My Organic Vegan Wedding
I must admit I feel a little vain writing a blog post about my vegan wedding but I remember that before I was married I would love to peruse wedding blogs and websites and look at what offbeatbride.com affectionately calls wedding porn.
Since this is a mostly raw food related blog, my disclaimer is that my wedding was not a raw wedding, but a vegan wedding. Why? One, since I was having a small wedding I knew that I was going to be the only raw foodist attending, and the venue I picked already had amazing organic cooked vegan food available, so I decided not to complicate things. Also, I eat cooked vegan food occasionally and since it was a special occasion, I considered it a special treat.
Believe me, my friends and family have been plenty exposed to raw food over the years. Countless birthdays and special occasions at Café Gratitude , all raw Thanksgivings and Christmas’s and in April we had a good sized engagement party that was mostly raw.
We were married in Standford Inn by the Sea, in beautiful Mendocino, California. I did a lot of research on our vegan wedding venue and it really represented what we’re about: vegetarian, organic, sustainable, and pet friendly, not to mention the sheer natural beauty of the place.
The coolest thing about the venue I choose was that all the food served there was mostly vegan (which the one exception of being able to order eggs for breakfast, if desired) and mostly organic and they grow a lot of their own food in their organic vegetable garden which was the location of our marriage ceremony. How very appropriate
Even the flowers used for the bouquets were locally grown and organic. I know some people thought I was crazy, but I gave the florist my color scheme and told her to surprise me with flowers in season. What I ended up getting was in season locally grown organic Dahlias which have now become my favorite flower. I loved the surprise factor and my bouquets were delightful.
I know that weddings can often be wasteful and I tried to keep that in mind by buying a dress that I’m going to shorten and then be able to wear again to a nice party. I also wore black shoes that I’ve already worn again on a few occasions. No veil either, just a flower in my hair. I also asked my bridesmaid’s to buy a nice black dress, in their budget, that looked good on them, and that they will be able to wear again as well. I asked the florist for small vases and reused the bouquets as centerpieces, and then gave the vases to my bridesmaids to reuse at home. I skipped the wedding favors; I’ve never been a fan. I also sent out e-mail invitations instead of paper ones. This worked because our wedding was small, but hey if it saved a little paper that’s a good thing. I also asked my florist for loose flower petals that were used to throw on us, decorate the aisle, and the reception table. They looked beautiful and it just happened to be a bonus that they are also biodegradable:)
I did my own make-up with natural make-up that I use on a regular basis. I try to use make-up that avoids or at least minimizes the use of toxic chemicals in their formulations. My favorite makeup choices were a subtle peach lip gloss by PeaceKeeper called Eternal Equity and a light shimmery lavender rose eye shadow by Larenim called Bewitched Sand.
Since I had a small wedding, I asked for cupcakes instead of a cake, and for a little extra the baker made the cupcakes organic and vegan, using coconut milk for the creamy factor. They were decorated with organic edible Cecil Brunner roses. I passed out the leftovers to guests staying at the Inn.
Some other things I did that were not necessarily vegan or environmentally friendly, but they did save me some money. I bought my dress at a dress store off the rack; it was probably 1/10 the price of a normal wedding dress, and so far I can’t believe how many compliments I’ve received about it. I also made all my own jewelry and my bridesmaid’s jewelry. For the price of buying wedding jewelry already made, I was able to make 4 pairs of earrings, 4 necklaces, 1 bracelet, and one brooch!
And I guess the number one thing I did to keep it simple was to keep the wedding intimate. Even though it was tough to not have everyone with us, it was really neat how connected everyone who attended was. We all were able to sit at one long table and this created a special atmosphere. Instead of dancing like at most weddings, the younger crowd went to the indoor heated pool and hot tub and talked and swam late into the evening. That will always be a special memory for me.
We were married by the owner of the Stanford Inn who will preach Veganism to anyone who is willing to listen! The ceremony itself was unique; an Apache poem was recited, Maria Reiner Rilke was quoted, although I don’t remember much as I was too busy starring adoringly into the eyes of my soon to be husband.
It was really our little white rescue Chihuahua, Dancer (A.K.A. Sheepie) that stole the show. She was running around the organic vegetable garden like crazy enjoying all the yummy sights and sounds, sneaking into our pictures here and there.
During the reception I toasted to some heart warming speeches with some sparkling water that I flavored with some vanilla stevia and was so pleased that everyone enjoyed their vegan fare. My dinner consisted of a coconut carrot bell pepper soup and a quinoa pilaf with a yummy cauliflower puree. Because our wedding party was so small, we were able to order whatever we wanted off the menu. One of my bridesmaids ordered the sea palm strudel and I got to try it, it was unique and delicious and I will definitely order it next time I visit. Not once did anyone complain that their dinner was vegan. They did a good job.
My wedding was a reflection of Darrell and I: simple, unpretentious, and natural. I knew that I wanted to marry Darrell from the first moment we met and our wedding really was just a formality. I am so glad that the anticipation, stress, and planning is over and that we can relax into married life. But I can say that I am glad that we didn’t elope. I felt pretty and special on that day and I felt my mom’s presence with me. I’m glad we had a formal ritual to symbolize such an important life passage. I’m so happy to have found Darrell, my best friend, lover and life partner and I’m really glad that I got to share some of the details of our wedding with you. I hope you enjoyed it, and here is a link to view more pictures:
and below are a list of some of the vendors I used for my vegan wedding:
Stanford Inn by The Sea
A Vegetarian Bed and Breakfast on the Mendocino Coast
Stanford Inn By The Sea Vegetarian Dining
Mendocino Floral Design
List of my Favorite Natural Body Care Products: