When Craig and I met, I’d only been vegan for about a year. He was not vegan and as it turns out he had even recently hosted a pig roast. However, he was open-minded. I had listened to a Colleen Patrick-Godreau podcast about dating as a vegan in which she had said that if the person shares your values, and they begin learning (and unlearning) the same type of information you did, they may eventually go vegan of their own accord. That was of course what I hoped would happen, but I didn’t want to push it. I just decided to be patient and focus on getting to know each other. Within about half a year together, he did choose to go vegan himself. He is an excellent cook (and beer homebrewer) and he loves to veganize everything, including old family recipes.
After living together for a year, in San Diego at the time, we decided we would move back East and buy a house near my family. We knew we wanted to build a life together, but we’d both been previously married and were a little jaded about doing down that road again. But when discussing it one day, he said something like, “I know I want to spend the rest of my life with you, so if you want to do that as a married couple, then let’s get married.” We cried and hugged and went on Etsy and picked out a vintage blue topaz ring for me from the 50s that was engraved “from Jerry to Marie.” So it wasn’t a typical engagement surprise scenario. When the ring came in the mail after work we opened it together and he put it on my finger and tada! We were engaged.
In that same vein, we knew we wanted the wedding to be extremely low-key and intimate, but we still wanted a special day we would remember. When we rented a lake house for a week-long summer vacation, we weren’t actually planning to get married there. But then I realized it would be the perfect location, so once again, it was kind of like, “Okay, let’s do this!” I began organizing the details and confirming the vendors, which wasn’t too hard since there would be just a handful of guests. A lot of that process was very organic and serendipitous.
For example, I contacted a photographer based on his candid and creative style and a write-up in a local magazine, and it turned out unbeknownst to me he was a long-time vegan and had previously photographed me speaking at New England VegFest! Craig and I have since become friends with him and his wife, who’s also vegan. For the flowers, I contacted an acquaintance I’d met at a vegan potluck who regularly posted photos of her beautiful flower arrangements on Facebook, and she was thrilled since she had been wanting to launch a floral arrangement business.
The food was just a favorite local vegan place of ours that we knew would travel well and that even the omnivores would love. The cake was a from a local bakery that offers vegan cakes, although looking back I wish I used a local exclusively vegan baker. For the vegan sign, we wanted to have a cool photo tying in the vegan message to announce our marriage through our blog Eat Plants/Drink Beer, so my vegan friend who is also a graphic designer took that on. For hair and makeup, I hired someone from the vegan salon I had previously used to come to the lake house. So all the vegan vendors fell into place.
My high school bestie, also named Amy and a long-time vegetarian, was kind enough to get ordained via the Universalist Unitarian Church to perform the ceremony.
Although Craig’s family couldn’t attend in person, we Skyped them in. The day overall felt truly magical.
The weather was perfect and we had a beautiful sunset just at the right time. After photos and the brief lakeside ceremony, and then a paddle around the lake in canoes for another photo opp, we ate dinner in the screened-in patio along with cocktails and cake.
The next day we left for our brief road trip honeymoon, which took us through Rhode Island and Connecticut to New York City for lots of tasty vegan food. As we had our last meal of the trip, outside under an umbrella in a light rain shower, my eyes began to well up and Craig asked me what was wrong. I was just overcome with emotion that our wedding had already come and gone, and now our honeymoon was ending. We still laugh about it today because I was a blubbering mess, just sad to see it end, sort of laughing and crying at the same time. However, I’ll never forget our beautiful wedding day and I’m so glad we did it our way.
We’re now expecting a baby girl in October and are excited to become parents!
100% vegan vendors used for our wedding:
Photographer: Joseph Gonzalez-Dufresne http://www.helloimjoe.com
Flowers: Priscilla Chambers of Cilla’s Flowers, Mendon, MA
https://www.instagram.com/cillasflowers/ Hair/Makeup: Green Hair Company, Worcester, MA (organic & vegan) http://www.greenhaircompany.com/
Jamaican/American food: Belmont Vegetarian, Worcester, MA http://www.belmontvegetarian.com/
Graphic design: Amy Duncan / Wonder Creative http://www.wondercreative.net/
We got our cake from a bakery that is not vegan but offers vegan options called the Bean Counter in Worcester, MA http://beancounterbakery.com/
SUPPORT MY ADVOCACY PAGES
Eat Plants / Drink Beer: https://www.eatplantsdrinkbeer.com/
Truth or Drought: https://www.truthordrought.com/
Brain on Hugs: https://facebook.com/brainonhugs