veggie wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Photos by Kelly Jensen

The offbeat bride: Kate, Stay at Home Mom

Her offbeat partner: Justin, Bicycle Mechanic

Date and location of wedding: Lighthouse Point Beach and Carousel House, New Haven, CT — July 30, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I made all of the bouquets and boutonnieres out of silk flowers and vintage buttons. We tracked down other supplies on Craigslist. I made fabric napkins out of vintage sheets and favors using baby food jars saved from feeding my daughter. We also made the centerpieces and hand-painted the table numbers. I was lucky enough to find a brand new dress on Freecycle, tags attached, and just had to pay for the alterations!


My father is a retired lineman and made the utility poles/lines for the escort card holder. The cards were purchased from Etsy. We decided against a DJ and opted for a homemade iTunes playlist. All the food was vegetarian or vegan. We took care of all the beverages: beer from a local brewery, wine from the Finger Lakes Region of New York where I am from, locally-made coffee, and soda made in New Haven.


Tell us about the ceremony: We customized the ceremony using elements from a Celtic handfasting ceremony. We wrote our own vows (with his written on Quality Inn stationary the day-of).

You allow me to be exactly the person I want to be without compromise. In all of the aspects of our life that is true. I feel we have created the exact family I've always wanted without me ever truly knowing what that was. We have so much ahead of us and I'm constantly excited for our future. This is only the beginning. I love you.

The ceremony ended with a Celtic benediction:

I invite you to respond with ‘So say we all!' at the end of the benediction.
The peace of the running water to you,
The peace of the flowing air to you,
The peace of the quiet earth to you,
The peace of the shining star to you,
And the love and the care of all of us to you.”

Our biggest challenge: We tried to involve friends and family who had been in our lives the longest and to whom we were the most close. We ended up having a groomsman who couldn't make it, and were upset in the beginning. But things don't always work out and everyone has their own lives. We had people RSVP who didn't show or couldn't make it at the last minute. But at the end of the day we realized the people who are there are the people who WANT to be there, and that's the most important thing.


The other challenge was sticking to our guns regarding the food. Vegan and vegetarian was a must. We have a lot of meat eaters in our family, but we didn't want to compromise. We heard that a few guests bulked up on steaks before the wedding, just in case. But I don't think anyone left hungry.


My favorite moment: When my father and mother danced me down the sand aisle to Annie Lennox's “Little Bird.” I loved our first dance to Meiko's “Reasons to Love You.” At the end of the night, my daughter passed out in a little nest of sheets on the floor.


Later, we jumped into the Long Island Sound in my dress and were surrounded by small, phosphorescent jellyfish.


My funniest moment: My husband and his groomsmen jumped into the water mid-reception. One of the guys got a bit scuffed up on some rocks, but they had a blast and came back drenched!


Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We had donuts and coffee instead of a traditional cake. A lot of people thought it was a bad idea, but the donuts were delicious.


Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? My first wedding was Halloween-themed, costumes and all. It was all DIY. The food, decorations, etc. This time around I knew there were certain things I did not want to DIY. I wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and not have to work.


What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? No matter how long you plan and how much you think you are prepared, something is always going to go differently. You just have to go with the flow and enjoy yourself.

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Comments on Our beach and buttons veggie wedding

  1. Location is beautiful, your dress is amazing, and your daughter is absolutely adorable!!


  2. The whole wedding looked gorgeous and everyone looked like they were having a blast. Congratulations!
    I also keep staring at the picture of the groom’s shoes. Where did you find those?

  3. Agh–this is one of my top venues! Beautiful pictures, love the tats and the carousel and above all donuts and Foxon’s!

  4. Am trying to plan a vegetarian wedding myself… Any advice/tips you can offer on pulling on a happy buffet that will satisfy my non-veggie family/friends? Also, your extensive DIY successes have boosted my confidence a bit, thanks!

    • The basics. Pick foods that most meat eaters factor in to their diets anyway. Veggies, Cheeses, Pasta salads, etc. It is your day. One meal without meat is not going to kill your guests!

  5. So I’m kind of in love with a few things:

    1) Your hair.
    2) The fact that you & your hubby have the same names as my boyfriend & I (Kate & Justin)
    3) Everything about this wedding, especially down to the vegetarian menu. 🙂 (P.S. – Donuts & coffee? What a WIN!)

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