By Daniela Degrassi
Michelle and Mark are the vegan husband and wife team behind Pine and Perfume Videography we recently welcomed to our Florida Vegan Wedding Directory page. Loving to capture candid/documentary style moments at weddings, Michelle and Mark’s own special day reflected that love for simplicity (+ volumes of class!) and their passion about a vegan and sustainable lifestyle. While planning their vegan wedding they really focused on supporting local businesses, and giving back to their community. It’s an honor to share their story on The Kind Bride beautifully captured by Christina Karst.
Michelle, how did you meet Mark?
Mark and I met through a mutual friend via Facebook. He asked me out on our first blind date and we both agree it was the best first day we had ever had!
What made you become vegan?
A few of our family members started making the transition to veganism and we started to take notice. One day my mother-in-law recommended we watch “What The Health” and we gave up meat and dairy that night. Once we realized how unhealthy feeding these foods to our children was, we never wanted to again. We surprisingly all had an easy transition (even our, at the time, 4 year old Jackson).
How did you decide to plan for a vegan wedding?
We got engaged right after our transition to veganism, so it was all new to us still. At first, we didn’t want to be “extreme” and have an entire vegan wedding, so we worked with our caterer on meat and cheese options as well. A few months into wedding planning, we decided it was our wedding and we should have whatever food we wanted there instead of trying to appease everyone. We really started enjoying vegan food and knew our guests would too, especially if we didn’t announce it was “all vegan”.
Were your family/friends supportive?
Most of our family was very supportive! Almost all of my husband’s brothers and sisters (and brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s)- he’s 1 of 5- and mother in law are all vegan, too! He’s part of a big family, so having a huge support system really made the transition so much easier for all of us! My Father-in-Law, Bryan Marlar & my husband also built our ceremony arch. My mother is also vegan and having a need to caterer for so many vegans really helped us not feel bad about having an all vegan wedding because of what others would think, because half of our wedding was vegan anyways!
Did you have a wedding planner help out?
Yes, Ashlyn was our wedding planner and she did a great job! We had vegan appetizers passed during cocktail hour and she went and got vegan pizza’s for the reception. Our wedding was very untraditional and one giant party. We wanted everyone on the dance floor the whole night, so we decided not to have a sit down dinner. Ashlyn of Loba Design Co. helped me execute this idea and come up with a layout to make sure the dance floor would be where everyone wanted to be!
What were the major obstacles in planning your wedding?
Luckily, there were no major obstacles while planning our wedding! The process was stressful in general, but other than that, everything went pretty smoothly.
What did you and Mark wear?
My dress was a Willowby by Watters gown Inez. I shopped for my shoes under the “vegan shoes” tab on Lulus. Mark wore a navy suit from Express, faux leather shoes from I think Kohl’s (he already had them for a while so I’m not sure where they were from exactly) and no tie.
What did your bridesmaids wear?
My bridesmaids wore Show Me Your Mumu dresses
What did Mark groomsmen wear?
His groomsmen wore the same navy pants from Express and a white button up with the sleeves rolled up.
Where did you get married?
We got married at Six Hundred King in Jacksonville, FL
Who provided the food and drinks?
Our caterer was Executive Food Service. Olivia was amazing! We did a bunch of passed appetizers for cocktail hour and she came up with a delicious menu (that most guests didn’t even know was vegan)! She made:
Thai Peanut Wonton Cups with Cabbage, Green Onions, Peanuts, Ginger and Citrus Vinagarette
Garlic Bread with Baby Spinach & Kale Pesto Topped with Toasted Pine Nuts
Tomato Tart with Sundried Tomato, Basil & Crumbled Garlic Tofu
Rosemary and Sea Salt Potato Wedges with White Truffle Oil and Roasted Garlic Dip
Chickpea Curry Meatballs with Cilantro, Ginger, Carrots and Chickpeas and Brown Rice
..and we had a fruit station and one that had chips, hummus, and various dips (all vegan).
Who made your wedding cake/desserts?
There’s a vegan bakery down the street called Sweet Theory that made our wedding cake and an assortment of gourmet donuts (maple “bacon”, smore’s, blood orange poppy, etc.). We also had mini chocolate and vanilla cupcakes made by Sweet By Holly.
Were your guests pleased/surprised by the food quality?
Yes! They loved the food! We received so many compliments on it and a few people told us how shocked they were that it was all vegan. (especially the donuts and the pizza) My dad, who is not vegan, could not believe the donuts were vegan. He said they were the best donuts he had in his life and then proceeded to bring several family members over to try them! I think all of the food was so good and we didn’t make a big deal saying that anything was vegan, so I really just think people still to this day didn’t know and happily ate everything. The appetizers went SO fast and people were asking for more- so we were pretty happy we kept all of the food vegan! 🙂
Was your wedding all you wanted it to be?
It meant so much to have a vegan wedding. We knew we didn’t want to feed our family animals or contribute to the demand for non-vegan food, so we were very grateful to receive the compliments we did. Also, a huge thank you to our caterer for going above and beyond accommodating us and we’re very thankful to have the most delicious vegan bakery in our neighborhood to contribute to the desserts! The pizza place around the corner was also a life saver offering the vegan cheese and the veggie pizzas. We’re so grateful to live in a progressive part of Jacksonville (Riverside) with a growing vegan community.
The couple’s friend, Joey Vocak, helped Michelle and Mark film their wedding and Mark edited the video… as wedding videographers, they knew they had to have a hand in their wedding video! Get some kleenex and watch it on VIMEO.
If you’re a vegan couple getting married and you haven’t found the right videography service yet, get in touch with Michelle and Mark because besides being awesome professionals, they love to travel and are now offering a special rate to other couples planning a vegan wedding! Sweet!
A feminist and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California where she lived for 15 years before moving back to her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.