How to Plan a Vegan Wedding Menu

A wood table at a wedding reception decorated with greenery.

Vegan menus at weddings have been increasingly popular, often by the lifestyle choice of the newlyweds or as a means to cater to their guests’ food restrictions. Some choose to serve only vegan fare at their reception, while others may give guests a choice between the standard or vegan meal option.

Many couples choose to have vegan food as at least an alternative because it can cover a lot of food-restriction bases. Vegans don’t eat animal products so that means no dairy, butter, eggs, mayonnaise, honey, etc. If you have a vegan menu, you won’t have to worry about seafood and egg allergies or lactose intolerances. Makes things a bit easier, right?

Worried that vegan food is boring or your guests will be disappointed? Don’t be! Vegan food is far more than veggies and hummus—there are endless dish options that will blow even the most religious meat eater’s mind. But if you’re reading this, you’re likely already set having at least a partial vegan menu. In which case, here are some tips that will make it an unforgettable meal for all your wedding guests.

Hire a Pro Caterer

It’s recommended that you find a caterer who specializes in vegan food—not just one that can offer vegan options. They’re most likely to have unique dishes that will please any palate and leave your guests with a full and satisfied stomach. Should you do the cooking yourself, make sure to do your homework and test out your recipes beforehand with family and friends.

Get Creative

A caterer prepping salads for a wedding reception.

Unless you want your guests to yawn at the reception, go beyond salads and grilled veggies. They can be a great option to have on the side, but should not be the centerpiece of the menu. Likewise with pasta-based dishes. Think outside of the box. Vegan food has a broad range. Don’t know where to start? Some crowd-pleasing vegan dishes to consider include:

  • Buffalo-style cauliflower “wings”
  • Jackfruit pulled “pork”
  • Indian and Thai curries (coconut-milk based)
  • Mushroom ravioli
  • Veggie burgers
  • Spring rolls
  • Stuffed peppers

For side dishes and snacks, these suggestions are always foolproof:

  • Grilled artichokes
  • Bruschetta
  • Lentil/mushroom/walnut bites
  • Beetroot carpaccio
  • Hummus with veggies
  • Tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole
  • Falafel
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Three-bean salad
  • Nut-based cheeses
  • French fries with various dips

Opt for Tapas

Small plates are a great way to mix things up and ensure there are a variety of dishes for your guests to sample. That way, everyone can pick and choose what they like the most. It’s also a great way to show off vegan cuisine in its full glory. With a fair amount of choices, even the most hesitant guest will be excited to try something new.

Don’t Overdo It

If you choose to serve a proper three or multi-course meal, don’t think you need to serve more food than you would with a meat dish. Vegan food is surprisingly filling, especially with the more flavored options.

What About Drinks?

A bride and groom holding cocktails.

This may surprise you, but alcohol isn’t always vegan. Sometimes, there are animal-based ingredients used for flavoring or during the filtration process. Although not everyone is as picky with veganism when it comes to drinks, you may be interested in looking for a vegan label on your wine and beer. Hard liquor is almost always a safe option.

Give Guests a Heads-Up

If you’re planning on serving an all-vegan menu, it’s considered polite to let your guests know ahead of time. It’s unlikely that it will affect their attendance, but it will help avoid unexpected surprises.

Do a Taste Test

Before you make your final plans, take a non-vegan friend or two for a taste testing of your wedding menu. It’s one of the most surefire ways to check if you made the right choices. After all, if a hardcore meat-eater has no complaints, the rest of your guests won’t, either.

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