Planning a Socially Conscious, Vegan Wedding In Dubai
The global rise in veganism is clear to see here in the UAE with many cafes, hotels and restaurants now offering comprehensive vegan options and in some cases, full vegan menus. With the demand for vegan options higher than ever before, there is also a noticeable vegan movement happening with various different social media groups and initiatives popping up on a regular basis, and this in turn has affected the wedding and events industry.
With the rise in people choosing to live a vegan lifestyle, and the increase of vegan food requests, Brides & Grooms in the midst of planning their wedding now have to take into consideration their vegan guests. There are also vegan couples out there who want to take sustainability and environmental issues into regard when planning their special day in order to make their wedding as eco-friendly as possible.
If you’re looking to plan a vegan, or social conscious wedding, here in the UAE, we’ve rounded up some of the top vegan and eco-friendly vendors from the region to help you create your dream ethical wedding.
♡ Creative Vegan Dishes ♡
Bohemian-inspired café Brambles, located in Barsha Heights, offer a full vegan catering service which is fully customizable around the Bride and Groom’s requirements. Beet & Green Apple Tartare, Beluga Lentil Bruschetta, Vegan Summer Rolls and Violet Hummus are just some of the delicious vegan dishes Brambles have on offer.
Brambles recently catered for a vegan engagement party and we spoke to Bramble’s Founder, Mandana Shabani, about the experience;
The interesting thing about this particular catering job was that not only were the couple vegans, but they were also both CrossFit trainers. It was a fun menu to work on as we had to customize an entirely new menu to suit their needs. The dishes needed to be elevated and elegant enough for an engagement party, and leave non-vegan guests satisfied. That’s the trick to vegan catering, I believe, is to make every dish so delicious that even non-vegans are impressed and don’t feel like they’re missing out! The menu actually ended up being one of my all time favorites as it allowed us to be super creative. The couple were also a dream to work with, they were incredibly sweet and down to earth. Items such as Raw Beet Raviolis stuffed with house-made smoked vegan ‘cheese’ and the Vegan Meatballs were a big hit with the guests. I prefer to use whole foods to create the dishes, so in place of vegan ‘meat’ products we used quinoa, lentils, oats and flax seeds for the meatballs, and then seasoned them with oregano, fresh basil and fennel seeds. Some of the other favorites were the Beet & Apple Tartare, Violet Hummus, Sweet Potato & Shakshuka, Quinoa & Walnut Stuffed Mushroom and a refreshing Sungold Gazpacho.
Work with Brambles to create your dream vegan wedding menu. Rates start at AED 95 per person.
Details: @bramblesdubai / Open daily 6:30am – 7:30pm Sunday-Thursday & 6.30am – 5.00pm on Friday – Saturday / Located in Metro Central Hotel, Barsha Heights / +971 4 4529529
♡ The Wedding Cake ♡
If you’re looking for your dream vegan wedding cake, look no further than Icons, a forward thinking and health conscious lifestyle Coffee Shop Chain that can be found across the UAE. Icons have several locations in the UAE including Dubai (Icons have a cafe located at BCME Vendor Zabeel Ladies Club), Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi.
Icon’s vegan wedding cakes can be made in a number of delicious flavours such as chocolate, carrot cake, red velvet, vanilla, along with scrumptious fillings including vanilla, chocolate, caramel, walnut, strawberry, wild berry, mango and peach. Their cakes can also be customised to suit the bride and groom’s taste.
Starting prices for Icon’s standard vegan wedding cakes are as follows:
2kg – AED 300
5kg – AED 600
7kg – AED 800
Whatever your heart desires, Icons can make your vegan cake dreams become reality!
♡ The Alternative Wedding Cake ♡
Fruitful Day are a team of fruit experts that hand select the freshest seasonal fruits to be delivered straight to your door. As well as fruit boxes, Fruitful Day also offer fruit platters and boards which are ideal for weddings and special occasions.
If you’re looking for an alternative wedding cake, their healthy Watermelon Fruit Cake is perfect for intimate weddings catering to 10-15 people (per cake). The Watermelon Cake is made entirely from fresh and hand-selected fruit and Fruitful Day take two delicious layers of watermelon and top it off with seasonal berries. For Brides looking for a slightly bigger cake, Fruitful Day are able to add a third succulent layer. The 3-tier Watermelon Cake is AED 265 and the 2-tier is AED 225.
If you’re looking for a savory vegan option for your wedding guests, why not try the Fruitful Day Grazing Platter? With a focus on fresh ingredients, this platter has a little something for everyone. From a selection of fresh and dried fruits, to delicious aromatic cheeses, the Signature Grazing Platter is deliciously healthy and makes for the perfect reception snack. They’ve even added crackers and spreads to tempt your guests! The Signature Grazing Platter is AED 295 or you can upgrade to a large platter for AED 420.
*Disclaimer – Fruitful Day suggest always keeping the Watermelon Cake chilled right up until you’re ready to serve. There’s nothing quite like cold watermelon on a warm summer day!
♡ Vegan Wedding Favours ♡
Artisan chocolatiers, Blu Chocolate, specialize in gourmet, luxury chocolates. Their premium chocolates are made from 6 carefully chosen beans to complement local palates. They adopt the artisanal form of chocolate making for pure and premium quality chocolates. The process is intense, durably longer and perfected by skilled chocolate makers, who enjoy blending different flavors for mind-teasing results.
Blu offer two types of vegan chocolate which are standard and sugar-free, both of which are available in white, milk and dark chocolate flavours. These chocolates make for the perfect vegan wedding favour and can be customized with personalised chocolate engraving and labelling.
Blu Chocolate’s vegan chocolates are AED 500 per kilo. You can visit their boutique at the following address –
Park Centre 41, 26B Street, Mirdiff, Dubai.
♡ Organic, Vegan & Toxic-Free Bridal Beauty Treatments ♡
The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge is the UAE’s first completely green ladies salon. This ethical beauty salon, located in Jumeriah Village Circle, provides customers with safe, toxic-free treatments, friendly service and ultimate relaxation, and here’s the best bit, at an affordable price.
Their toxic-free, vegan menu includes; organic sugaring, natural hair treatments, ammonia-free colour, natural chemical-free fruit facials, freshly-blended body scrubs, formaldehyde-free nail treatments and much more. We just love Organic Glow’s motto, “Looking and feeling great has never been kinder to both you and Mother Earth!”
We spoke to The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge’s Founder, Leena Al Abbas, to find out a little more about this JVC gem.
I actually launched The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge in 2010, because I used to experience terrible side effects from going to salons to get my hair & nails done. I’d suffer with severe reactions to the chemicals in the products used, such as formaldehyde in nail polishes and ammonia in hair colour. After making the connection between why I was getting severe reactions to the harsh chemicals in beauty treatments/products, and not finding a place offering healthier alternatives, I then decided to launch my own organic salon to offer ladies safe ethical beauty treatments. At the same time, I also wanted to spread awareness about the dangers of using harsh chemicals. This is why we also attract lots and lots of pregnant women. My salon also had to be 100% vegan and cruelty-free, because I’ve been vegan since 2008. I was actually a vegan bride myself and created a completely vegan and eco-friendly wedding with my husband!
♡ Choose Vendors Who Give Back ♡
BCME Vendor Chandan Sojitra, who also happens to be a vegan himself, offers his couples vegan friendly wedding albums including vegan covers and glues that are used to make this special momento.
Twelve trees are planted for every album you order and in addition to this, Chandan personally donates AED 250 to an animal sanctuary or animal rescue centre for every wedding he books.
Chandan is an experience wedding photographer and videographer and has a passion for story telling through his beautiful images.
♡ Buy Seasonal Or Locally Grown Flowers ♡
For the eco conscious couple who are wanting to incorporate sustainability into their wedding day, BCME Vendor 800Flower can supply locally grown blooms such as the vibrant bougainvillea, which grows amazingly under the desert sun all-year round. The wild nature of the rambling vine makes bougainvillea a perfect choice for those couples wanting a more laidback, romantic vibe for their bouquet and décor.
Locally-sourced foliage and fruits can be combined to create beautifully elegant table arrangements, perfect for couples looking for a more rustic and wholesome feel. Or for couples wanting a more tropical or beachy vibe to their day, the delicately fragrant frangipani, which blooms all over town, could make for the perfect choice.
800Flower also offer locally-made lanterns and soy candles that give a beautiful soft glow once the sun sets and create a magical ambience on your special day.
Looking for something unique? 800Flower can also create something completely bespoke to cater to your needs. Their skilled team can work with you to cultivate your own range of succulents which make for brilliantly sustainable wedding favours.
♡ Ethical Wedding Dresses ♡
For socially conscious brides on the hunt for their dream wedding dress, buying a ‘pre-loved’ or ‘vintage’ bridal gown could be the perfect solution. Most wedding gowns come with a rather large price tag and let’s face it, only get worn once, and sometimes for a matter of hours! By buying a pre-owned wedding dress, or hiring one, you can lessen the impact of the people who made your dress and keep environmental costs down.
With BCME Vendor, The Mode, brides can wear their dream wedding dress at only a fraction of the price with The Mode’s exclusive collection of boutique and designer dresses available for rent and buy. The Mode Wedding Collection comprises of a vast selection of fashionable, on-trend and classic dresses, all hand picked by their expert team to make you look and feel like a princess on your special day. Discover iconic bridal designers such as Vera Wang, Grace Loves Lace, Esposa and many more! Rental fees start from as low as AED 1,500.
UAE’s online wedding marketplace, bridalsouq.com, also has a large selection of stunning pre-loved wedding gowns for sale along with other wedding related items such as shoes, headwear, for the groom, kids and much more.
♡ Wedding Invitations – Go Digital/Sustainable! ♡
Brand new BCME Vendor Toil & Tinker, located in Al Quoz, are able to print on any items that are suitable for vegans including cork!
Toil & Tinker, a British print shop specialising in modern and artisan techniques, are your one stop shop for all things wedding stationary. Some of the Toil & Tinker machines run on eco solvent inks and all of their ink cartridges are recycled or refilled and not disposed of in land fill.
All of the designs you create with Toil & Tinker can be used for purely digital purposes too as their team can create artworks for a range of digital specs including Facebook covers and Email invitations. Even if you are choosing to print your invitations using Toil & Tinker’s eco friendly solutions, their team will also always share with the Bride and Groom the digital versions to then use as they wish.
There are also some fantastic sites out there that make it super simple for Brides to create and send out digital wedding invitations, manage guest lists and create personalised wedding websites so all the information your guests need is on one central, easy to access, digital platform. Our top picks are www.theknot.com, www.paperlesspost.com and www.withjoy.com.
♡ Charitable Wedding Gifts ♡
If you’re looking for alternative, socially conscious, gifting options for your wedding guests, mylist.ae, may be just what you’re looking for!
MyList gives couples the opportunity to create an online gift registry whereby their guests can make donations to a charity of the couple’s choice. MyList take care of contributing the donations to the charity and presenting the bride and groom with a certificate officially stating the money raised from their gift registry for their chosen charity.
Since launching in 2012, MyList has partnered with over 100 retailers and service providers in the UAE and Egypt becoming the GCC’s leading online gifting platform, designed for customers who want the greatest choice, flexibility and personalised service. MyList also recently launched in KSA.
♡ A Source Of Vegan Inspo ♡
Online vegan community ‘Dubai Vegan Days‘, founded by Ananda Shakespeare, is one of the best sources in the region for vegan inspiration, suppliers and information.
We spoke to Ananda to see how her wonderful platform and events can help Dubai’s vegan brides to be.
I have been running Dubai Vegan Days, a community pop-up, for about 18 months now. For our last Iftar, over 120 people turned up! We have vegan businesses displaying at our events too, so there’s lots of yummy food samples and ethical brands to learn about that are based in Dubai – Perfect for brides looking for sustainable & vegan brands to incorporate into their big day! Bride Club ME readers should feel free to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and ask us any questions about vegan suppliers in the GCC. We’d be more than happy to connect these wonderful homegrown businesses with them. We know vegan chocolatiers, chefs and all sorts of food and ethical brands that will mean their wedding is full of love for animals, the planet and the health of their guests. And yes, when it comes to my wedding, it will be vegan, ethical and full of conscious connections!
Other active vegan Facebook groups include Vegans Take Dubai and Dubai Vegan Guide.
♡ A Note From A Real Vegan Bride ♡
This feature wouldn’t be complete without hearing from a real vegan bride – Meet Simran Gandhi Shivlani! Simran, and her husband Amrits, held their vegan wedding at the Fairmont Hotel in Ajman earlier this year, and they both wanted to use their wedding as an opportunity to promote plant based foods and expose their guests to the best food & experiences a vegan lifestyle has to offer.
Simran, who has been a vegan herself for two years, shares with BCME her top 5 tips for planning a vegan wedding.
♡ There are tons of cruelty free and vegan products in the local market that work very well for Hair and Make Up options.
♡ Opt for vegan/plant based shoes and bags. Beyond Skin, Matt & Natt, Stella Mc Cartney, to name a few, offer wonderful accessories for both the bride and groom.
3. Opt for decor that includes candles, tea lights and recycled floral art work. Also, ‘Thank You’ notes can be done on seed paper which can then be used to plant trees.
4. Remember to speak to your vendors and suppliers in advance for vegan food alternatives. There are many non-dairy yogurts, mock meats and vegan cheese alternatives available in supermarkets and through private businesses. Ordering these items in advance will ensure food is aplenty at the wedding and will avoid last minute stress.
5. We opted for plant based wedding favors such as vegan sweets, dates and artificial jewellery. We also asked our guests to donate to animal welfare charities of their choice instead of giving us wedding gifts.
The idea of our wedding was to celebrate our love and commitment. An important aspect of our life is dedicated to following a plant based diet and influencing those around us. We wanted to debunk myths about vegan food and the variety of options plant based diets have to offer. Being able to add this value into our wedding and hear our guests say “That was delicious, I can’t believe it’s vegan!” has been extremely fulfilling and successful.
We’d love to hear your vegan wedding experiences in the comments below! BCME xoxo