Weddings are engulfed in emotion, chaos, & varied energies. Planning a wedding can be maddening enough, but taking on a destination wedding is especially anxiety-inducing. Those brave enough to take on a vegan destination wedding are of a special kind. Below are common obstacles in planning a destination vegan wedding & possible solutions.
1. You will inevitably exclude a good portion of people from your wedding.
Having a destination wedding means that a large number of people you know won’t be able to attend or will experience financial hardship to do so. Older guests & friends will young children will have an especially challenging time making it to the celebration.
Solution: Remember that it is your wedding. As much as you’d like to appease every person you know, it’s impossible. At some point in the planning of your wedding, someone is bound to get upset. Your partner & your happiness on this special day is all that really, truly matters, period. End of story. Do what’s in your heart & you won’t have any regrets, no matter who is able to join you. You can also host a celebration at home to include everyone, like the engagement party.
2. Certain people will think vegan food is: gross, nontraditional, not filling enough, ______________ (insert vegan stereotype here).
Your culture or your family may dictate a specific food arrangement for the wedding that goes against your beliefs. They may say, “People are traveling so far, we must serve _______” or “People will think we’re poor if we don’t serve meat!” Being vegan is important to you, & you don’t want to host an event where animals are exploited.
Solution: There are certain things you won’t be able to budge on, & this is probably one of them if you live a true vegan lifestyle. Times & opinions have changed since our parents got married & the options for vegan catering are limitless, so get creative! Besides, our parents had a chance at their own wedding, & maybe even two or three weddings in some cases!
3. Finding services for a wedding in a foreign place is challenging… how do you go about finding reliable services that are vegan-friendly as well?
This may be the most challenging part for you in planning your vegan destination wedding. You may or may not already be familiar with the place you’ve chosen to go, & it’s hard to know the lay of the land without physically being there.
Solution: If you have the means to spend a week or so in the destination before the wedding, that would be ideal. You can get advice from the locals. You can find a lot of information & connections by joining a Facebook group for locals living in the area & posting your needs there. You can do this without living there. There are many resources online, depending on the area, which you can use to solicit information. Try www.veganweddings.com, Facebook groups, craigslist or try looking up classified ads for that country. You might even consider placing an ad in the classifieds for that area in search of stellar services that can be vegan-friendly. Of course, if you are able to afford it, hire a wedding planner in the area that can handle planning a vegan wedding and locking down everything you need.
4. What to do when some things don’t go according to plan?
When you have a destination wedding, there are many unpredictable factors & things that can potentially go wrong. Costs might get out of hand with things you didn’t expect. They might not have all the ingredients you’re used to having available. You may not have anticipated having mosquito bites on your wedding day or having sand everywhere you can imagine.
Solution: Learn to let go, make compromises, & relax. Chances are things won’t be exactly as you envisioned but it’s going to be breathtaking nonetheless. The best part of having a destination wedding is that you get to mix in vacation as well. You will enjoy this experience most if you go with the flow & let your surroundings do their job. You likely picked the destination because of its beauty & charm, so don’t be too bent upon decorations or specific details. Focus on locking in the most important aspects & then let everyone do their job & help. Being a bridezilla in a foreign place while hosting a vegan wedding is the ultimate recipe for disaster. Set a good example for everyone else & try your best to maintain an easy-going demeanor. As we say in Costa Rica – Pura Vida!