Vegan Weddings 2009 (Brandy Humes & Richard Brooks)

From a picturesque California coastal ceremony to a magnificent backyard masquerade ball in Virginia, this year’s vegan wedding couples shatter stereotypes and exceed their own expectations for “the big day.”


Brandy Humes & Richard Brooks
Hamilton, ON

Guests: 75
Pricetag: $7,500
Best wedding gift: “We registered for a solar panel for our house we had just purchased. It is the perfect green gift!”
Honeymoon: Malaysia
Tip for success: “Don’t sweat the small stuff. You might notice all the small blips that didn’t go just right, but chances are no one else will.”

Their story: Friends from the beginning, Brandy and Richard met at an animal-rights lecture in 1999. The two committed activists circled each other in the Toronto advocacy community for years, but a romantic match never manifested. The potential for passion, however, was waiting patiently beneath the surface. “The stars finally aligned, and we found ourselves quickly and deeply in love,” says Brandy. Taking a big step forward, the two moved to Vancouver, BC, where Brandy studied animal- and social-justice education. The new adventure solidified their commitment and strengthened their relationship, providing the moment when “we just knew that we wanted to be together.”

Wedding highlights: Committed to a green lifestyle, the two planned an entirely personalized, eco-friendly celebration in southern Ontario’s gorgeous Dundas Valley. Everything from the centerpieces—fresh-picked organic wildflowers in second-hand vases—to the rings, made from family-donated recycled silver, was treated with care to give the ceremony a special touch without excessive waste. The words “wedding” and “marriage” were banned from the festivities, and replaced with the couple’s heartfelt feelings in a commitment ceremony written entirely by the duo. Celtic musicians provided the soundtrack as Brandy and Richard exchanged vows beneath a tree-lined canopy. Guests celebrated the union at the delectable luncheon that followed, where dishes were customized to celebrate long-standing family traditions. The perogies, a Humes family legacy, even garnered praise from Brandy’s 84-year-old grandmother who proclaimed, “These are even better than mine!”

The Menu
Roasted onion perogies
Mango sushi
Pumpernickel crostini with avocado and tomato salsa
Hummus on grilled pita
Vietnamese spring rolls with hoisin dipping sauce

Main Course
Sweet potato-ginger-coconut soup
Summer salad with roasted asparagus and candied pecans
Poached asparagus with roasted red peppers
Butternut squash ravioli with roasted red pepper sauce, artichokes, and spinach
Pickled beets

Golden vanilla cake with rich vanilla frosting
Devil’s-food chocolate cake with chocolate-fudge frosting
Coconut crème pie
Dark chocolate-dipped local strawberries

Meet all of our 2009 Vegan Wedding Couples:
Carmen Flora & Harry Pianko (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)
Ginger Burr & Marion Davis (Lynn, Mass.)
Brandy Humes & Richard Brooks (Hamilton, ON)
Katie Donaldson & Dan Paul (Elk, Calif.)
Robin Henderson & Nathan Williams (Roxbury, NY)
Amanda Whitt Cohen & Edward Newman Smith, III (Fredericksburg, Texas)
Megan Flora & Nathan Downs (Leesburg, Va.)
Jennifer Jones & Barry Horton (Fort Bragg, Calif.)

For a complete list of caterers, dressmakers, and photographers from each of this year’s wedding couples, visit our 2009 Guide to Vegan Weddings.

Interested in being a part of next year’s VegNews Wedding Feature? Apply here!

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