Photos by Emma Hopp Photography
Kyle and I met thirteen years ago when we were in High School. He was a wildly-passionate member of the animal rights club and I was a musical-theater-loving-omnivore. After rehearsal one day, Kyle invited me to his house and made me an asparagus stir-fry and before I knew it, I was a vegetarian with a new best friend. After 3 years of friendship, Kyle moved to Paris for college and our daily phone calls made us realize we were more than friends. Flash-forward eight years, three New York City apartments, dozens of vegan dance parties, one adopted dog and a vegan catering business, Kyle proposed to me one morning on a Beach in Varkala India, we then celebrated our engagement with boogie boarding and a pure-veg thali!
Where did you have the wedding:
Our entire wedding was held outdoors on the property of an adorable Bed & Breakfast in Bonny Doon, California. The ceremony was in a beautiful terraced garden surrounded by fragrant flowers and fruit trees and our reception was smack dab in the middle of a redwood grove.
What was the ceremony like:
Our ceremony was a celebration of love, bliss, music and nature. Because Kyle and I have known each other since we were about 14 years old it was only fitting that we had someone marry us that we’ve both known since we were that age. Our marriage officiant was a multi-talented friend of ours from High School who helped us reminisce about our love and make goals for the future. I walked down the aisle to “Grow Old Along with Me” by John Lennon and after we were pronounced married, we exited to three of our best friends singing “Happy Together” by the Turtles while our loved ones cheered and waved ribbon wands at us!
What parts of your wedding were veganized:
Our entire wedding was veganized and recycled. Our decorations were from thrift stores, ebay and found or recycled objects: we made wands from sticks collected at Golden Gate Park, tablecloths from vintage sheets, lanterns from old pasta sauce jars and chalkboard from old picture frames. Even my dress was recycled. I bought a used J-Crew dress on Ebay and totally redesigned it and made it my own (with the help of an incredibly talented seamstress). I LOVED my recycled dream dress and felt very Molly Ringwald circa Pretty in Pink.
Tells us every little detail about the food:
Kyle and I are both equally obsessed with delicious, plant-based food. So much so that we even started our own vegan personal chef company (From The Garden). We saw our wedding as an opportunity to showcase (to non-vegans) how delicious vegan food can be. With the help of our vegan caterer, Agape Feast, we designed the following menu: Apps – Masala grilled vegetables, coconut curry dip, stuffed dates, cheesy tempeh stuffed peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, curried popcorn and an incredible home-made cheese platter with caprese salad and nut and herb-encrusted soft cheeses (a few of our non-vegan friends thought the caterer had made a mistake and served dairy cheese!). Dinner – Organic green salad with avocado and truffle oil, portobello steak with pesto drizzle, august harvest ratatouille with creamy polenta and smashed potato wedges with herbed citrus sauce. Dessert – Local Fruit Pies (Blackberry, Apricot and Apple) made by Kyle’s Mom, crème de menthe bars, peanut butter balls, and triple layer bars made by my mom and god-mom and of course, pudding pie, made by my grandma! It was a dessert smorgasbord of motherly love!
What was, hands down, the best part of the entire event:
I honestly can’t pick one thing but I do have a top three! 1) The redwood forest! The location was truly what outdoor wedding dreams are made of – I’ll never forget jumping up and down on a trampoline with my new husband while taking in the gorgeousness of the redwoods. 2) The food was to die for! Everyone loved it and some even thought that the caterer made a mistake and served real cheese. Vegan mission accomplished! 3) The dance party was WILD! Kyle and I fell in love while dancing and during our first dance to “This Must be the Place” by the Talking Heads, I think I feel in love with him all over again. Kyle made an incredible four hour mix of all of our favorite songs. There were songs where most of the 120 chairs were empty and the dance floor was full and. It was a wedding dream come true!
What was the most challenging thing that happened – during prep of or day of the wedding:
The most challenging part of our DIY wedding was getting everything finished before the ceremony began. From what felt like dawn, until a few hours before the wedding began, I was solely in charge of what needed to be done. I nearly lost my mind and my voice from answering so many questions and telling friends what I needed from them. But because my family and friends were the most talented group of wedding helpers the world has ever seen, everything was perfectly completed right on time.
Was your family supportive of your vegan nuptials:
Our family was beyond supportive about our vegan wedding but that’s probably because most of them are vegans and vegetarians. Kyle stopped eating meat when he was eight-years-old so he’s had well over a decade to convince his family to go veg. I’m lucky enough to have a mom and a sister who both decided to go vegan with me. Our diet is pretty much a family affair.
Do you have any advice to share with those who are currently planning their wedding:
I can’t tell you how important it is to take a honeymoon right after the wedding! It was so incredible to have non-stop quality time with Kyle after the beautifully chaotic week of our wedding. This is important time to relax, recover and really take in the beginning of your wedded bliss.