How To Have A Vegan Or Vegetarian Wedding Without Being Annoying

If you’re vegan or vegetarian and getting married, you’re in for a world of hurt commentary. It must be so *amazing* to sit in your ivory tower and subsist solely on plants and carbs. In all seriousness, intaking a sh*tload of green things is super good for you, so I’m glad at least one of us is embracing the health thing. But when it comes to your wedding, not as many people will be thrilled by your lifestyle choices. People, namely your guests, will wonder wtf you’re going to serve since you’re not down with the whole animal murder thing. However, there are actually tons of dishes and easy ways for you to incorporate your life choices without everyone leaving hungry and mad. Here are a few tips you might want to consider if you’re having a vegan wedding.

Apps And Hors D’oeuvres

Stuffed mushrooms, hummus and olive platters, cheese plates, and crudite are all vegan and/or vegetarian options (depending on their preparation—minus the cheese plate, obviously), so getting away with meatless dishes during cocktail hour should be a breeze. Additionally, this is a period of time during your nuptials when you actually want people to carbo-load, since not doing so means they’ll be getting drunker faster. So, in the interest of not being billed for someone throwing up on your floor, talk to your event planner about dishes that incorporate your love of animals with tasty foods that’ll fill people up. Some dishes to consider are self-serve Mediterranean platters with hummus, baba ghanoush, olives, and pita; passed appetizers like mushrooms stuffed with artichoke hearts and bread crumbs or vegan bruschetta toasts; and tiny glasses of individual carrot spears, celery, and peppers.

Main Dishes

Pictured above is vegan mac and cheese, also known as a sin against God and man.

Moving on to dinner. Whether you’re hosting a buffet or a served meal, there are several options you can throw out there that people won’t really notice are vegetarian or vegan. We do highly suggest not going entirely vegan or vegetarian for main dishes on your wedding day since it’ll turn a lot of people off, but you do you.

Italian: Italian is the first choice, because, unless you’re gluten-free, digging into a big plate of spaghetti with classic red sauce is filling, satisfying, and gives your guests the energy they need to do the Cotton-Eyed Joe. If you want something heavier, eggplant rollatini or eggplant parmigiana are awesome choices, although they’d be considered vegetarian and not vegan, because, ya know, cheese. 

Salad Extravaganza: Maybe you don’t want a giant plate of Italian food, which, if it’s the middle of summer, fair. In that case, offer a buffet of colorful salads from kale, Caesar, or arugula to wilted spinach (sans bacon dressing), plus add toppings like grilled tofu or falafel for a heartier option.

Grains: Rice, farro, quinoa—people are insane for grain (trademark) these days, so giving your guests a few classic and interesting grain salads with different toppings is a good way to shove the whole vegetarian thing down everyone’s collective throat. You can opt for Mediterranean-inspired Tabouleh or herbed farro, or you can embrace fall flavors (and colors) with something like a butternut squash risotto that uses veggie stock and starchy root vegetables instead of chicken broth and cheese.

Add-ons: If you’re planning on a smorgasbord of meatless dishes, consider plating up meat separately or allowing your guests to choose it even if you won’t. Set aside a few servings of salmon, shrimp, chicken, and tofu so that you don’t have to deal with the horror of meat touching your dish, but your guests can also get what they need. It’s something to consider, especially since it’s v unlikely that every single one of your guests is going to be PSYCHED at the prospect of a vegetarian wedding.


You can get a lot of vegan and vegetarian sweets when it comes to dessert, so it’s relatively easy and painless. Tons of companies make and sell vegan truffles, which are usually created with things like pure cacao and coconut cream. Vegan cakes and cupcakes are pretty straightforward, too—just ask your baker to prepare without using cream, milk, eggs, or lard. For vegan ice creams and the like, check out what sorbets are available to you. Nothing beats a lemon shaved ice during an August wedding, amirite?

Images:  Photos by LantyKelly JeanRonaldo de OliveiraDebby Hudson / Unsplash

Sarah Nowicki
Sarah Nowicki
Sarah Nowicki aka Betchy Crocker writes about food, fashion, and whatever else she's in the mood to complain about for Betches and like, some other people. She resides in Asheville, NC, where she spends her time judging hipsters and holding on to her Jersey heritage and superiority. Yell at her on Instagram @sarahnowicholson