How do we get guests excited for our alcohol-free, vegan wedding?

With wedding season underway, has roped in Alison Rios McCrone, venue owner and planner, to help solve your dilemmas in a weekly agony aunt column…

Dear Alison, 

My partner and I are teetotal vegans, and as such are planning on having a plant-based and alcohol-free wedding – but we’ve already heard grumblings from our families that that is unfair to them and other guests who would like to drink and eat meat. 

I don’t want to back down on what is, for me, a moral stance, but I also don’t want our friends and family to reject our invitations based on our decisions. 

Do you have any advice? 



Do you have a wedding problem you need some advice on?

Weddings are joyful occasions – but they’re also incredibly stressful. Whether you’re a bride or groom, best woman or man, family member or friend of the couple, the run up to the big day can be very tense.

If you need a bit of help with your quandary, Alison, who has run a venue for 10 years and helps couples plan weddings, is here to offer a helping hand.

Email [email protected] to share your issue anonymously with Alison and get it solved.

Dear Janine,

WIN a year’s supply of Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey

Love peanut butter, love whiskey, love to indulge? This one’s for you!

We’re giving three readers the opportunity to win a year’s supply of Sheep Dog, the nation’s favourite peanut butter Whiskey.

Loaded with flavours of vanilla, rich caramel corn and whiskey undertones, finishing with butterscotch, subtle oak and coffee, Sheep Dog takes your peanut butter experience to a whole new level.

Delicious when served over ice, in a hard shake or the ultimate nutty Espresso Martini, Sheep Dog Peanut Butter is the sipper you’ll go barking mad for this summer.

To enter simply fill out your details using the form below. Over 18s only please!

In the meantime, sign up for News Updates to get all the latest stories from Metro, and if you want to hear about more fabulous offers like this, sign up to receive The Slice, Metro’s exclusive guide to all the latest culture, food and events in London.

You have until midnight on Sunday 23 July 2023 to enter, so make sure you sign up soon! Head here for the full T&Cs plus all the details about this fabulous prize.

Click here to enter if the form hasn’t loaded.

Planning the menu and deciding which drinks route to go down is a significant part of your wedding, and it’s understandable to be concerned about your guests’ preferences.

But it is important to remember that your wedding day should ultimately reflect who you are as a couple and what you believe in.  

Plant-based food and alcohol-free drinks have developed so much over the last few years, and there is now a large selection to create a tempting menu for your guests.

Here are some suggestions to help you with this situation:

Firstly, find a caterer who can craft colourful and appealing dishes.

Remembering any ideas you find on social media may be great, but for larger weddings, it may be impractical to replicate them in bulk. 

The second (and most important) thing to consider is for your food to be appealing and filling.

Colourful and tempting plant-based foods can be enticing canapés. 

And guests do not want to feel hungry at a wedding, so consider this when planning your meals. 

You could also consider having a selection of food stations for the main wedding meal. 

Why not make it a more international vibe?

Several countries worldwide have a strong presence of vegetables in their diet. For example, lentils, beans, vegetables, and spices play a central role in Indian cooking.

Thailand could be an option for its wide array of stir-fried vegetables, curries, and salads; Japan features a diverse range of vegetables, tofu, and other soy products.

Greek food often emphasises fresh vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil. 

Then you’ve got Italy’s abundant tomato-based sauces, pasta, and vegetable-focused antipasti; Mexican cuisine incorporates corn, peppers, tomatoes, avocados, beans and squash. 

Rather than grumbling about the lack of meat, your guests will hopefully feel excited and intrigued by their meal.

If you choose the traditional three-course plated option, there are various approaches with starter, main, and dessert. 

For the starter, something simple like soup is more traditional.

For the main, consider incorporating non-meat alternatives that resemble meat in appearance and taste.  

Dessert chocolate is always popular, so a vegan brownie with raspberry sorbet is a refreshing finish.

Alternatively, you could opt for an extensive buffet selection, BBQ, or even DIY stations. 

Anything quirky or that goes down a non-traditional route is a good talking point for guests.

For the evening snack, some of the above could be considered, or other possibilities include homemade pizzas for a large pizza oven cooked outside. 

This, served alongside the vegan wedding cake, is a great way to finish the night and keep your guests sated.

A final idea for the food is to bring a non-vegan meat-eating guest to try the food at the tasting and ask for honest feedback.

Now for the drinks. 

Why not create a signature mocktail for the drinks reception  –  Virgin mojitos, mock margaritas and fruity spritzers are all popular options.

Or, for a more typical style wedding reception, a glass of non-alcoholic fizz, no alcohol spirits and a selection of beers with the taste and appearance of traditional beer but without the alcohol content. 

For the wedding meal, you could offer a variety of no-alcohol vegan-friendly wines, with a glass of 0% prosecco to allow for the usual toasts for the speeches.

Alternatively, soft drinks include kiln jugs with fruit-infused waters. Simply add citrus fruits, berries or cucumber slices, and herbs like mint or basil.

Herbal teas are a popular choice for warm drinks. Varieties can include peppermint, hibiscus, and ginger – and can even offer health benefits. 

You can also treat your guests to freshly squeezed fruit juices and smoothies. 

Try to find common ground with aspects of your wedding that can be enjoyed by all guests, regardless of their dietary or lifestyle preferences.  

Focus on creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere where people can come together to appreciate your love and commitment, highlighting the shared joy of the occasion rather than the differences.  

Some guests might even find your menu and drinks options refreshing if they are unique to any wedding they have attended.

It is essential to communicate in all your information from invitations and websites that your wedding will be a plant-based alcohol-free event. 

Explain it’s a reflection of your values and that you feel it’s essential for your values to be part of your special day.  

Remember, the key is to provide a wide variety of choices and ensure that your guests have plenty of food to enjoy. 

By offering appealing plant-based dishes, colourful spreads, and an extensive range of non-alcoholic beverages, you can create a wedding menu that both showcases the delicious possibilities of a vegan alcohol-free celebration, and that represents who you are as a couple.

Your wedding is a celebration of your life together. While it is essential to consider your guests, remaining true to yourselves is equally important.  

Wishing you a wonderful time with all your family and friends.


Find out more about Alison here:; and find details of her wedding venue here:

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Share your views in the comments below.

Source: Read Full Article