You’re engaged: congratulations!
It’s such an amazing time! If you are anything like me you must be super delighted and excited about making your vegan wedding plans. But before we get there, there are a few more things to consider: an engagement party is probably a good place to start…
For Scott and me it was very obvious that all events and products surrounding our wedding would have to be vegan. This is why when my mother offered to throw us a little engagement party we had set only one condition: it must be vegan. Needless to say, this did not go down well.
“But how can I invite people over and not offer them anything normal to eat??”
Coming from my mother, this is the funniest sentence you will ever hear. My mom is by far a world master at making vegan food that people will never suspect is vegan. Vegan quiches, vegan pies, and vegan desserts that will make you drool are only some of the amazing dishes we get to enjoy at her house when we pay a visit. But throwing a vegan party using all these amazing vegan foods she makes? – She sighs and asks what people will eat…
In the end she agreed, but with so many things going on at the time, including our Christmas visit to Scott’s family back in Dublin, we decided to give the Israeli engagement party a miss, and celebrate with Scott’s family and friends in Ireland.
Scott’s mom kindly offered to host the Irish engagement party, however, this time there were no vegan quiches around. If we didn’t want the traditional cheese and crackers style, we would have to plan in advance…
Our task/ goal list for the engagement party was as follows:
- Make sure there is more than plenty of everything (no one shall go hungry)
- Give people foods they are familiar with (no weird foods allowed)
- Provide comfort foods that people can indulge in (vegan junk food works like a charm!)
- Ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy (all palates shall be pleased)
- Do not get into arguments with people about veganism (deep breaths!)
We did a big shop. And by big, I mean huge. One of our first priorities was to get people to associate veganism with abundance. I remember my experience as a vegetarian sitting in traditional Irish parties where the number of crackers on the table were as the number of people around it, and you just had to make that cracker last! This was not going to be the case for us. Each time a bowl of food was finished a new bowl was presented, or the original bowl refilled. Cause that’s just how we vegans roll!
The comfort zone
The old vegan crackers, breads, dips and crisps are great. But if there is one thing that made our party super successful it was the warm food that we served straight from the oven throughout the night: hot potato wedges, onion rings, Indian samosas, Asian style spring rolls and wontons. All vegan and all oh-so-comforting. What more can you ask on a cold December night? I even saw Scott’s dad munching on this stuff!
If I had more time I would probably have introduced some home made vegan pizza with pesto and tomato dressing topped with veg, or even some garlic bread, but the frozen magic worked like a charm and having started the party with over 12 packs of frozen comfort foods – at the end of the evening we were left with none.
Surprise. But not too much.
While it’s always nice to bring something new and a little surprising to the table, we felt that we wanted to rely on the comfort of the familiar. We figured that if people could recognize everything they saw on the tables as something that they already know and love (and from there on will associate it with veganism), then we have showed them that they can enjoy vegan foods. And that’s some great progress!
Who doesn’t love crisps, fresh breads and dips, or potato wedges with ketchup? Nothing gave me more pleasure than seeing people munching in delight and saying to them – you know everything here tonight is vegan…
Variety is important
And with all of that you must remember that different people enjoy different things. So alongside the greasy junk foods were mountains of chopped veg. The ketchup sauce was nestled next to the humus dip. The white bread rolls had to share a stage with whole meal crackers…well, you get the idea.
That said, because there were many things that we did not manage to find in the local supermarket, there were a few things lacking. For example, we had way too many types of hummus dips on the table, while we would have liked to see more variety in the form of olive paste, pesto paste, sun-dried tomato paste, roasted peppers paste and so on.
What we didn’t manage to veganize
The one thing that was not vegan in our engagement party was the alcohol. As we didn’t buy it ourselves, and as our guests brought bottles and bottles of it – we did not really have a say in the matter. But to be honest, I’m not even sure if we did do it ourselves how smoothly it would have gone telling people in Ireland we are not serving Guiness because fish bladder was used in the purifying process. This could have resulted in World War 3 and the little rule we made about not getting into arguments about veganism would have flown out the window…
Get by with a little help from your friends
Sometimes there is just so much to do and not enough time. If it wasn’t for Lisa, Scott’s awesome sister in law, our dessert department would have been a flop. Lisa made the tastiest vegan cherry pie I have ever had in my life and was defiantly the star of the night as far as I was concerned. Scott’s sisters and mom helped organize everything and the fantastic men of the family took care of all the drinks and making sure everyone was happy and served. We could not have done it without their help so to sum it up make sure you are surrounded by good friends and family!
What? The party’s over so quickly? Don’t worry; it’s now time to start with the wedding plans…
More Vegan Wedding posts?