Whether you’re a full-fledged vegan or a dabbling flexitarian, these tips will help make your wedding a success for the planet, the animals—and you

lanning your wedding involves a lot of decision-making no matter who you are, but compromising your beliefs when it comes to animal welfare is fast becoming a thing of the past. The vegan-friendly wedding options available are now plentiful and highly desirable. Compared to as little as five years ago, this planet-saving way of life is on an upswing and many caterers, bakers and designers are offering great options for those looking to make a big impact on their guests and a small impact on the planet.

chickpeaFolk Fotos1. The Menu

Whether or not your guests are vegan, choosing a plant-based menu for your reception can satisfy even the pickiest eaters on your list. For local, West Coast cuisine, try The Butler Did It or the Middle Eastern-inspired favourites from Chickpea. If your locale of choice doesn’t offer vegan fare, the chef can work with your favourite recipes, but it’s best to go over which foods you don’t eat to avoid complications.

tarte2. The Look

“Chances are, if cruelty-free, vegan and non-toxic are important to you, you don’t want to give that up just for your wedding day,” says Stefani Chies, head hair and makeup artist and owner of Amethyst Crystal Beauty. “Don’t compromise your ethics on your wedding day because you think you can’t find a wedding makeup and hair artist,” says Chies, as there are a few to choose from. With the proliferation of cruelty-free cosmetics such as Tarte and Kat Von D, makeup artists no longer struggle to provide ethical options to their clientele.

cartems3. The Cake

Along with conscious catering options, vegan bakeries are now easier to find than ever. In Vancouver, Edible Flours or Le Gateau Bakeshop both offer decadent, vegan-friendly wedding cakes for weddings of all sizes. For a less traditional (but no less delicious) option, consider doughnut letters or a doughnut wedding cake from the incomparable Cartems Donuterie.

wine4. The Wine

Depending on your menu, you may also want to consider serving vegan wine and beer—surprisingly, many wineries use animal products such as egg whites and fish bladders in the filtration process, which technically means they aren’t vegan. Thankfully, many Canadian wineries use plant-based fining agents, such as Joie Farm, Blasted Church and Elephant Island, just to name a few from B.C. that would be a welcome addition to your big day.

puremagnoliaCaroline Rosspuremagnolia_2Stacie Carr5. The Clothes

While champagne and canapés are some of the more obvious wedding elements that can be veganized, there are a few things to consider when it comes to what you’ll be wearing. Silk, leather and wool, while commonly associated with luxury or higher quality, don’t align with vegan values. However, from the bride’s dress to the groom’s shoes, there are myriad possibilities for attire made from plant-based materials. Pure Magnolia has been making waves with their jaw-dropping, ethically made wedding gowns as well as bridesmaid and flower girl dresses. For footwear, look to Canadian retailers like Vancouver’s Nice Shoes or vegan brands like Matt & Nat at larger retailers.