By Daniela Degrassi
We’re always thrilled to share real vegan weddings on the blog! Despite being a vegan newbie, fashion blogger Tanekka Nadene Fleary aka The Golden Grenadine showed quite some passion and commitment planning her London vegan wedding. But let’s rewind to when she met her soulmate…
Tanekka and Lori met in college when they were 17 years old but were only friends for years. They started speaking again a few years ago when Lori wanted to arrange a reunion with their school mates but since no one was really into it, Lori decided to visit Tanekka instead, who at the time was living in Derby. During his visit they clicked in a way that they never did in college and… fallen in love!
Two years of long distance relationship and long hours of night phone calls went by and we flash forward to the present day, to celebrate their wedding day. About deciding to plan her wedding vegan, Tanekka says: “I just knew that I didn’t want to watch people eating meat on what was to be the best day of my life and to have it come out of my pocket, so even though my husband isn’t vegan (yet) we both agreed to have vegan and non alcoholic (because he is Muslim) wedding. Our family and friends weren’t very happy at first but I explained that it is our day and meat eaters can eat anything so they could have one meal that isn’t meat, and that it won’t kill them. I had a really good caterer who put on a good spread and all of the guests loved it. In the end, our families and friends were really pleased with the food and actually most of them kept on going back for seconds/thirds! I am glad that I showed them that you don’t need alcohol or meat to have a great party and that vegan food isn’t just kale and carrots”.
Tanekka courageously set to plan her vegan wedding on her own, while working full time. To stay on her tight budget she decided to skip on using real flowers and she found ethical, sustainable and vegan friendly flowers that were not silk based on Amazon. Amazon was also her resource to buy her wedding and bridesmaids gowns. On Etsy she found ethically sourced earrings and their wedding rings, made from recycled silver. For comfort, she chose flat pink satin shoes by Asos. The groom wore a grey suit with a blush tie and pocket square and brown ‘suedette’ shoes.
Tanekka was one of the first vegan ‘brides to be’ to join The Kind Bride Facebook Community. When she reached out for help, we were happy to contribute in finding 100% vegan salon Vegan Earth Makeover Bar for her (lovely!!!) manicure. They not only do nails but hair, make-up and spa treatments!
Tanekka and Lori romantically choose to exchange their vows at Town Hall close to Ealing College where they first met and they looked for a venue nearby that would accommodate their small party of 50. They found VUK which offers affordable wedding banqueting suites in the heart of Chiswick, with easy access to all parts of London. VUK also offers in-house catering and the love birds decided to have a Caribbean menu in honor of Tanekka’s roots. They enjoyed yellow split pea soup soup to start, followed by a chick pea and vegetable curry, stewed peas which had dumplings and carrots in infused with coconut and ginger, salad, mini fried dumplings, pholourie which is a small dough-ball filled with seasoned split peas, aloo pie which is a flat fried dumpling filled with seasoned potatoes, roti bread, Caribbean style.
And how lucky of Tanekka to have one of her school friends be a professional baker and the owner at Sugar Fix Cakes! Of course she made a vegan cake for the happy couple. They used little rusting style boxes filled with sugared almonds as wedding favors, an old tradition Tanekka’s was keen on carrying on.
As Tanekka looks back and reflects on what it meant to have a vegan wedding she tells us: “It was such a great feeling for me knowing that our day reflected our core values and we got to invite all of our loved ones into an insight of how we live our lives daily. It felt so refreshing not having to sit in sadness while watching people you care about tear into carcasses. Sounds extreme, but that is how I feel now when I am sharing a meal with carnivores. Knowing that our wedding day is not contributing to the painful, mortifying industry that is meat and dairy was really empowering and up-lifting. I loved our day and can’t wait to do it all again (we will be renewing our vows in the Caribbean for all of our family that couldn’t be at this wedding to bare witness to our union).
Capturing the magic of the day on camera, Tanekka’s friend and fellow blogger Majean Griffith
Congratulations Tanekka and Lori, and of course, we can’t wait to have a peak of your colorful Caribbean celebrations!
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.