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Our life-enhancing vegan wedding ceremony

by Susan Cho
(Chicago, IL)

Our life-enhancing vegan wedding ceremony - all vegan, no cut flowers, no new clothes!

My partner and I are getting married here in Chicago and then going back to our former home in Takoma Park, MD, for a wedding ceremony with family and friends. We're both vegan, so of course the food will be vegan. We're looking for an affordable catering option without having it be a potluck (for those who will be coming from a distance). Maybe a whole bunch of food from Woodlands! A dear friend is making a vegan chocolate cake with strawberry frosting.

Everyone will bring a (vegan) ribbon to help bind us together in a symbolic gesture called "handfasting." There will not be anyone presiding, just us declaring our intention to keep our bond of love strong and healthy, for our whole lives. Everyone in the community will add their intention to support us, symbolized in the ribbon they contribute to the binding.

There will be no cut flowers, since they represent a cutting short of life for a shallow pleasure. The flower business is also quite wasteful and harmful to the environment. Instead, we'll have bunches of herbs, fruits, and vegetables from our garden and local farms.

We wanted to go to Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary for the ceremony but were unable to get in touch with them, so we will be renting a neighborhood park. This particular park has sentimental value for me, because my housemates-to-be and I used to gather here to plan our lives together in an intentional community. I was honored to be a part of this community, Maitri House, for a year (before having to move in order to be with my partner).

Once we moved into our house together in Takoma Park, we would bring the children here to play and explore. Afterwards, they would fall asleep in the stroller on the way home. And although the children were not mine biologically, we all lived together. One child is now my god-son.

Eric gave me his grandmother's ring for our engagement. I'm not about to wear anything mined just for my vanity. Oh yes, and there will be no new clothes, since there are already so many beautiful, functional clothes out there. Our dedication to each other is part of every day, not just special ones, so we're wearing clothes we already have. Besides, who wants to wear a white dress to play outside!

Eric's mother is planning a separate reception in New Hampshire for his side of the family. She asked me for recipes to show some caterers who might be willing to do a vegan spread. She had a beautiful idea for the "favors." Each table will have a photo and bio of a Peaceful Prairie Animal Sanctuary resident, with the note that a donation has been made in their honor. Eric's father will be providing many of the herbs and fruit for the decorations. My future in-laws are not vegan, but they are doing pretty awesome vegan outreach in hosting this reception for us!

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