I had the pleasure of attending my good friend, Daniel's and his long-suffering partner, Georgina’s wedding in February this year. The wedding was an all-vegan, eco-friendly and non-alcohol event held at Stradbroke Island in Queensland, Australia.
Georgie and Dan wanted the wedding to be as eco-friendly as possible. This included a wedding website:
with JPEG invitations emailed to all invitees. Here’s mine:
Georgie on the Invitations - Starting invitation was completed on Word then using Snipping Tool to create a JPEG. Picture was then sent as an email to all guests. Guests used this invitation to access a website created by myself through Wix. Took me about a week to create the website (after work obviously) but I'm terrible with computers so that's probably why it took so long. It was free to create my own website and I had control over who could access it. It cannot be located with a Google search and can only be found if the address is typed in exactly.
Our wedding day will hopefully be one of a kind – paving the way for others to choose a more cruelty free and environmentally aware lifestyle.
We love knowing that on a day that’s celebrated as being full of love and warmth no creature will suffer. We love knowing that on a day that’s about creating new beginnings we will be creating awareness of how to respect - rather than harm - our planet.
On the website (which will expire in January 2014) there was information about how to get to the destination wedding, where to stay, online RSVP details:
Note the vegan and eco facts at the bottom.
About the Wedding:
Stradbroke Island is a 45-minute ferry ride from Cleveland, which is East of Brisbane. When arriving on the island it took another 30 minutes to get to Point Lookout. Myself and most of the other wedding guests decided to make a weekend of it and stayed on Stradbroke for the weekend. I ended up staying at a great place called Allure Stradbroke Resort, where friends Carol (the photographer) and her partner Gary also stayed. The nightly rate would have paid for almost a week of accommodation in SE Asia, so this hurt a bit after arriving home a week earlier from my SE Asian Adventures.
I rained most of the week before and the day before the wedding. When I woke up on the Saturday it was a beautiful day for the wedding. Gary and I met Carol Saturday afternoon at the holiday home where Georgie and the girls were getting ready.
Makeup & Hair
The holiday home that Georgie and Dan had rented for the week was beautifully decorated by Georgie's Mum and sister. Here's a few of the recycled items created especially for the day:
You could feel the love everywhere. People would be encouraged later to sign their name and a blessing on the green pebbles (below) that Dan and Georgie would then place at the bottom of a tree (next photo below)
Georgie and the bridesmaids:
Each girl was allowed to do her own hair and wear it how she most felt comfortable. Only hair product used was hairspray by De Lorenzo.
Flowers were purchased the day before at the Flower Market in Rocklea. Georgie and the girls simply walked in and picked what flowers they each wanted and extra flowers to use for decoration. Georgie wanted each girl to pick their own flowers so that it was more individual but she had to pick her sister and Laura's flowers as they couldn't come. They weren't bouquets just bunches of flowers. Laura wrapped each girl's flowers together with organic cotton string.
Georgie on the Ceremony: I found the location two years ago by fluke. Was at Straddie (Stradbroke) with Amy & my parents looking at the beach house, decided to go on a bush walk and we came out at Deadman's. I fell in love. I also really liked it's name as I thought it was both amusing (Daniel is a deadman as he's getting married) and cool because of its naming history - in 1956 a boot was found on the beach with a skeleton foot attached. It was believed to of belonged to one of the shipmates from a ship that sunk in 1902 off Point Lookout.
I chose a picnic blanket ceremony as I love how casual and relaxed picnics make people feel. I hate standing weddings because there's always someone who can't see, and I hate chair weddings when they don't allow a chair for every guest - I don't like people to feel unfavoured. I also chose for Daniel and I to sign our marriage license on a picnic blanket because I felt it represented us better. The picnic basket was purchased second hand from the markets and the decorative flowers were purchased from the Flower Markets at Rocklea. The blankets and pillows were purchased from Loot Home Wares and Tree of Life.
Dress & Attire – Casual and Relaxed. Georgie wanted people to be themselves so they didn't specify a dress code. Just told people they could wear their bathers (swimwear) if they wanted.
Georgie on the Music: About a year and a half ago I was having lunch at the Plough Inn at Southbank and Ronwyn was playing. I knew straight away that I wanted him to be our musician because his voice gave me goose bumps. I got him to play the two songs I most wanted and he played them beautifully.
The vegans at the wedding: (L-R) Gary, Seren & Harmony, Carol, Leigh-Chantelle, Dan & Georgie, Darren, Megan and Rebecca
Here's some questions I asked both Dan and Georgie:
Tell me the story of how you two met.
Dan - We had a mutual friend and one day Georgie came over to my place with my friend and I thought she was cool. We were friends for a while and then started dating a few months later.
Georgie - I met Daniel when I was 15 through my best friend Jess. He had no hair, was wearing Thomas the Tank Engine pants and was playing with his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figurines. He didn't exactly scream 'hottie' LOL. Later that night we almost hooked up but I wasn't really keen so nothing happened. We instead became good friends always hanging out in a large group. I lost contact with him for about 2 months at one stage and the next time I saw him he had hair and I found him absolutely gorgeous. We hooked up that night. We dated for about a week but I broke it off because I'd never really been in a relationship and it freaked me out. Then about another 2 months later I bumped into him at a friend's house and we hooked up again. We started dating and dated for about another 7-8 months. In about March of yr 12 he broke up with me. The day I finished high school I received a phone call from him saying he wanted me back and to please meet up with him. We've been together ever since.
How did you both feel on the day of your wedding?
Dan - I was standing half naked 5 minutes before my wedding (due to an issue with the tailored pants) so a bit aggressive towards the tailor. But at the actual location I was a tiny bit nervous and a little emotional. I was happy to have my step dad and best mate there for support but overall I was nervously excited.
Georgie - Relaxed, eager to see what everyone would think of what I had put together & excited to see Daniel since he had slept elsewhere the night before.
How did you choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen?
Dan - Well, I felt my step dad deserved to the best man after the numerous time he’s put up with my past destructive behaviour. He has stuck by me through a lot and although we were never on good terms a few years back, things have definitely changed and he earned his place up there. Phil has been my best mate since grade 8 and we have been through a lot together. Out of all my old friends he is the only one that kept contact with me after I went vegan and then quit drinking.
Georgie - I chose my three best friends: Jess who I have known since grade 3, Amy – I’ve known since grade 8 and Laur who I met through working at Killoran Dental 5 years ago. I also chose my sister, Jade. They are four people out of a very little few who know just what Daniel and I have been through as a couple, how bad it had gotten in the past and what we and he have overcome. And they are four people who have loved us both and stuck by us no matter what.
Can you tell me about Dan’s and the groomsmen’s outfits?
Was there a theme involved?
Did you have any obstacles with organising a destination and vegan wedding?
Dan - Georgie really took the reigns with the wedding and organized 99% of it.
Georgie - There was a lot of research that took place. Trying to find good eco materials for the boy’s clothes, a tailor, dresses for the girls etc. I think I only had one real obstacle -the tailor stuffing up Daniel's pants.
Would you recommend a destination wedding for others?
Dan - It was amazing and very beautiful place.
Georgie - Highly recommend it. I think there's something magical about having to make a trip over the ocean to get married. But everyone is different so some others mightn't like that idea.
I love a great sunset photo!
Georgie on why she choose Carol Slater Photography: We chose to use Carol Slater Photography for our wedding because not only does Carol strive to run an eco-friendly business but she is also incredibly passionate about animal rights. Her photography is absolutely beautiful and she has a real gift for being able to capture the feelings behind a moment. She was also lovely to work with. I have a real dislike for getting my picture taken and she worked with that really well and still managed to produce many breathtaking shots. It sealed the day to have not only a fellow vegan but also one of our good friends completing such a huge role in our day.
Georgie on The Reception: I chose a house because I wanted the event to be a casual, buffet-styled event. I wanted the reception to feel warm and inviting. I knew it would not feel this way in a hired wedding place. Sometimes there's nothing better than home and although it isn't our technical "home" it felt that way. I knew the place would have an energy of warmth and love from Daniel and I already living there for a week spreading our vegan germs. There's nothing I dislike more than being forced to sit down at a table with people I barely know and having to eat whichever of the two meals is placed in front of me. That's why I wanted it to be a buffet where we just put out all the yummy food and everyone helps themselves.
Ronwyn also performed at the Reception.
Georgie on the Food: Food was supplied by Nom Nom Mobile Food for AU$1173 at a huge "friends" discount. Drinks including mocktails cost AU$130. Ingredients were purchased from various shops and then the mocktails were made by hand by Jess. Chocolates & lollipops purchased from The Green Edge.
Lettuce Cups filled with beans, asparagus and fresh herbs dressed in a garlic-infused vinaigrette with edamame pesto (Left) & Carrot and Fennel Salad with cranberries, dry roasted coconut, almonds and corn:
Nutted Wild Rice with Pecans and Orange (Left) & Apple and Walnut Salad with Lentils:
Hummus (Left) & Antipasto stuffed Pinwheels:
Herbed Tempeh Cakes with vegan remoulade (Left) & Daniel's Vegan Sausage Rolls:
Mini Beet Burgers to serve with hummus, tomato, cucumber and mini tiger rolls:
Some of the wedding guests and the vegan buffet:
Here's what my meal looked like:
Daniel explains why it was a no-alcohol event: 18 months from the date of the wedding, I quit drinking as it had my life spiraling out of control. When we started planning the wedding it was quickly established it would be a dry wedding as being around alcohol made me very anxious and I would be to tempted to drink. Not so much now as I have been sober for a while, but it does still pose a great challenge at time to time. I would never have though that I would have come so far and achieved so much since I went sober and made my life do a 180. No one seemed to mind that it was a dry wedding at all - it was great. Didn't really cross my mind either. We even had several comments from people stating that it was the best wedding they had ever been too.
Vegan Cupcakes were purchased through The Cupcake Parlour at West End in Brisbane at around AU$5.50 per cupcake.
Georgie on the Wedding Favours: We had bamboo, quotes and a card with daisy seeds. Was really lost with what to do as a wedding favour. Knew I wanted to do some sort of plants but a succulent (recommended highly on the internet) seemed so not-us. Then I realised that I love bamboo plants. It made sense because they were easy for people to look after because they live straight off water, they're beautiful to look at, they represent luck, and all the bridesmaids, groomsmen and Daniel's clothes were all made from bamboo. I decided to give people a couple of positive affirmations to take home as sometimes it's nice to hear a lil' something nice. I used 100% recycled, biodegradable paper with daisy seeds for all paper-related things (name tags, wedding guest signature instructions & ceremony readings by Jess and Joe).
Georgie on Gifts: Gifts were never spoken of or encouraged. I believe it is incredibly rude to ask for gifts or specify that you have a registry/wishing well. I did have a "treasure chest" (below) at the reception for all those who bought cards. Almost everyone gave money and a couple of people gave gifts.
Georgie on the Honeymoon destination, Fiji: No specify reason why Fiji. I love the beach and sand and sunshine. Wanted to go overseas as Daniel has never left the country before. Wanted to go somewhere where we wouldn't be surrounding by animal cruelty. I have met a few Fijians before and they're such lovely happy people that I couldn't help but want to visit. I also found out that they had the world's number one shark dive there so that won me over.
Here’s my thank you photo that was emailed to me:
I also asked, What would you do differently if you had your wedding and reception again?
Dan - Not much I don't think I liked the overall feel of it all and so did everyone else. It was a very relaxed wedding, no fake-ness about it. I would choose a different tailor though.
Georgie - I would choose a different tailor, obviously. But nothing else would change. I absolutely loved everything I had chosen and have had such positive feedback from all of our guests. I have had many people tell me that not only was a wedding the best they had ever been to but the food was also the nicest they had ever tasted. The mocktails were also a hit. I think it's nice to do something different drink-wise rather than just offering people the usual soft drinks.
What a lovely wedding for a lovely couple:
Some Vegan and/or Eco Wedding Websites:
- A Green Bride
- DIY Vegan Bride
- Ethical Bride
- Ethical Weddings
- Green Bride Guide
- New York Vegan Wedding
- No Impact Bride
- Offbeat Bride
- Rose Pedals
- Vegan Bride
- Vegan Weddings on Pinterest
- Vegan XO
- Vegetarian Wedding
Also see the Viva la Vegan! Pinterest Wedding album.
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