A minimalist vegan wedding might sound like an oxymoron, and a (hunger-inducing oxymoron at that).
But, bloggers Masa and Michael Ofei have shown the world it is not only possible, but also a beautiful, memorable and delicious way to celebrate the union of two, very uncluttered and environmentally conscious, souls.
“Our journey into minimalism started around three years ago, and we take a simple approach to life,” Masa said. “It’s not only about what you own, or the materialistic things, but also a mindset or philosophy to life. You prioritise what’s important, spend time on activities that are valuable, and are careful with the people you spend time with.”
This philosophy was evident in every aspect of Masa and Michael’s wedding. There were no ‘unnecessaries’ – no bridal party, no professional hair and make-up, no stylists, no live music, no caterers – and the union of the couple was prioritised.
As for the people Masa and Michael had around them? A ‘no partners/no children’ policy maintained the minimalist ideal and ensured the guests in attendance were the exact people Masa and Michael wanted to be there. There were 63 guests in total.
“We aimed to have 50 people – that list expanded as time went on – which wasn’t really our doing, more for our family. ‘If you invite that person, you need these people’ etc. etc.,” Masa said. “The most difficult part was drawing that line. And we did feel guilty abut that at times. We offended a couple of people, and had to explain why partners weren’t invited.”
“Some might think we were arrogant and selfish in deciding on the guest list, but we didn’t want our wedding to become a huge event that didn’t reflect us at all.”
The invitations themselves were also ‘minimalist’. Masa emailed a website link to people, where they could RSVP to the wedding and view photographs after the big day. This kept costs down (the website cost around $100.00) and also avoided the materialism of physical invitations.
For the ceremony and the reception, Masa hunted for a venue that would allow self-catering and was surrounded by nature. A 15-20 minute ceremony (with Masa and Micheal saying their self-written vows) was followed by a buffet dinner with cutlery, plates and wine glasses borrowed from a friend.
Creativity was a big part of the wedding day, with Masa's father making the wooden stands for table cards, and bunches of seasonal flowers in small glass vases around the table. The only thing Masa and Micheal had to hire for the ceremony and reception were the chairs.
"You have to be creative, and you can't be afraid to buy or borrow second-hand," Masa said. "We spent around $12,000 of our wedding, and we paid for everything ourselves."
The wine was organic and the food was an important part of Masa and Michael's wedding. As a couple who are "strong-headed" when it comes to ethics; dedicated to conscious eating, with organic and fair trade ingredients; and who run a blog that regularly posts vegan recipes, they saw the wedding as an opportunity to celebrate healthy, nourishing, ethical, vegan food.
"We wanted to showcase how great vegan food can be," Masa said. "People were a bit shocked at first that it was an all vegan wedding. But why would we serve dead animals at the celebration of our marriage, when it doesn't align with our values?