On the 16th April 2016 I became the wife of Wonderful Husband. The wedding was in Beniarbeig, a neighbouring village to Dénia. As we have no family in Spain we had to plan the wedding ourselves. This was no small feat as we were new to Dénia and we couldn’t speak Spanish very well, but on top of this I wanted to make the day as vegan as I possibly could.
I couldn’t have asked for a better makeup artist than Maria Eugenia Fegan (Miss Ecuador in 1989 and competitor in Miss Universe!!). Before the wedding, we met up to discuss our plans. I began our coffee date with “well, I am trying to be vegan”. Maria’s eyes lit up and she quickly responded “I am vegetarian, so I know what you are here to talk about”. It was great! Maria was so understanding and spent a lot of time researching into the different cruelty-free brands she could use. My makeup looked amazing. Maria now has a sign on her studio wall making her clients aware of brands that still test on animals – so mega!
As mentioned on Celebrating the Little Things my amazing friend Sam is a very successful python-skin, shoe designer. I was struggling to find vegan shoes for the wedding and Sam came to my rescue. She meticulously went through every small detail for my shoes, ensuring that everything was vegan and cruelty-free, shipping faux-leather samples from all over the world, sending the shoes off to Italy to be stitched and finally hand-delivering them to me in Spain. They were the most beautiful wedding shoes. (I’m secretly hoping she will start her own vegan line of shoes one day!)
I appreciate that cutting flowers does not put any animal at risk of harm but I normally try to avoid killing plants whenever possible (Wonderful Husband normally gets me a pot-plant for Valentines day). My amazing florist Heidi Francis (also a vegetarian and rescuer of shelter dogs!) in Xalon completely understood my concerns and used potted plants wherever possible, even to line the aisle. I thought this was a fab idea and I would suggest people to keep it in mind for when they have an event.
After months of not being able to find a wedding dress in Spain, I became a tad stressed. I couldn’t find anything unique and/or not made of silk. So with the help of my mega Auntie Lynne (who probably knows my style better than I do) I opted to look online. I found the most beautiful two-piece dress by designer Yoav Rish on Etsy, but it included pearls sewed into the top. I emailed Yoav and he couldn’t have been more accommodating, suggesting that we swap the pearls for synthetic ones. My dress fit perfectly and I couldn’t have been happier with the result.
As there were no vegans attending the wedding (other than my crumby self) but a lot of vegetarians, I chose both vegan and vegetarian dishes for the non-meat dinner menu. In Spain, we found that there were not many vegetarian choices but Adolfo and his team (Elisa and Beatriz) at El Poblet couldn’t have been more helpful, even approaching me with a vegetarian plate of canopies before the dinner. The food looked amazing and was super tasty, especially the vegan sushi. They even went to the extra effort of using vegetarian gelatine in the dessert.
I have never enjoyed eating wedding cake and honestly thought it would be a waste of money, whereas Wonderful Husband loves cake and insisted we have one for the wedding. Given this, I requested that the cake be vegan but he was worried that a it might not taste very nice.
We contacted The Cake Fairies in Xabia and spoke to lovely Janet about our concern. Janet suggested that we do some tastings and Wonderful Husband couldn’t think of a better way to spend his afternoon. We set up a blind tasting of carrot cake (vegan and non-vegan) and pistachio cake (vegan and non-vegan). The blind tasting was a resounding success as Wonderful Husband preferred both vegan versions, (he actually thought they were the non-vegan cakes!) We opted for the pistachio cake and didn’t mention anything to the guests about the vegan/non-vegan saga.
The cake was a great way to end the wedding dinner. All the guests loved the cake and were very surprised that it was vegan. We liked the vegan pistachio cake so much that we ordered it again for Wonderful Husband’s birthday!
There were aspects of the wedding that I would have liked to try harder on, for example Wonderful Husband’s suit was made of wool but finding an alternative proved to be very difficult. It was very surprising that almost every part of the wedding had something to do with animals and provided an issue for us. But on the whole I think we did a great job with making our wedding as cruelty-free as possible (even our guitarist was our vegetarian, dear friend Andrea). This was also made easier as we worked with friendly, professional and very understanding people to plan our wedding.
The wedding was perfect and went off without a hitch!
(Original photos by Mona Ali.)