How to Hold a Vegan Wedding

A major part of vegan Chelsea Clinton's wedding feast was vegan,[1] as well as providing lots of organic options for guests. Vegan or semi-vegan weddings have been growing more popular, as people feel less constrained about making their day "traditional" and opting instead for one that reflects the couple's entire set of values, including the food and accompaniments. When holding a vegan wedding, there are lots of things to consider, and here are some steps to help you begin your planning.


  1. Image titled Hold a Vegan Wedding Step 1
    Choose a suitable wedding location. Being vegan doesn't preclude you from choosing the same places as non-vegan wedding parties but you might wish to reflect your love of nature, the outdoors, or similar in your choice. It is also important to take into account the ease with which your guests can get to the wedding location and reception, and any personal preferences.
    • A vegan wedding in an organic garden is a nice touch for those who love gardening and local, fresh food.
    • A vegan wedding in a garden, a park, or botanical gardens can also serve as an expression of your love of nature and being outside.
    • Consider whether you will hold the wedding and reception in the same location, or apart. The same location means a lot less travel and hassles for all the guests, increasing the simplicity. Garden weddings work well for this option.
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    Find your reliable caterer well in advance. You will need to find caterers able to make good quality vegan food, including substitute foods, so planning well ahead of time is important. Things to consider include:
    • Look for a suitable caterer. It must be someone sympathetic to your dietary needs and wedding wants, even if they cook vegan food most of the time.
    • Don't overlook non-vegan caterers. Many excellent caterers have very able chefs capable of cooking vegan food. You might have to do a little more of the suggestion work and research, but that's probably something you're already used to and prepared for with a wedding anyway. In some ways, it's good to have such a level of control when it's a personal, special event.
    • Be sure you are happy that your caterer and venue are open-minded and happy to work with your preferences. Otherwise, keep looking.
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    Consider your budget. The budget for wedding tends to be half the cost of the wedding if you are serving a meal for guests.[2] A vegan wedding can cut these costs but not necessarily. If, like Chelsea Clinton, you are catering for vegans, vegetarians, and organically based meat meals, your costs can actually increase trying to spread your menu so far.[3]
    • Remember that anything specialized will cost more money, especially if your caterer is not familiar with vegan food styles, or if you're asking the caterer to prepare "substitute" style foods that match traditional wedding options.
    • If you're happy to keep the menu plain, on the other hand, it is possible to make this a lower cost part of your overall wedding costs.
    • Think seasonal and local. Many vegans are attuned to the buy local (the average meal travels 1500 miles)[4] and eat seasonally ethos and this can keep down the costs too. Locally purchased food supports local farmers and guarantees very fresh food too. It really depends on how many "dreams" you already have about the "perfect" wedding food!
    • Think organic. Do you want the food to be all organic, some organic, or doesn't this concern you at all? The choice will vary the cost, with organic food being the most pricey most times.
    • Consider the food style. The budget varies widely depending on the method by which the food is provided, with sitting down for a full meal being the most expensive. Your choices include a sit-down, buffet, picnic, cocktail party, breakfast, brunch, supper, punch and cake only, etc. This decision rests with your budget and preferences.
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    Plan the menu. Once you've decided on the caterer and the budget, plan the menu in detail. If possible, aim for a lot of variety as this can excite guest's enthusiasm to try different foods and discover the many wonderful possibilities of vegan food.
    • Consider the main course (entrée) food. Ideas include wonderfully fresh salads with edible flowers, delectable soups with brilliant colors, and delicious main courses from sizzling Mongolian vegetables to Teriyaki tofu. Have a look through wikiHow's Vegan Recipes for ideas to help you to get started. The principal point to always keep in mind is that the food must taste good!
    • It's a really good idea to get out all of your favorite vegan cookbooks and choose the recipes that appeal to you most - it's a great opportunity to finally try some of those harder ones you'd never make normally. Equally, it's a good idea to have a practice run of each recipe you're unsure about, in small quantities - sit down with your caterer, show him or her the recipes and work from there.
    • Have a vegan cake made. You could have a vegan cupcake wedding cake made, or a more traditional style of cake made without eggs, dairy, etc.
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    Plan the tableware additions with an Eco-friendly touch. If you are of the vegan ethos, there are many things requiring consideration, as you will probably be attuned to Eco-friendly options.
    • Look for reusable cutlery, plates, tablecloths, etc.
    • Use recycled paper for anything that you can't have in a reusable form.
    • Use natural items such as flowers or food as the cake topper rather than plastic objects.
    • Consider wedding favors with care. Think edible favors such as homemade biscotti, candies, or cookies; homemade preserves or sauce beautifully wrapped in recycled cloth or paper, etc. Think of recycled objects from candles to cookie cutters. Or simply do away with having favors at all.[5]
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    Consider your wedding clothing. It isn't all about the food. It's also about other wedding items, including the all-important clothing. Some of the things to be aware of include:
    • Look for a wedding dress that does not cause harm. This means that silk is not a suitable material. For some vegans, even wool is not suitable.
    • Find suitable false leather shoes, gloves, etc., to accompany the dress. There are pleather and other choices available. Do an online search if you can't find stockists locally.
    • Depending on the depth of your vegan ethos, you might wish to consider avoiding wearing anything made from animals such as pearl, antique ivory, bone, etc. The challenge here is not in avoiding purchasing such items as you will probably already be carefully scrutinizing what everything is made from but is more likely to arise when family members pass on traditional items that they'd like you to wear. Weigh your values carefully, as your family's wishes are well-meaning.
    • If you like pearls, look for human-made (faux pearls) versions.
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    Choose locally grown, organic flowers. For centerpieces, bouquets, and decoration, aim to source your flowers in season, locally and organic.


  • Serve Fair Trade coffee and tea.
  • Look for organic wines and beers. Check that both are vegan too, as not all alcohol is vegan.
  • Use recycled paper to create the wedding menus.


  • Some vegans use honey, while others do not. For a wedding situation, it is safer to assume that vegan guests will not consume honey.
  • Avoid preaching about veganism. Let the food and the enjoyment of the occasion do all the talking.
  • Have a family member or friend already briefed to speak with anyone who appears disgruntled about the food, to try to help remind them whose day it is and to get into the spirit of the occasion. A little bit of good-natured humor can go a long way to smooth things over. If the food is done well, few people will even notice the vegan element but will be enjoying consuming it instead!

Things You'll Need

  • Vegan food
  • Eco-friendly tableware
  • Appropriate clothing

Sources and Citations

  1. USA Today, Is Chelsea Clinton going green with a vegan wedding?,
  2. Emily Elizabeth Anderson, Eco-chic weddings, p. 89, (2007), ISBN 978-1-57826-240-3
  3. Telegraph, Chelsea Clinton prepares for America's 'royal' wedding,
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Article Info

Categories: Vegan | Wedding Planning