but we're working on that. not as in i'm begging him to get engaged. as in, we know we're doing it, and we just haven't quite officially done it yet. but we've started planning things, even though our potential date is two years away (3.20.10). see, we'll probably be doing most things ourselves (as far as invitations, favors, decor, bla bla bla) and we're working with a finite budget - we don't exactly come from the land of trust funds. that means that there's going to be a lot of time and energy needing to be expended to make it all happen... which is fine with me. actually, i can't imagine anything better! what can i say, i have a girlish streak. it's not my fault. i am, after all, a girl. and a crafty one at that.
in my initial investigating, i'm so surprised at how little i've found specifically for vegan events! yes, a couple of caterers and venues have told me they'll do a vegan wedding, the palm house and naturally delicious among them. but they don't advertise as such, and i haven't actually gotten menus out of them yet, just "oh yes, we'll certainly do a vegan wedding for you." does that mean pasta with marinara and a green salad? there are vegan restaurants in the city that cater, but that's a different thing than an event venue or a catering business. no business that i've found does vegan events and nothing else, and i've only dug up one catering service that's strictly vegetarian. i know we're not that big a portion of the population. but even if we're only 1%, that's still like 3 million people in the country right? and jonathan and i are in new york city, where the percentages are way skewed. i mean, how many other cities provide you with literally dozens of completely vegetarian restaurants, some of them totally vegan? seriously, we have vegan vietnamese, which you'd think was impossible. (lan cafe on 6th street - if you haven't been there yet, go today. it's amazing.) so how is it that there's not a single all vegan caterer?
it's not just food either. do you know how hard it is to find a wedding gown that's not made of silk? pretty much the only alternative is hemp silk (and i must say, the word hemp makes me twitch a little bit - just because i'm vegan doesn't mean i'm a damn hippie). i was actually considering that option though, until i discovered that almost all the time they mix the hemp fibers with real silk anyway! hi, can you say pointless? thanks to moo shoes, finding some pretty shoes to wear won't be a problem. but the point, my vegan friends, is that we're a market, right? where are all of the businesses desperately trying to sell us all of their great stuff? of course we're not a market that should be exploited, but shouldn't we at least be accommodated?
my official guesses are the following: that a lot of people who are vegan a) aren't marrying other vegans, b) figure that since their guests aren't vegan their wedding shouldn't be, or c) are doing so much for themselves - we're kind of used to being self sufficient, a habit borne largely out of necessity - that the market doesn't see a need to be filled. well, jonathan and i eschew the theory that since most of our guests won't be vegan the wedding shouldn't be. it's our wedding! we're vegan, and passionately so, and the celebration should reflect who we are as a couple. and moreover, spending thousands of dollars on non-vegan food would be totally against our beliefs. hell, i flinch when i treat my favorite co-worker to a latte with cow's milk in it, and that only costs about four bucks. honestly i won't even consider having a large scale non-vegan event, even if one or both sets of our parents ends up coughing up some money. before ever speaking a word about it to each other, we were both determined that not only will our wedding be totally vegan, but that we will be serving the most delicious food and the most beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth cake and deserts that any of our guests had ever tasted. no, really.
on top of that, we'll be following our ethics elsewise: part of our gift registry will be an option to donate to farm sanctuary and / or the common ground collective; my engagement ring and our bands will contain recycled metals and lab-created stones; all of the paper goods will be recycled or at the very least tree-free; and if there is food left over from the wedding we want to give it to food not bombs. as much as possible, we will be buying from small, local businesses and encouraging our guests to do the same. and so on, and so forth - we'll talk details as they arise.
i swear i'm not just here to bitch, and i'm definitely not here to lecture. i'm hoping that this blog will become a useful resource for other vegan couples who are also trying to find this information, or for anyone looking into doing any kind of event with ethical guidelines. as much as possible, i'll be talking about specific venues, caterers, and other wedding vendors that help (or refuse to help) us make our perfect wedding day become a reality. i'll also be doing fun crafty sorts of things like making my centerpieces and learning how to make cufflinks with resin... and i'll show you all the gory details, won't that be the funnest. if you have tips or questions for us, please pipe up! we won't be having what you'd call a traditional wedding; it'll definitely fall under the category of diy. any input and ideas along the way can be helpful. with any luck, we'll be able to throw a gorgeous party and not lose our minds in the process!