From multi-tiered cakes to the perfect honeymoon, eight couples share their secrets to throwing an unforgettable celebration.
Danielle Distefano & Matthew Miller
New York, NY
Honeymoon: New York City
Words of wisdom: "Be sure to eat as much cake as possible because it will go fast! Try to hire vendors or friends who understand why you want to have a vegan wedding so things will run much smoother."
Their story: Sometimes first impressions can be misleading. When a mutual friend introduced Danielle and Matt, figuring that their shared veganism would bring them together, the sparks of love were far from a-flyin'. In fact, as Matt recalls it, Danielle wasn’t even particularly amicable. There must have been some smoldering ember there, though, since they stayed in touch and became friends over the years. Their relationship didn’t become romantic until after Danielle had left New York, proving that, yes, absence does sometimes make the heart grow fonder. They reconnected when Matt was touring with his band, and, realizing that they had a shot at the real deal, Danielle moved back to New York to be with him. On a trip to Australia for a friend’s wedding, Matt knelt in front of the sunset (and a camera-toting friend) and asked Danielle to marry him. Luckily for all involved, she said yes.
The wedding: Danielle and Matt held an elegant and eco-friendly ceremony in Central Park's Boathouse in Manhattan. They considered every detail—from the invitations embedded with wildflower seeds to the custom-made silk-free boutonnieres— ensuring that the ceremony celebrated their commitment to their values as well as each other. Despite some serious wardrobe mishaps beforehand (including the heel of Danielle’s pink Olsen Haus pumps becoming a chew toy for one of their rescued pit bulls and the unforeseen difficulty in finding a non-wool tux), the ceremony and reception were flawless. Danielle and Matt say they owe a lot to their generous family and friends who stepped up so the couple didn’t have to hire any outside vendors. Keeping the festivities fun was key, so they supplied a large photo “Smilebooth” where guests could take pictures against a hand-painted backdrop in their wedding colors. In their final exit, the duo strutted out of the venue with an ’80s-style boombox blasting “Let Me Clear My Throat.”
Sesame-crusted cornmeal tempura mushrooms and assorted vegetable with kecap manis sauce
Herb-roasted plum tomato and olive tapenade on English cucumber
Fire-roasted corn and black-bean stuffed mushroom caps
Shot-glass smoothies in mango, coconut, ginger, and mint medley or raspberry, strawberry, and white balsamic vinegar
Asian chopped salad with shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, snow peapods, bamboo shoots and spicy fried chickpeas tossed in a grapefruit-lime sesame vinaigrette
Sautéed exotic mushrooms and pak choy with black sesame-ginger marinade with forbidden black rice timbale and raw vegetable spring rolls
Organic Yukon gold bonda, cardamom-scented braised leeks, cucumber raita, tamarind date salsa, cilantro-apple mint pesto, and masala chanterelle sautée
Chocolate cake with fresh raspberry filling and buttercream frosting
Chocolate fountain with fresh fruit
Meet all of our 2009 Vegan Wedding Couples:
Sadaf Hussain & Brandon Juhl (Mercer Island, Wash.)
Traci Medeiros & Patrick Bagan (Riverside, Calif.)
Heidi Grosskamp & Dennis Crean (Redwood Valley, Calif.)
Kathryn Fangsrud & Steven Carpenter (Guanajuato, Mexico)
Emily Shapiro & Matt Pascarella (Brooklyn, NY)
Candy Tolentino & Josh Black (Beverly Hills, Calif.)
Leslie Ramos & Jason Carmona (Austin, Texas)
Danielle Distefano & Matthew Miller (New York City, NY)
For a complete list of caterers, dressmakers, and photographers from each of this year’s wedding couples, visit our 2010 Guide to Vegan Weddings.
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