Karen Anna Solberg Sandholm and her partner David went all out for a vegan wedding in Scotland.
We got engaged while snowboarding in Åre, Sweden, in March 2017. We didn’t want to be engaged for ages, so we decided to get married the same year and that we wanted a fully vegan wedding. We both live in Norway, but lived in Scotland for many years, and David is from Glasgow, so we decided a Scottish castle was a great setting and also close for one of our families. We started researching venues and vendors and everything we could. I went to Scotland in April to look at a few venues and to try on some dresses etc.
We created the favours ourselves with little dark and white chocolate Scotty dogs (vegan, of course). The red wine was La Serrana from Majestic Wine, the white wine was Cambalala Sauvignon Blanc from Aldi (bless Aldi for their vegan list) and the Cava from Lidl. I designed my own labels to avoid wine snobs judging and also to tie in with the theme on the invites and save-the-dates.
If the shoe fits
We decided on Fingask Castle in Perthshire because we loved the quirkiness and the garden and view, and we found a fully vegan caterer nearby. We had Skype conversations with two or three caterers before deciding on FacePlant Foods, a relatively new company that does street food and food fairs, but they had never done a wedding as their own business before, only as part of other companies. I am so happy we went with FacePlant Foods, because their food is to die for and Mandy and James are some of the nicest people we have ever met! We had a vegan buffet and everyone was praising the food, and there were only two other vegans there in addition to ourselves.
I had such a hard time finding vegan wedding shoes, but I found a pair that was close to what I wanted from nastygal.com and they were super cheap and really comfy. I also struggled to find makeup artists in rural Scotland that used cruelty-free brands, and contacted Sandra Cormack in Dundee because I really liked her portfolio. She made the effort of going through all her products and using only cruelty-free brands on me. The items she didn’t have, I bought from Kat von D Beauty and Pacifica. My dress was from Rosaclara and did not have lace or silk in it, pretty hard to avoid, but it looked just how I wanted it to.
Our table names were silhouettes of animals I cut out and spray painted instead of words, and we created our own wheel of fortune with the various animals on that determined what table went up to serve themselves first at the buffet. We had an amazing (vegan and gluten-free) three-tier wedding cake from Sugar Daddy’s Edinburgh, with vanilla, coffee and chocolate flavours. We also had, true to Norwegian tradition, a completely vegan cake buffet where friends and family had brought around 15 vegan cakes in addition to the wedding cake. David and I made a cake each as well! Just to add more stress on ourselves, we also had a sweet cart with vegan sweets (Skittles, Double lollies, Love Hearts, plus Scandinavian liquorice and raspberry sweets from Bubs). The bar had ordered in Old Mout cider for us in addition to all the vegan beers and spirits, and we had a cask of local Ossian beer for our guests as well.
The best part was how sunny and warm it was on our wedding day, especially for Scotland in late September. We could be outside until the sun went down, we couldn’t have picked a better day for our wedding. But we were knackered by the end of it, so it was nice when it was over, too! And we got to take all our leftover food and cakes away to eat afterwards, so we got to enjoy the delicious food for a few days after the wedding, too.
A vegan wedding was not that hard to pull off, even from another country! We did not announce in advance that it was to be fully vegan, but I think a few people suspected it. We didn’t have any complaints about the food and people got really drunk from all the vegan booze and wine, so no complaints there either. A few people mentioned our lifestyle and compassion for animals in their speeches, which was really nice, too. To anyone getting married and wondering about having a vegan wedding, it is your day and you probably won’t do this a lot of times, so make it the way that feels right for you. I am sure we opened a lot of people’s eyes to how amazingly delicious vegan food can be and how easy you can veganise everything!
Photography © Adam Bienkowski (Åpning Photography)