Our vegan wedding

I never thought I would get married, but now I am. I used to think marriage is unnecessary and even a bit stupid, but I guess that was one of the things I changed my mind about over time. Especially when I knew how important getting married was to the love of my life, how could it not get important to me?

We had a civil wedding a few months back to get our legal marriage certificates, and then we had a blessing conducted by one of the pastors of our own church on the 20th of September. Even though the civil wedding out of a legal point would be considered our “real wedding”, I didn’t feel that it was for real before the church ceremony. During the civil wedding we only had four witnesses, while we during the church wedding celebrated with about 50 of our closest family members and friends.

We had a very much DIY- wedding, we barely hired anyone to do anything, but the ceremony and the reception came together by a lot of helpful and inspirational friends and family members. It was not perfect looking, or perfectly organized, but it was still a great day – I would not have traded it for something “perfect” made by a wedding planner, because thinking about the time people dedicated into making our day special just makes it worth so much more.

I will not post a lot of pictures of us or the guests here, it feels too private for such a public blog, but I will give you pictures of details, and of course of the food and the cake. We had our pictorial outdoors, surrounded by amazing autumn colors. Our photographer was Ann-Britt Pada, and some of the pictures from the pictorial can actually be seen on her website.

My dress was made by R’s aunt in the Philippines, so I could choose any style I liked and also request for the materials to make sure it was vegan. Since the dress was made in the Philippines and I’m here in Finland, I could of course not try it on during the process of making it, so unfortunately it was just a little too big when it arrived and we had to quick fix it with some safety pins. R was wearing a Barong Tagalog, the Filipino national shirt, made out of pineapple and synthetic silk.

When it came to the bouquet, I wanted it to match the autumn colors around us and spice up my otherwise very white appearance, so it was made with different types of flowers in red, yellow and orange shades.

wedding pictorial

The place was mainly decorated by a friend of ours, but R made some of the details.

wedding decorations

wedding decorations

We didn’t have catering for the food, but it was made by some friends of ours, and they were also the ones to mainly decide the menu. We actually didn’t taste the different dishes prior to the wedding, but we trusted our “chefs” and it turned out great. Here’s the food we had on our buffet table (bigger version of the pictures can be seen by clicking them):

  • Afritada, a Filipino dish
  • Stir fried vegetables with tofu
  • Red beet patties
  • Vegetarian spring rolls
  • Fresh salad with olives and sun-dried tomatoes on the side

The wedding cake was made by the vegetarian restaurant Vegana. They don’t officially cater cakes yet, but we still asked them if it would be possible for them to make our cakes, and they agreed. Maybe in the future they will really cater cakes also officially. We asked for chocolate cakes since I’m a big chocolate maniac – and we got to taste the cake with to different fillings a few days prior to the wedding. One of the fillings was strawberries and chia seeds, the other one a kind of chocolate mousse and finely chopped pears. We could not really decide which one we wanted to have, so since we would have several smaller cakes we decided to have a few of each.

vegan wedding cake

One of our friends created the program and many of the guests also contributed with something during the party. R even did a surprise dance for me together with some friends!

All in all, we had a really great day, much because of all the amazing people who helped us and who attended the wedding. Thank you so much, we could not have done it without you!

For sure this wedding was also one of the best advocacies I’ve done for vegan food, because it changed the way many of the guests look at vegan food. My grandfather told me he was skeptical towards the food before eating – because he had no idea what vegan food actually means and probably thought it was all about lettuce and carrots – but he liked the food very much and even asked me for the recipes so that they could make it at home. How is that for success?

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Eating at Vegana

A few days ago we finally had time to visit Vegana here in Vaasa and taste their food.

They serve a lunch buffet that costs 9,50 € (includes a salad buffet, warm food, bread, water and tea). For one euro extra you can also have soup. You can also have take-out from the buffet table, you just pick what you want to have into a box and pay by weight.

When we came there I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of food, because I’m so used to being able to eat just a few dishes in a buffet. Most of the food was different types of fresh vegetables and salads. The warm food of the day was oven roasted vegetables and a creamy spaghetti with pieces of soy protein. They also had several different types of bread as well as three types of vegetarian salami.

vegana lunch

I had a little scare when we read the ingredients of the different salamis and one of them had eggs, since I had got the understanding that the place was completely vegan. We had to ask about it and make sure that the rest of the food was vegan, which it fortunately was. So if you go there as a vegan, check twice and ask if you’re not sure about the ingredients!

Apart from the restaurant, they also sell food stuffs. I did not have time to check so closely what exactly they were selling, but at least different types of lentils and beans, soy milk and yoghurt, vegan cheese, bread etc.

The food was good – simple and fresh – and I’m curious what else they have to offer, so I will definitely go back some other day.

And then there were two

Not long ago I wrote about Vaasa’s first vegetarian restaurant in a long time, Vegana, that opened in the end of July. Yesterday (August 14) the second vegetarian restaurant/café in town, Raawka, opened it’s doors. This is how the women who own the café present their place on their facebook-page:

“Raawka is an organic cafe that specializes in raw food, vegetarian and vegan food. We serve breakfast and lunch. We also offer smoothies, coffee, tea and pastries in a comfortable environment.
All our products are organic, gluten and sugar-free.
Our vision is to promote environmental awareness and healthy choices for a better future.”

The café is located in Palosaari, on Palosaarentie 23-25, and they are open Tuesday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm, as well as Saturday 11 am to 2 pm. I don’t know what price range the food is in, and I don’t know much more about the menu than what is mentioned above. However, they post their daily lunch options on their facebook page, and so far it has seemed quite yummy.

I am so happy that Vaasa is finally getting some vegetarian food places, because there has not exactly been any good options around here for vegans that want to eat out, or non-vegans or vegetarians that just want something different from the typical Asian or western food for that matter. Some people seem to think this change towards more vegetarian food is just a fad, a kind of “green food wave”, but I believe, and I hope, that it’s more than that. I believe people are finally opening their eyes towards the harm a diet saturated by animal products does to us, to the environment and to the animals, and want to change their habits at least a little bit.

New vegan restaurant in Vaasa

Next week a new vegan restaurant will open in the town where I live. With a population of around 60 000 Vaasa is definitely a small town and far from any vegan paradise. Sure, you can find a whole bunch of vegan food stuffs and other products here, but nothing compared to other cities here in Finland (not to talk about other countries). A vegan restaurant is really something I’ve only been able to dream about. Until now.

The lunch restaurant Vegana will open on July 30, and will be open around lunch time every day except Saturday (weekdays 10am – 2 pm, Sundays 12 noon – 4 pm). It is located 0n Vaasanpuistikko 17. I don’t know much about the type of food they will serve or the price range yet, but it will be interesting to go there try it out. I promise to write something about it once I’ve had time to go there!

The restaurant’s website is not yet finished, but the menu and other information is supposed to come up there in a near future.