Hosting a wedding is a delicate balance between wanting guests to feel comfortable and also wanting to stay true to you and your partner’s values. As a vegan, you may feel pressure from friends or family to have non-vegan food items at your wedding reception. People who aren’t vegan or vegetarian often find it difficult to imagine an entrée that isn’t centered around meat or animal products, but you know that vegan meals are so much more than raw vegetables and slices of tofu. Vegan meals are just as rich, vibrant, and crowd pleasing than any meat-based dish, and whether you’re vegan on principle or just appreciate the health benefits, staying true to your vision for your wedding will provide the perfect opportunity to show guests that a meat-free wedding reception can be spectacular.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Adventurous

Having a vegan wedding reception doesn’t mean that you can’t pair food with a reception theme or that you’re stuck with a limited number of ingredients. These days, if  you live in a major city, you can almost certainly find a caterer familiar with vegan cuisine. If not, don’t feel like you can’t call around and ask if a caterer is willing to try their hand at a vegan menu. You may be surprised at just how willing chefs are to showcase their creativity and think outside of the culinary box.

You can bring them your own recipes and ideas, too. Hoping for Mexican-inspired food at your reception? Go ahead and suggest cauliflower tacos. Want to serve up some sliders? Tell them the wonders of portabella mushrooms. The truth is that almost any meal you want can be made vegan — and you can even come up with some new, entirely unexpected meals, too.

Try a Vegan Buffet to Delight and Educate

Every couple, regardless of their reception plans, struggles to make their menu appeal to every person on the guest list. The old adage that you can’t please everyone really does hold true, but as a vegan, you understandably want your guests to leave the reception feeling excited by all those tasty foods that were made sans meat or dairy. Why not let them sample a variety of vegan dishes through a vegan buffet? Talk with your caterer and pick a few favorite entrees or even hors d’oeuvres to let your guests get a real taste of delicious vegan fare.

Want to further educate your guests on the tasty vegan food? Place decorative food signs in front of each item detailing the dish and its ingredients. This is also a great way to help your guests avoid any allergens, like nuts or soy, that might be more common in your vegan courses.

Soak Up the Season

Planning your wedding theme around a specific season? Plant-based dishes effortlessly lend themselves to the seasons. Autumn and summer seasonal vegetable medleys are already popular side dishes at meat-based wedding receptions, and they can really shine at your vegan reception. All of those vegetables also mean a wealth of absolutely delicious soup choices, from winter vegan stews to spring green soups, that will enchant your guests and pair perfectly with any seasonally themed decorations.

Show Bakers That a Vegan Cake Is As Easy as Pie!

Desserts are easily transformed into vegan treats simply by substituting certain ingredients. While you can try to search for a vegan baker, don’t worry if there isn’t a solely vegan cake designer in your town. Just like with your menu caterer, most bakers will be up for baking and designing a vegan cake according to your specifications.

Check Your Drinks

Serving alcohol at the reception? While most drinks will be vegan, it’s still worth using an app or website like this one to double-check that your reception bar is following the same vegan standards as your food. Not planning on serving alcohol? Put your own vegan twist on reception favorites like the hot chocolate bar by using almond or soy milk in place of dairy.

To Tell Or Wait To Tell?

Some people choose to wait until after the wedding reception is over to let guests know that the food they’ve been raving about since the big day was actually entirely vegan, in the hopes of getting guests to go into the meal open-minded about the taste and possibilities, rather than dreaming of a steak dinner. Others choose to be upfront right away. The choice is yours. At the end of it all, this will have been your wedding day, and with your wedding comes all of your values and principles. Being vegan is an important part of who you are! With all of that passion — and these delicious possibilities — you’re guaranteed to surprise and inspire at your vegan wedding reception.

Are you planning a vegan wedding reception? Have you ever attended one? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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