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Planning a vegan wedding gives you the unique and amazing chance to open people's eyes to the world of food that exists beyond meat and cheese. You may never again have the chance to do this for so many people at once, and so you should definitely fight for the right to have food that reflects your values.
When planning a vegan wedding, often the first hurdle to face is your parents, especially if they are paying for some or all of the wedding.
Often parents worry about how a wedding reflects on them, and they don't want their guests to feel uncomfortable. They might be unfamiliar with vegan food and think it's all about deprivation. Many people simply think vegan food is boring and tasteless, and parents might worry people would talk badly about them after the wedding.
If you promise everyone your food will be delicious and that no one will miss the meat, it will keep the focus positive. Then, the vibe circulating before, during, and after your wedding will be infused with enthusiasm and excitement about new foods.
We had a completely vegan wedding reception and an insanely delicious wedding cake and years later, people still talk about a few of the dishes and the cake. Before the wedding I'd just make jokes about how they'd have to get their meat before or after the reception and it created laughter rather than real concern about the food.
You need to steel yourself up front for any negative comments, and remember to listen to all concerns. Try not to take anything personally. Allow whoever has the concerns to voice every single one of them, without interruption, and listen attentively. Make sure you understand exactly where they are coming from. Then, voice your opinion.
Try using this format:
Make sure your family completely understands where you are coming from with your belief system and that you understand their concerns. Hopefully they will respect your beliefs and will be willing to support the menu you think is best.
The last thing you want to do is get in a huff, criticize anyone, or create a big argument. Allow people to give opinions and don't be closed to listening to them.
Even after you go through that entire cycle with the person with concerns, they might not fully be on board with your plans. If that is the case, make sure you know why that person is upset, and if you haven't answered that concern, try again.
In vegan food situations, it might be that the person just thinks vegan food is nasty. You could easily solve this problem by bringing him or her to the caterer to taste the menu. That alone might bring them around.
If the concern about planning a vegan wedding delves deeper, you might need to come to some compromise. If the concerned person worries that people will feel deprived or cheated, you could change the format of the wedding.
Perhaps you could offer to pay for the caterer, or move the wedding earlier in the day so only cocktails and hors doeurves are served afterwards. Then no meal will be served and no one will notice there is no meat. You could even scale back the menu and stick to accidentally vegan dishes like pasta with marinara sauce
The great thing about planning a vegan wedding is that everyone can eat your food. No one has a moral objection to eating vegetable-based foods, whereas if you were to decide to serve non-vegan food, you and other guests might have moral objections.
Most caterers have a vegetarian option, but all of us who have been to weddings before and requested one know that option is typically not incredibly tasty. It might be a plate of steamed vegetables, a side salad, or simple pasta dish. While those options work fine at someone else's wedding, this is your wedding! And remember, you want your dishes to be fabulous since you are acting as a representative of the vegan community.
If you are planning a vegan wedding, don't feel the need to back down. You will likely regret it, and your wedding should be a reflection of the two of you. If people really, really need to eat meat with every meal, they can drive by McDonald's after the reception.