Bridal inspiration: How to organise a vegan wedding

PETA's Elisa Allen has opened up about her beautiful vegan wedding, revealing how she organised everything - from the food to the dress. Are you inspired?

Ceremony

by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Organising a wedding can seem like a difficult task, especially if you're planning to keep things vegan. But it really doesn't have to be, as Elisa Allen - who works with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) - explained to us.

She's kindly shared a sneaky-peek at her own amazing wedding, from the delicious vegan wedding feast to the gorgeous bridal gown…

SEE: CELEBRITY ENGAGEMENT RINGS

The proposal

We went up to the coast one weekend, and after a stroll on the beach, he told me that he loved the life we've made together and never wanted it to end. In some ways, Barry is a typical Irish lad (and by that, I mean that romance doesn't exactly course through his veins), so it was terribly sweet for him to make the effort of organising the weekend away and to have such a lovely little speech prepared. Of course I said yes!

Barry and I have been together for more than 11 years, so everyone joked about our "whirlwind romance" during our engagement!

Via Christian McLeod
Via Christian McLeod

The desire to keep things vegan

A wedding should be about who you are as a person and as a couple – and for us, that's vegan. We both love animals and made the decision several years ago not to eat or wear them, so there was no question that our wedding was going to be an entirely vegan affair.

We didn't have a particular theme for the wedding. We just wanted a small friendly celebration that had a touch of charm. Nothing too formal – our aim was to create a warm atmosphere where our closest friends and family could chit chat, laugh and kick back.

SHOP: ALTERNATIVE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

The wedding dress

I don't wear animal products, so I made sure to steer clear of silk and leather. Mostly I wanted a dress that I would feel like myself in and that wouldn't sit in my wardrobe after my wedding day, which is how I ended up choosing that gorgeous Leifsdottir number from Anthropologie.

The bridesmaid dresses

My sister is vegan, too, so she was on board with a cruelty-free wedding from day one, but it was actually my mom who found the dresses – she's a bit of a style person.

SHOP: THE CELEBRITY BRIDAL LOOK

The food

We wanted a vegan feast, and that is exactly what we got.

After the service, we celebrated with champagne, and we also had fresh-pressed elderflower juice and a selection of canapés ranging from seaweed "caviar" to fresh summer rolls.

At the meal, we served the starters tapas-style. This allowed our guests to try a bit of everything, and it also made the eating experience more lively and social.

For main dishes, we had a choice of warm curly kale dolmas with coconut sauce and fried sweet-potato sprinkles or a roasted tomato lasagne with a cashew cheese sauce and soya chorizo.

At the end of the meal, just when I thought I couldn't eat one more bite, a vegan cheese board was served (which I ended up devouring!).

All the food was washed down with vegan wine (some wines are made using animal-derived products such as fish oils) and locally brewed ales.

The cake

Instead of a formal wedding cake, we had the cutest red velvet cupcakes, and then the dessert options after our main course included a rich dark chocolate cake with brandy-soaked blackberries and local strawberries with coconut ice cream and cookies.

The reactions

Most of the wedding guests were not vegan, so I was really excited to show my friends and family how delicious, filling and fun vegan food can be. Everyone loved it! In fact, they're still talking about the food weeks later.

READ: 30 MONEY SAVING TIPS FOR A DREAM WEDDING ON A BUDGET

The personal touches

I love old portraits, so we had photos of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents on their wedding days on display. It was a small touch, but for me, seeing all the wedding portraits throughout the generations really added something special.

The first dance

My husband is from Ireland, and we met while I was studying there, so it seemed fitting to have a band play traditional Irish music mixed with some of our favourite rock and folk songs – the type of songs you could easily sing along to. Naturally, Steve Earle's "Galway Girl" got everyone on their feet.

SEE: THE BEST CELEBRITY WEDDING DRESSES UNVEILED

The best wedding anecdote

Galway is known for its eccentric street performers, and we were fortunate enough to bump into one of the happiest, most charismatic entertainers outside the reception. You could describe him as a cross between a clown and Santa Claus, and he had the most infectious laugh.

The whole crew was moved by his words of wisdom and then in stitches over his comedy antics – you honestly could not have paid for a better entertainer. Our pictures with him are actually some of my favourite from the wedding! He let us buy him a pint at the local pub afterwards.

The best bit

From the dress to the shoes to the food – no animals were harmed in the making of our wedding. I’m proud to be able to say that.

Elisa's top tip for brides planning their wedding?

Enjoy the ride and check out PETA.org.uk for tips on planning your own vegan wedding.

Pictures via Christian McLeod

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