How to Cater to Vegans at Your Wedding

April 13, 2023
Words by Marian Domingo
Photos courtesy of Markus Winkler

Veganism has seen a significant surge in popularity in recent years, due largely to increased climate change awareness, shifting health priorities, and welfare activism. In the U.S. alone, plant-based product sales soared by 31.3% between 2017 and 2019, and by 2025, the vegan meat market is expected to reach $7.5 billion in global worth. 

Consequently, when feeding guests at a wedding, the need to provide plentiful vegan and vegetarian options is greater than ever. Whether you have vegan guests or simply want to provide an exciting range for everyone, catering to vegan diets can be a great way to demonstrate inclusivity and thoughtfulness. 

Here are some top tips for catering to vegans at your wedding:

Start with the basics

The first step to successfully catering to vegans is to make sure you understand exactly what they can and can’t eat. Vegans do not consume any animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and even honey – nothing that was produced by an animal. 

One great way to go about providing vegan options at your wedding is to incorporate plant-based dishes that are already familiar, such as pasta, salads, and pizzas that are adapted for a vegan diet. You could also include vegan-friendly snacks, such as wedding popcorn, which you can buy in or make with vegan butter and seasonings.

Get creative with the menu

Offering familiar plant-based dishes is a great start, but there are far more creative, exciting options you can explore. Consider, for example, offering dishes that are traditionally plant-based, such as vegan sushi rolls and falafel. You could also consider creating vegan versions of popular wedding dishes, such as a vegan version of a beef Wellington, made with mushrooms and lentils. 

If you feel out of your depth, it might be best to hire a vegan chef or catering company to help you create a unique and delicious vegan-friendly menu for your wedding. Even a traditional chef will likely have plenty of ideas to brainstorm with you to ensure that you impress your guests with exciting, innovative dishes. 

Communicate with your caterer

If you’re working with a caterer, make sure you clearly communicate your desire to include vegan options. Also, make sure your caterer understands the importance of keeping vegan dishes separate from non-vegan dishes to avoid any cross-contamination issues. This must include the use of separate cooking equipment and utensils – many vegans take their chosen dietary choices very seriously, and this should be respected to ensure the happiness of all your guests. 

You could also consider having a designated vegan food station or buffet to ensure any vegan guests feel they have plenty of options that are easy to recognize.

Catering for vegans at a destination wedding

If you’re having a destination wedding, it can be a little trickier to successfully cater to vegan guests. One option would be to do some research into the possibility of working with a local vegan chef or catering company that can create some vegan dishes that still reflect the local cuisine. If you can showcase the local culture while still providing vegan options, you’ve surely got impressing your guests covered. 

Another option is to work with your venue or hotel to ensure that they can provide attractive vegan options. This will likely require some advance planning and communication, but many venues are happy to accommodate special dietary needs so long as they are given sufficient notice. 

Destination weddings can be a source of anxiety for guests with dietary limitations. It’s therefore important to reassure your guests that there will be vegan options made available, and even provide them with a menu ahead of time. 

Finally, consider providing your guests with a list of vegan-friendly restaurants and cafes in the area so that they can explore the local cuisine on their own. This is a great way to show your guests that you care about their needs and are committed to making their experience enjoyable and that their effort in traveling to your wedding is well worth it. 

Go the extra mile

Catering thoughtfully to vegans at your wedding might take a little extra brainpower, but it’s a sure sign that you care about making their experience of your wedding a happy one. So, ensure you understand each guest’s dietary needs, plan ahead, keep everyone informed, and enjoy the process – catering to a vegan diet can open your mind up to a host of new dish ideas.

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