Perhaps you’ve envisioned your ideal wedding for years. Or, perhaps you’ve never given it much thought. Either way, planning a wedding, especially a vegan one, can appear incredibly daunting. After all, there’s a lot to consider – what to wear, makeup, food, the venue… The list goes on and on. We asked Sarah Prager, co-creator of Vegan Weddings HQ and author of the newly released eBook Borrowed, Blue, and Vegan Too, to offer up some tips when it comes time to start planning your big day.
5 Unexpected Considerations When Planning a Vegan Wedding
Contributed by Sarah Prager of Vegan Weddings HQ
If you’ve been living a cruelty-free lifestyle for a while, planning a vegan wedding is just an extension of your daily life of checking labels and browsing your favorite online stores like Vegan Cuts. The thing about wedding planning is that it takes many of us out of our element. I don’t buy bouquets of flowers to accessorize gowns in my day-to-day life, but maybe that’s just me. Here are a few of the elements you might not have thought about needing to be veganized, as adapted from Chapter 2 of my new eBook Borrowed, Blue, and Vegan Too.
Yes, alcohol! Some vegans don’t even know that alcohol can be made with animal products, but it’s true. Fear not – there is vegan alcohol! I’ll let the experts at Barnivore explain: “When filtering the drinks prior to bottling, companies can use things like isinglass (from fish bladder), gelatin, egg whites, and sea shells, among other things. These ingredients don’t usually show up on the label, so the only way to find out is to ask.” Since Barnivore has asked thousands of companies and has a directory of the answers for free on their website, I recommend sharing this resource with your bartender and simply requesting that they follow the guide.
If one or both of you is a gown-wearing bride, you’ll find that many wedding dresses are made of silk, which is not considered a vegan product because the process to create it involves boiling the silkworms alive to access their thread. It takes thousands of silkworms to make one dress. Mohandas Gandhi campaigned against silk for this reason and promoted cotton as an alternative. There are many other vegan fabrics you can choose, including rayon, lace, nylon, sateen, hemp, and polyester. Here’s one of Vegan Weddings HQ’s many blog posts about finding a non-silk dress.
A lot of jewelry is made from bones, coral, teeth, shells, ivory, or other animal products. This is relatively easy to avoid, especially considering wedding jewelry often is metal or gems.
When considering headpieces like veils and fascinators, steer clear of feathers and silk. Get inspired for the millions of directions you could go for decorating your noggin at this blog post.
Handbags can be leather; veils can have silk in them… You just need to look at labels (and email the company to ask if you aren’t sure.) This doesn’t have to be overwhelming, just take the extra moment to think about it.
Cosmetics can be “unvegan” for two reasons: containing animal products or having been tested on animals. On the first one, look out for the words collagen or gelatin. On the testing, read very carefully and do your background research. To make things easier, a few places have done the research for you, so look for products certified by PETA, the Vegan Society, or Leaping Bunny. Buying from a line that uses both the words vegan and cruelty-free to describe their cosmetics is your safest bet.
While most photography is digital now, make sure that your photographer only uses digital. Traditional photography development involves gelatin, an animal product. Ask about leather alternatives for your album cover, too. Some photographers only have the one leather option, so consider a DIY approach or a photographer who offers animal-free options. Remember that suede is also cow skin. If you want that look, there are faux leather and faux suede albums out there, and they’re often cheaper anyway.
Even if you know all of this, your vendors may be the ones making purchasing decisions. Tell your baker about vegan sugar, tell your liquor provider about vegan wine. Basically, it’s all about checking ingredients and reading labels, just like the rest of vegan life!
The most important thing to remember is to keep perspective on how this is just one day, how you are in control of your choices, and that this party is all about celebrating that love-of-your-life you’ve found! The details above have to be sorted through, too, but take deep breaths and just be you.
About Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager is the co-owner of Vegan Weddings HQ, the go-to resource website for all things vegan and vegetarian weddings, proposals, and honeymoons. She is the author of Borrowed, Blue and Vegan Too: Your Guide to Rocking a Vegan Wedding. Sarah had her own vegan wedding in 2011.