The Flaming Vegan

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Navigating Wedding Season as a Vegan or Vegetarian
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Navigating Wedding Season as a Vegan or Vegetarian

It’s officially wedding season, and if the past few summers are any indication, I’ll probably attend several wedding celebrations over the next few months. I love everything about weddings, but they can be incredibly difficult to navigate if you have any type of dietary restrictions – veganism included. I’ve gone to many a wedding in which the “vegetarian option” consisted only of bread, mashed potatoes and soggy vegetables. Like most people, I like to drink and dance at weddings, and I can’t do either on a dinner of empty carbs and butter-soaked veggies.

So over the years, I’ve developed an arsenal of tactics for navigating weddings as a vegetarian or vegan. I’d love to hear your best wedding-survival tips, too, so please share them in the comments!

One of the most challenging aspects of attending a wedding is figuring out exactly what kind of food will be served. This can be relatively easy to overcome – just ask! Most couples just want their guests to enjoy their wedding, and so they will probably be happy to tell you what to expect. A parent or member of the wedding party may also have the information.

If you’re a plus one or you don’t feel comfortable asking, you may have to do some detective work to figure out what kind of food will be served. In my experience, there is likely to be a better vegetarian or vegan option if a plated meal is served, rather than a buffet (it was at a buffet that I experienced the aforementioned bread-potato-vegetable meal). If the invitation or wedding website identifies the caterer, you can look through their website and deduce possible meal choices, or even call the caterer and ask.

If hors d’oeuvres are served, there is a good chance that at least some of them will be meat-free, so watch for an announcement of appetizers during cocktail hour. Unfortunately, the cake will most likely contain dairy products, so vegans may have to forego that no matter what.

Even if the chances of a good vegan or vegetarian meal are high, it is never a bad idea to be prepared. Eat a light meal before the ceremony, and bring your own snacks to the reception. After a few bad experiences, I now always bring trail mix or something similar to weddings. If it stays in my purse all night, great. But if there is nothing else to eat, I’ve got backup, and I’ll be able to drink and dance the night away in celebration of the happy couple!


*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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