Between feuding groomsmen, divorced parents, and that bestie dating your ex, making a seating chart for your wedding can be rough. Deciding how to feed all these people—with their preferences and allergies—can be even harder. If you're a vegan or you have a lot of vegan guests, you don't need to panic: There's a lot you can do to make sure everyone is satisfied.
We talked to some experts in the field to get their advice, great dishes, notable vendors, and even a few recipes that will keep everyone from carnivores to vegans and even cannibals like your bestie (JK) energized and ready to party.
Offbeet is a family-run vegan restaurant and catering company in the United Kingdom that offers innovative dishes to those who dream of more than just bland tofu after walking down the aisle. Peter Axworthy, the founder and head chef at Offbeet, loves using jackfruit, which can be marinated and cooked to be just like pulled pork. His beetroot burger is also hugely popular, topped with cashew mayonnaise, chili slaw, pickles, and onions. And for dessert, he says that vegans shouldn't be left out of the wedding cake bliss. Offbeet's vegan cake recipe is delicious (see below), especially when paired with the chef's cashew ice cream.
The (Vegan) Caterer
Serving the Portland, Oregon, region, the coast and surrounding areas, The (Vegan) Caterer specializes in transforming classic comfort foods into vegan dishes. Yes, founder Josh Raymond can make macaroni and cheese, butternut squash gnocchi, Thai spring rolls, and baked enchiladas—all vegan without any carnivore side-eye. While Josh doesn't bake cakes, he offers coconut macaroons and other pastries to his vegan guests. He also directs clients to vegan caterers in the neighborhood like SweetPea, Back to Eden, and Shoefly Vegan Bakery.
Ryan Brown Catering
Ryan Brown Catering is a go-to in New York City for vegan catering. Brown works hard not just to produce average vegan dishes, but ones that are made from local, seasonal ingredients. His specialties include truffle fava bean hummus on jicama croutons, baby kale, red endive, and watercress salad with citrus and pomegranate, and miniature gluten-free (and vegan) lemon cake bites with coconut "whipped cream."
Miss Rachel's Pantry
Rachel of Miss Rachel's Pantry, whose nine-year-old catering service reaches the whole tristate area, says that most of her events are dominated by carnivores (and dictated by vegans)—so she works hard please them all. Her menu includes hearts of palm "crab" cakes with horseradish aioli and pillowy gnocchi with heirloom tomatoes. For cocktail hours, she puts together tasty bites like truffle wild mushroom bruschetta. Here's her simple take: "Don't cook something that you wouldn't want to eat yourself. I've been at traditional weddings where my option has been a half of a tomato stuffed in a puff pastry. Once, I got a cylinder of unseasoned tofu with baby carrots around it. That's dumb."
At Marcey Brownstein Events, the team forgoes mock meats for seasonal ingredients like cauliflower steaks and hearty portobello mushrooms to please vegans and carnivores alike. If your wedding isn't fully vegan but you're looking to satisfy a few vegans in the crowd, this team goes with mango and green papaya summer rolls with sweet chili sauce and King oyster mushroom steamed buns with miso reduction. For dessert, Brownstein recommends Lael Cakes (with flavors like lemon lavender and pumpkin espresso) and Van Leeuwen Ice Cream.
Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats
Doron Petersan runs Sticky Fingers, a vegan café in Washington, D.C. While she does offer savory fare, Petersan outdoes herself with desserts. She offers mini-cakes in mocha and tiramisu, cupcakes, assorted cookies, and doughnuts (!). Pies are always a hit, as are individual cakes. The vanilla cake with a tart cherry filling topped with toasted almond frosting is among her most popular combinations.