Vegetarian eating isn’t just a choice. For some, it’s part of their religion or culture, while for others, it’s a dietary necessity. Not everybody’s bodies can process animal products properly, after all, and if you’ve been eating a diet that’s low in meat for much of your life, switching can be pretty hard on your system. In some areas, meat is too expensive, so people get used to going without it entirely. Going vegan is always a lifestyle choice: being vegan is expensive, and some caterers aren’t willing to do the work to source vegan-friendly foods and drinks.
It can seem like a daunting task to find somebody that’s willing and able to provide your wedding with a vegetarian-and-vegan-friendly menu, or specific menu options, but you’ll quickly find that’s not the case. As more people embrace these lifestyle changes, more businesses suddenly become interested in helping people out.
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Most caterers that provide alternate options will say so in their write-ups, on their website, or somewhere in their print materials. Nobody worth their salt will hide the fact that they’re happy to do whatever it takes to keep you and your guests happy and healthy (after all, so many substitutions are due to allergies that are often life-threatening). They’ll cheerfully provide you with their vegetarian and/or vegan menus, or they’ll be open to any requests that you make.
You can also opt to serve dishes from countries whose staples tend toward being vegetarian: India’s Gujarat region’s cuisine is predominantly vegetarian, while a large portion of Chinese cooking is meatless, too.
There are so many options as far as vegetarian dishes go that not having access to something is really not realistic (and doesn’t make sense). Any caterer that makes a fuss about providing you with alternate foods for your vegetarian and vegan guests is not in need of your money.
Some good examples of vegetarian and vegan caterers are Cashew Catering at http://www.cashewcatering.co.uk (they also do raw chocolate I think I am in love) and
The Parsnip Ship at http://theparsnipship.co.uk (their previous wedding menus have included Lavender biscotti and Welsh Stout ice cream!). Both companies are flexible, provide examples of what they do, and tempt the hell out of you with their descriptions. The fact that they specialize in vegetarian and vegan food definitely helps, as a caterer that makes a specific area their focus is going to be a master at it. That makes for a memorable experience.
As a bonus, check out Cashew Catering’s Sloe gin & black cherry chocolate truffles recipe. I think I know what I’m making over the weekend.
You can definitely make other aspects of your wedding vegan-friendly! Vegan wedding favours can be sourced from small businesses, like the soap-maker mentioned in this blog post from The Natural Wedding Company, and I can almost guarantee that you’ll find something unique if you go the same route for your wedding’s decor. Vegan and vegetarian products often go hand-in-hand with sustainable living, so compare notes there and see what you find.
Remember: there’s an alternative to pretty much anything.