How to Survive a Wedding as a Vegan

There’s a story that went viral this week about a woman who was part of a bridal party and irritated everyone by bringing her own food to the wedding because she’s vegan. Apparently, she was carrying Tupperware around everywhere, disparaging the food being served at the affair, and called other wedding guests murderers. Now, I obviously wasn’t there so I can’t attest to this. But if this indeed is what went down, I can understand why people would’ve been majorly over this person. (Though I kinda stan her)

That being said, attending a wedding – or basically any other event – as a vegan can definitely be a challenge.

First off, let’s be real: wedding food is always horrifying no matter what. I’ve yet to meet a person who said, “Oh my, the food at the wedding was AMAZING!” Nope, never going to happen. Additionally, weddings can be super awkward. Unless it’s your close family member getting hitched, chances are you won’t know hardly anyone and will have to make small talk all night with randos you’ll probably never meet again.

Adding to that, weddings these days aren’t just a trip to the church and then a reception. They go on and on and on. I’m talking rehearsal dinners, bachelor/bachelorette parties, the main event, and then a brunch the next day. I’ve literally been to weddings that have lasted for DAYS.

And when you’re a vegan depending on non-vegans for food for days on end, the situation can get dicey. Here’s how to not starve.

First, make sure to let whoever is organizing the wedding know that you are vegan in your RSVP. Don’t be annoying about it, don’t include leaflets or video links, just let them know in a polite way and ask if something vegan could be prepared for you at the reception or any other gathering. If it’s a buffet situation, ask if they know what the food options will be.

After you’ve done that, you can be 99.9 percent sure that your dinner will be an oily, gross grilled vegetable plate with way too much zucchini. It’s offensive, but sadly this scourge is the most frequent result of the lack of imagination from non-vegan chefs who cook for weddings. Long story short, you’re not going to want to eat that shit and you should definitely not rely on it for sustenance. My advice: eat before. I cannot stress this enough: EAT. BEFORE. My husband and I always eat before when we’re invited to a non-vegan affair. It honestly takes all the drama out of it. You’re satiated when you arrive and can focus on other things – like drinking.

Also, while I’m not advocating toting around Tupperware at a reception, it is totally acceptable (and probably a good idea) to pack a Cliff Bar or whatever in your purse. That way if you get hungry through the night you can discreetly take it out and snack.

Now, if the subject of your veganism comes up at the affair – like someone notices that you’re not eating, or that your meal is different than theirs – you are more than welcome to speak about the fact that you’re vegan and the reasons behind that choice. However, don’t go around calling the bridal party or other guests murderers. Gurl, come on. That is not going to win you any points and is probably just going to piss people off. We all know that weddings are supposed to be about the bride and groom; and if people think you’re trying to co-opt someone else’s wedding they’re just going to think you’re an asshole. Sorry, but it’s true.

One last tip, if you’re headed to a destination wedding – first of all, I’m sorry – second, make sure to scope out the location for vegan restaurant options beforehand and pack vegan goodies. There is no shame in throwing some kale chips, airline bottles, or Xanax in your suitcase.

Remember, as with so many things, the key to surviving a wedding or any other non-vegan affair is preparation. The more you do, the more fun you’ll have. And honestly, isn’t that what a party is supposed to be about anyway?