Julie and Mark met at V Festival after being set up by their friend Dave, where they bonded over their mutual love of music, festivals and cats; as well as the fact that they were both vegetarians. ‘I really liked him on sight and I was glad I had got up at 5am to do my hair’ Julie told Love of All Weddings. The two hit it off and their relationship blossomed. From early on in the relationship the pair had spoken about marriage, but there was never an official engagement. After having been together for 9 years, Julie and Mark decided that they would get married the following year – that’s when the planning for their special day began!
A few years previously the couple had decided to turn vegan. Although already vegetarian, they had put off transitioning to veganism as ‘we thought it would be too hard and were too selfish to put it to the test’. However, after giving it a go for a month as part of the Animal Aid Vegan Challenge they made the change to their diet and lifestyle permanent and fully embraced veganism. ‘Our only regret was that we didn’t do it sooner’ said Julie. Being vegan was now a huge part of Julie and Mark as a couple, so they felt it was only right that their wedding day reflected this.
The ceremony took place at Derby Registry Office and the couple had written their own vows. Not ones for soppy romance, they had opted for a line that said ‘in the event of a zombie apocalypse I promise to fight and die by your side’. The wedding took place on a sunny August day and so they were able to go to the near by Darley Park, where their guests enjoyed drinks whilst seated on blankets and the official photographs were taken. The wedding reception was then held at Cube Café Bar in Derby, where the staff were helpful in creating a special celebration for Julie and Mark.
The happy couple had met at V Festival and regularly attended many festivals over their 10 years together, with Glastonbury always being the highlight of the year. It was therefore only right that their wedding carried a festival theme, Julie told us that ‘the people we are when at a festival are the truest versions of ourselves’. Their festival themed wedding was created with a wild flower and rustic feel. It had started with the invites, which Julie had designed to look like a festival poster. The flowers chosen were seasonal and grown by the florist, which is a lovely eco friendly touch as reduced the amount of pollution caused by growing and transporting flowers from across the world. The reception venue was decorated with bunting and between sets from talented singer-songwriter David Lacey, a PA system played a wide range of songs to replicate the variety of music enjoyed at a festival – everything from David Essex, to Duran Duran and Nirvana!
The cake was created by Claire at Aboutcakes, who is a friend of Marks. Claire’s creation was completely vegan and was also inspired by Glastonbury Festival, ‘the cake was especially wonderful and a real showstopper. The cake itself was the best thing I had ever seen and tasted divine’ said Julie. The attention to detail was great, with Claire having even incorporated Julie’s dress and hair style into the bride and groom figurines. With a tier of chocolate and a tier of lemon, all of the guests were suitably impressed with the cake!
Mark and Dave, who had set the couple up 10 years prior and was now Best Man on the day, were in charge the catering for the reception and they created an extensive vegan buffet for everyone to enjoy. Julie told us of all of the treats and
our mouths cannot stop watering – ‘Dave picked up some freshly baked bread the morning of the wedding from Spondon Bakery. Mark and Dave spent the day before making cous cous salad, pasta salad, various flavours of homemade hummous (olive, sundried tomato and beetroot), mini vegan pizzas, a rice salad and tofu quiche. For dessert they made a fruit salad with coconut cream and a trifle. On the morning of the wedding they made various sandwiches – the fillings were roasted vegetable and hummous, thai green curry, coronation “chicken” made with soya pieces, along with more traditional ones like vegan cheese with chutney.’ Well done boys, what a feast you created!
Both Julie and Mark are pleased that their friends and family get to experience delicious vegan food through them, like at their wedding and other parties and occasions. Sharing vegan food for people to enjoy is often the best way to introduce them to the world of veganism. Marks daughter Natassja, who made an incredibly moving bridesmaids speech on the wedding day, has since transitioned to veganism too.
When asked what advice they would give to couples looking to plan a vegan wedding day, Julie and Mark said ‘if you want a vegan wedding then have one! Don’t get bullied by family and friends that will insist they want meat at every meal. It’s your day and no-one else’s.’ This fun loving couple would also recommend attending an alternative wedding fair to help inspire you – ‘we went to one at Calke Abbey and we found loads of inspiration. Even if you don’t use any of the services on offer it helps to talk to them to find out what is possible.’
Photo credit: Julie & Mark's Photographer was Kittenboy Photography