Confessions of Vegan Wedding Photographers
It’s an age-old question. And the available answers online are as varied and plentiful as you’d expect from the internet! If your wedding photographers happen to be Kate & Keith though you can trust that this post will shed a light on what it is that we enjoy eating.
First, let’s get this out of the way, we are intimately aware of how potentially daunting our culinary choices can be. It is for that reason that we never expect our couples to provide meals for us. We are overwhelming grateful when it does happen, and if you’re up for the challenge, read on.
But seriously, what do vegan wedding photographers eat?
When we started dating in 2013, Keith had just drastically modified his SAD diet (Standard American Diet), eliminating soda, processed foods, and red meat. He lost a whopping EIGHTY pounds! I was a flexitarian (I think? Honestly I can’t keep track of all the terminology!) Raised vegetarian, I opened myself up to organic chicken and sustainable fish for a few years (much to my mom’s dismay! Ask me about that conversation sometime!!)
The Gluten Crisis
Having just sustained a head injury from a car accident, I did lots of research on anti-inflammatory diets and cut out gluten, dairy, and refined sugars. Goodbye pizza and chocolate cake! Interestingly, cravings abated and I found myself not missing the old foods. And trust me, this was HUGE! I was a major cheese-a-holic! There wasn’t a single meal I ate which didn’t involve cheese! I AM Italian after all.
After watching the documentary, Cowspiracy on Netflix, as environmentally aware citizens, Keith and I realized that going vegan was something we could do to significantly affect our environmental impact. Really it only meant eliminating the (very occasional) chicken, fish, and eggs from our diet. Although Keith was now giving up dairy. Yes, he was a cheese addict too! However, he too found that after a few weeks he didn’t miss it one bit.
So we were now vegan. However, Keith couldn’t pass up a lobster roll when one was staring him in the face! I mean, we are Mainers after all! And every so often we enjoyed my mom’s organic farm fresh eggs. And then we watched the documentary What the Health. Oh man! We couldn’t imagine eating eggs and lobster anymore, Agh! (Seriously, we may need to stop watching documentaries, haha!)
No big deal, it wasn’t that big of a shift. And we felt healthier for it. And the more we learned, the more awesome we felt about our decisions. After all, I’m the nerd who sees a cow and can’t help but Moo at her with excitement. I’ve had this crazy love affair with them from day 1. Even begging my parents to get one as a kid. Weird, I know. (They said “NO.” Probably logical since only my dad could tolerate milk.)
Something of huge importance to us is that we don’t project our choices on anyone else. We have come to this place in our food journey independently. Sure, lots of people have influenced us. But this was our path, not someone else’s agenda for us. And we have no desire to impose our choices onto anyone else. However, it does seem to organically spill over.
A Vegan Wedding
Exhibit A: our July 2017 wedding. Our caterer was one of dreams. With a resume of clients including the Rockefellers and Martha Stewart, we were confident they could handle a challenge. Yup, we had a vegan wedding! Traditional dishes like lasagna were reimagined with summer squash & heirloom tomatoes and knocked out of the park!! The food was stunningly beautiful and equally ambrosial. Vegan sweet potato sea salt caramel chocolate truffles! Strawberry rhubarb maple sparkling sangria (alcohol-free)! Rhubarb chutney! Eggplant stuffed with spinach, chickpea, and quinoa! And a GORGEOUS tiered gluten-free vegan wedding cake adorned with fresh berries (thanks Isabelle of The Plantiful podcast!)
Not an empty belly existed by the time our band started playing! And since then 7 guests have gone plant-based and a few more shifted away from meat. I swear we didn’t say a word to any of them!
Keto: The Brain Diet and WFPB Eating
With the trend of veganism or plant-based diets, you’re probably thinking “no big deal”! But as my family will tell you, Kate is never simple! (Can I make that a compliment somehow?) I sustained another brain injury in Jan 2019. This one pretty severe. And everything changed. After doing loads of research, I shifted to a high fat, low carb diet which new research showed promotes brain health. And WOW! My ability to recover from the injury was mind blowing even to my healthcare team!
I’m sure most of you have heard of a ketogenic diet. But not wanting to give up my veganism, I modified it. No more grains, no more sugars of any kind (fruit, maple, coconut sugar), no starchy veggies.
While the diet opened me up to loads of new foods like hemp seeds (Really? Sounds like bird food!) lupini beans, and kelp noodles, ultimately it wasn’t a healthy choice long term due to the many eliminations. Reading Fiber Fueled by Dr Will Bulsiewicz showed me that plant diversity is key to overall health. And after taking the Plant Based Nutrition Certificate program through eCornell with Dr T Colin Campbell (of The China Study) I can’t dispute the science.
So have we answered the question? Probably not as the journey probably confused the heck out of you, haha! But as of now:
KEITH: 100% PLANT-BASED VEGAN!
Which means no animal products, no processed foods, with an effort to go easy on the sugars and oils!
KATE: 100% WHOLE FOOD PLANT-BASED VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, OIL-FREE, REFINED SUGAR-FREE!
Which means, don’t worry EVER about feeding me! It’s too much for most people to wrap their head around, so I say “thank you, but I’ve got myself covered!” However, if feeling amazingly adventurous, look up the Forks Over Knives blog for loads of recipe ideas! Or just come to my kitchen.
But one thing will NEVER change, we LOVE FOOD!!! We will always take photos of amazingly colorful meals before diving in. We will always try new, fun ingredients that sometimes sound freaky (Monk Fruit? Is it grown by monks?!) And we will always be totally cool with whatever YOU choose to eat! But if you’re ever curious, we’d love to have you over for dinner!
Kate’s creations are always fun with a side of sweet!
Sharing is one of our passions!
Gimme ALL the pretty food, please!
We like to enjoy what we eat in every way possible.
And this post isn’t complete without a pic of Kate’s birthday cake (thanks Cake Vegan Bakery!) and wedding feast (thanks Sassafras)!
Have you dreamed of having a vegan wedding? Or a farm to table wedding? Or just one with amazingly tasty colorful food? We’d love to be a part of it! Drop us a line and tell us what foods make you weak in the knees!