By Heather Brooks
If you’ve ever wondered if it’s “ok” to have a totally vegan wedding menu, the short answer is, yes! The longer answer is that if you’re paying for the event it makes sense to put your money towards your values. It’s possible that some guests may be unhappy that there isn’t meat, seafood, or dairy at an event, but most of the people you would invite to your wedding love and support you, and will understand that you’re following your core values, and will be supportive.
Consider, for instance, that vegan food is inclusive. What does that mean? Not everybody eats shellfish, meat, or dairy, but everybody eats plants. Even if you just have a couple of vegan guests, but there are people who can’t eat dairy in the crowd, they will be able to eat everything on the menu, and so can everybody else.
One way to have great vegan food for your wedding is to first find a good vegan caterer, or a caterer that offers a nice variety of vegan foods, something more than the old vegetarian standby of garden salad and pasta primavera. Look for food that will appeal to health-food vegans and omnivores alike. This means foods that have familiar flavor profiles and textures, made from scratch with quality ingredients. Whether it’s heavy appetizers, a buffet, or an elegant plated affair, vegan food is up to the task. You can be further comforted by taking a trusted omnivore friend or family member to your tastings to help you put together a menu that’s sure to please your guests.
Some caterers, like the one I work for, will also help accommodate special dietary needs like gluten-free, low/no oil, or low/no sugar items. This can be very important if a large portion of your guests are older, have food sensitivities, or if the couple themselves have special dietary needs.
I myself had a totally vegan wedding with over 150 guests, most of whom were not vegan. I’m sure a couple of people were looking for the roast beef, but if they were disappointed with our offerings, I never got wind of it. What we did get were a lot of compliments, curiosity, and pleasantly surprised responses about the food.
Photo Mary Demarco-Logue
Don’t be afraid to follow where your moral compass points. There are many ways that a good caterer can be flexible, particularly if they share your cruelty-free ethics.
Eat, drink, and be married!
Cover Photo Katelyn Vines
Heather Brooks lives near Washington, D.C.. She is the Wedding Specialist at D.C. Vegan Catering, a full-service catering company serving the DMV area, and is part of the management team. Heather is also an author of fiction, founder of the Women Authors of Maryland writers’ group and salons, and founder of The Write Women Book Fest. Her journey towards veganism began with her daughter Amber, who decided she wanted to be a vegetarian at a young age. Heather is a big believer in empowering her daughters, so she worked at figuring out how to incorporate this new diet into their average American lifestyle.