Planning a vegan wedding with omnivore guests can place you in a stressful position and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Adding on to the normal stresses of planning a wedding, creating a vegan menu guarantees you will need to pay even more attention to every detail. Most of the people involved in your wedding planning process will not be vegan, so it is up to you to pay attention to every last detail.
Happily, food is not very difficult to make vegan—the vegetable kingdom is vast—but it can be hard to get your parents, your wedding planner, and your caterer to agree to the idea. Here are a few tips that will assist in the process of planning a vegan wedding menu:
Do Not Relent
Tell everyone concerned about the wedding details in advance about your plans to avoid animal products and let everyone know which products these will be. Most likely, your caterer is unaware of the importance you place on being a vegan and may try to convince you to include a few dishes for meat-eaters. If you make it crystal-clear from the beginning that you will not budge, you can avoid some awkward exchanges.
Come Prepared with Recipes
Most people do not have the advantage of an all-vegan caterer in their town. This restriction means you will have to contact caterers who sell animal products and find out if they would be willing to create an all-vegan menu for you. Be ready with menu suggestions.
Do Not Settle
Do not go with a caterer who is only capable of making simple dishes with vegetables—for example, grilled vegetables, marinated vegetables, and stuffed vegetables. There are innumerable possibilities for a gourmet vegan meal, so find a caterer who has the skills to be creative.
Make sure to discuss possible vegan menu options each caterer has available and inquire about early tasting options to narrow down the caterer selection process. Do not be afraid to ask for the vegan dishes you love the most, and see if they are familiar with using the most popular vegan ingredients.
Get the Right Kind of Cake
Your wedding cake is another component you may have to special order from a traditional bakery. Ask them to make a vegan wedding cake for you. Vegan wedding cakes are a growing trend, and traditional bakeries should be able to accommodate your request.
Do It Yourself
The simplest way to ensure you are getting exactly what you desire is to make it yourself. Vegan wedding menus include many recipes for all kinds of budgets and tastes, and most of the time they are scaled to serve large crowds. Almost every vegan cake recipe can be turned into a wedding cake by using egg replacers and non-dairy milks. Inquire with a decorating class at a local college or bakery and you will be well prepared. Also, make sure to ask your reception venue if self-catering is allowed due to possible complications with insurance or health code issues.
Decide How Much You Want to Publicize Its Vegan Status
More often than not, omnivores will be turned off by the idea of a vegan wedding, just by word association. How much you decide to tell your guests about the content of the menu is up to you. If your vegan dishes are prepared masterfully, many of your guests may not even notice the lack of meat options. Do not call attention to the fact that a vegan menu may cause grief for some family members.
However, if you plan on making veganism a central theme to your wedding, there are many imaginative and upbeat ways to pass on this information to your guests. You can place vegan labels on the reception food, highlight it on your invitations, create customized menu cards, or even go as far as putting an elegant animal figure on each place setting that says, “Saved due to this vegan meal.” It is up to you to know how you plan to frame your vegan wedding; no single approach works the best.
It is your wedding day, and you should make it vegan if that is an integral part of your lifestyle. The trick is figuring out how to get the right caterer and preparing for the worst. If you do not inform your family this is a vegan wedding, you may face much less opposition to the idea. Never relent on your special day, and make sure the dishes are crafted masterfully so no one can tell the difference.