End of #VeganMoFo – Vegan Wedding Edition – Weirdest Giveaway? You’re Invited.

So, as you may know, JC and I are getting married in October. We have a lovely venue booked, the menu has been planned out, the ceremony has been written, invitations have gone out (& RSVPs have even come back), dresses and suits have been purchased and fitted and talked about, flowers have been booked, hair and make up appointments are set, and everything is mostly ready to go. JC and I have been playing with this idea for a while, especially since we do know a few people would like to attend the relative novelty of an entirely vegan wedding even though they don’t particularly know us much beyond this blog, or twitter, or facebook, or just vaguely within the community. So you’re invited. And I’m not kidding. (phew… I’m really not kidding am I?) Please leave a comment and tell us why you’d want to attend, and from those comments, we’ll pick our favourites. Please make sure to write in a valid email address where we can contact you. This is open to anyone awesome 18+ that will find themselves in Toronto, Ontario on October 13, 2013. Dear Friends & Family who are already invited Please know that we absolutely love you, and we’re really glad you’re coming to our wedding. You are really important to us, and that’s why we invited you, and hoped you would join us on our special little day. I hope you don’t feel that having some enthusiastic vegan wedding crashers takes away…

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Vegan MoFo – Wedding Cake

Update: click here to read about our wedding day, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the lovely. Oh Cake. Why has it taken me so long to talk about cake. One of the first decisions we made after getting engaged was who we wanted to make our cake. No, I’m not joking. Maybe this was premature, as new vegan bakeries have actually opened in the time it took us to get close to the wedding, but I still feel good about our decision to go with Sweets from the Earth. JC and I met up with Ilana Kadonoff, owner and chief baker extraordinaire at Sweets from the Earth  (SFTE) a few months after our engagement party, and it was a really positive meeting. She was so nice and helpful, and gave us ideas, and direction when we only had a slight picture in mind. We sampled a variety of Sweets from the Earth cake flavours in the form of tasty SFTE cupcakes  – including some flavours I hadn’t even considered and decided on the flavours that will eventually make up our wedding cake tiers next month. Do go for cake tastings. We were ready to go after one meeting, but you might want to sample some of the other vegan cake options available to you, especially if you live in Toronto. Other vegan and vegan-friendly options in Toronto off the top of my head are Bunner’s Bake Shop, Tori’s Bake Shop, Rashmi’s Bakery, and Vegan Danish Bakery (especially if you’re Danish…

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Vegan Weddings – Then there are the shoes. VeganMoFo

I’m getting a bit burnt out about weddings lately, I’ll admit it. Our wedding is less than a month away, and it feels like the final countdown music is playing. All urgency I had been feeling is gone, and I’m in this strange stage of acceptance and shrugging. Maybe this is a good thing. Continuing on in the series on Vegan Weddings for Vegan MoFo let’s talk about the shoes! Update: click here to read about our wedding day, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the lovely. But recently something wonderful brightened my day. I got tagged in a photo on instagram. And it was a pair of shoes. A beautiful purple pair of vegan, eco-friendly, fair-labour shoes made by Nicora Johns. These are the shoes I’m planning on wearing when I get married, and while they’ve just been made, I love them already and can’t wait to stick them on my feet. I emailed Stephanie (Nicora) shortly after the kickstarter campaign finished and asked if I could still order shoes… yes, I’m a last minute kind of girl and wasn’t sure if they would even be able to make shoes for me in time, but felt like the risk was worth it. It seemed I had emailed at the perfect moment… it was a day or two before they were starting their first run of shoes. Phew. The experience contacting them was incredibly positive, and while I know it’s only the beginning for them, it felt really nice to…

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Dealing with Caterers – Vegan Weddings – Vegan MoFo 2013

Continuing in my Vegan Wedding theme for Vegan MoFo 2013 – here’s a bit about my experience with caterers, and a few tips. P.S. It’s also less than a month before JC and I get married. Eeeee. update: click here to read about our wedding day, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the lovely. Early in the wedding planning process I started to look at caterers and venues and options for the wedding. To be honest, it was one of the main criteria in the decision making process. You may notices that JC and I love food. Finding a really fantastic restaurant is more than just a night out, it’s a hobby, and we love to share with each other and others, so I’m sure it’s not surprising that it ranked highly. In Toronto some venues have in-house caterers that you’re obligated to use, others will let you use your own caterer with certain stipulations or additional fees, and with others you are completely on your own. Some include service, some don’t. It depends on your budget, and how much you want to spend and how many separate service providers you want to work with. I researched a few around the city and sent emails to a few places that seemed promising, nearly everyone got back to me with wedding package information, and claimed they knew how to cater a vegan wedding (though some glossed over that part), but more inquiries about options and menus usually showed they didn’t really…

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Let’s talk about Suits – Vegan MoFo – Vegan Wedding edition continues.

It seems fitting to follow up my post on Vegan Wedding Dresses from yesterday and talk primarily about Vegan Suits. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never given much thought to suits. Any pant suit or dress suits I’ve had were usually made of polyester, cotton, or rayon (or occasionally linen) but when JC started looking for suits for himself they all seemed to be mostly wool based. When shopping for suits, in addition to the wool, there are a few other things to consider. Like bull-horn or buffalo horn buttons, horse, goat, camel-hair interfacing, felt (wool) fabric, linings, or silk thread. Then there are the silk ties or cummerbunds (if you’re going that route), let’s not even get started on men’s shoes (well… okay, I’ll get started on it, but that’ll be a whole separate post.) So… what’s wrong with wool? Well, I’ll reference The Ethical Man on this one. In summary: Buying wool directly supports cruel practices such as mulesing, castration, tail-docking, and ear-punching. Meanwhile, industrial wool farming is energy-inefficient, land- and water-intensive, and highly pollutive. (read the whole article here – it’s quite comprehensive) There is also a fantastic FAQ on The Discerning Brute. If I can suggest one it is to do the same thing as I recommended with wedding dresses, look for the material you might want your suit made from. Find the 100% cotton suit, find the cotton-poly blend, the rPET, look for a hemp suit (& while you’re at it check out this dapper…

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Vegan Wedding Dresses – VeganMoFo

Continuing with my VeganMoFo theme this year on Vegan Weddings, Let’s talk Dresses! What’s not vegan about a wedding dress? You’re not eating it…? This is a question I was actually asked a couple of times. Well that’s one of the instances where being vegan and following a plant-based diet differ. Sometimes people don’t consider silk or wool when they’re thinking about their dress. And some people (if they’re me) think about it too much. So, what’s wrong with silk? I was going to give you my thoughts on this, but I think The Ethical Man sums it up perfectly for me too: In silk operations, the insects are viewed and treated as inanimate commodities, nothing more. I am hard-pressed to think of anything more arrogant than wholly appropriating the lives of other creatures — literally claiming to own others’ bodies. In that regard, the silk industry is no different from the animal industries we often more willingly deem immorally exploitative. (read more about what’s wrong with silk here) To me, it just seems logical that I would avoid that particular industry as well as some of the others. But what about “Peace Silk” or “Ahimsa Silk” well… again, I’ll leave that to someone that’s already covered it extensively. Worm Spit is run by a non-vegan producer of regular silk products and they have an interesting write up on the realities of peace silk (as in, is it really that peaceful?): I think that Ahimsa Silk doesn’t really equal non-violence to insects, once…

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Let’s talk about challah, weddings, and Rosh Hashanah #VeganMoFo

In September 2011, I made my first (vegan or otherwise) challah. I remember it because, 1. I blogged all about it, and 2. It was really nerve wracking, because I had never made challah before, and I was going to JC’s family’s house for Rosh Hashanah dinner (though we had all met before then for the first time at a different High Holiday… Passover… no pressure.) For those of you that might not be familiar with what a challah is (pronounced “hallah”), traditionally it is eaten on the Jewish sabbath and on holidays that allow for leavened bread. It’s also known as – egg bread. Yes, egg bread. Many of the recipes I’ve seen call for 8 or more eggs. Yes really. And to top it off, there is also usually an egg white wash on top. Now, this (obviously) isn’t impossible to veganize, but it still seems to really surprise people. (which gives me a sense of extra delicious satisfaction.) This does tie in with my Vegan Wedding MoFo theme, in that it is a tradition at the reception of Jewish Weddings to have a “Wedding Challah” aka a GIANT super challah (I’m imagining a challah with a cape now). Before the meal is served, there is wine and a blessing of the bread, and in some cases, the bride and groom pass out pieces of challah to their guests, or just save the challah eating to the head table. We’re not religious people, but JC is Jewish (culturally/secularly), and celebrating…

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Throwing a Vegan Engagement Party. Vegan MoFo 2013

Vegan Wedding Related time-sensitive note: For brides on a budget or people that like cute white dresses there is a sale going on on Unique Vintage that you might be into. (I’m unaffiliated with them, but I was amazed at  how cheap some of their dresses were while being pretty AND 100% cotton.) Back to our scheduled programming. Shortly after JC and I were engaged JC’s mom (hence forth known as Val) threw us an engagement party. I’ve since learned that traditionally it’s the brides parents that throw the party – but Val offered to do it almost as soon as we announced our plans, my family lives in Edmonton, Alberta (which is pretty much on the other side of the country) and frankly… we’re not very traditional people (except when we are.) My little guide here is a blend of personal experience and things I’ve picked up along the way both before and after. Hopefully it’s helpful to you even if you don’t live in Toronto, but really, feel free to reach out if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help. Things to think about: A vegan engagement party is not that much different than any other party, with a few small exceptions (that you might want to ignore anyway). 0. Do you want an engagement party. Do you want a party? If no, cool! There is nothing saying you have to have an engagement party. If yes, your adventure continues. 1. Who are you inviting? There is…

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Vegan MoFo – Vegan Weddings – Intro

Oh Vegan MoFo. You sneak up on me nearly every year. Except this one. I’m ready for you this year. Kind of. Maybe. For the people I’ve never met before (HI!), I’m MeShell, I like cats, baking, technology, and social justice related things with a focus on food education/empowerment/etc. I live with my fiance JC, and our two cats Emmie and Kes, in Toronto, Ontario. I have lived all over Canada, and I’m originally from Edmonton, Alberta. Some people might have heard of Prairie Vegan (which has since spun off into a different project), but that was my first ever vegan food blog. You can follow this blog on facebook, me personally on twitter, instagram, and a bunch of other places on the top right hand side of this website (& if you’re using a reader… please – tell me which one you’re using, I still haven’t found one I like as much as google reader.) The Theme My theme this month is going to be primarily about vegan weddings – specifically mine (it’s happening in October), but also, vegan related wedding topics in general. I love the food traditions involved in weddings around the world, so I’ll be veganizing at least one traditional wedding food item a week, and sharing it with you. I’m going to give this VeganMoFo month a good honest effort. My goals are to comment on at least 10 blogs a day, and especially outside of my normal blog reading circle, and to post something…

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