjoy dinner and dessert, but having a non-vegan friend give the thumbs up on a selection of items will definitely boost your chances.

2 bowls of broccoli topped with a handful of nuts. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

4. Sliding in some simple appetizers that are both delicious and recognizable to most everyone will make it easier for your wedding guests to put aside their preconceived notion of what vegan food is all about. Whereas they might be expecting something like tofu and kale sticks (in which all they hear is “cardboard”) surprise and delight them by serving tasty treats like bruschetta, risotto balls, and sliders and fries.

5. If you love the idea of a vegan food theme, but your budget is saying “no way, no how,” consider replacing the typical plated dinner with a buffet or food station. Vegan couples have put together everything from gourmet pizza bars and taco stations to vegan sushi displays and build your own burger set ups.

6. It’s easy to forget that some beers, wine, and champagne are not animal-friendly. Use Barnivore, a vegan alcohol directory, to make sure your booze is in line with your values.

7. A portion of your guests may judge your decision to serve vegan food and drinks, which may lead to doubts about whether you even want to tell them. On the one hand, you want to be upfront and real, but on the other hand you wonder if not telling them will allow them to enjoy the food without question.

Wedding guests at a table enjoying their meal and each other's company at LaLa Park in San Marcos, Texas. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

There’s no right or wrong way to go about it, so you have to consider both sides. If you want to tell them (either on your invitation and/or wedding website), be prepared for questions like, “Should I eat before I come?” or “Can I bring my own food?”

If you don’t want to tell them in advance, you can always add a note to your menu sign that says something like, “All vegan meal!” or share your secret with anyone who asks, “What’s in this? It’s amazing!” Word will get around, and you may just inspire others to give vegan a chance.

Looking for additional tips for planning your vegan wedding? I’ve got more! Contact me using the link below and I’d love to share them with you!

Related: How to Have an Eco-friendly Wedding and Unique Ideas for Wedding Thank You Cards

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