Andrea and Daniel are just a day away from being wed! Frungillo Caterers is hosting our very first all-Vegan wedding for the couple at The Villa at Mountain Lakes tomorrow. Andrea and her mother, Barbara, came to The Villa earlier this summer to put the final touches on the wedding menu and event coordination.
Our Marketing and Social Media Intern Shari Ann Arena captured behind-the-scenes moments from the taste-testing and planning session. Then she sat one-on-one with the Bride-to-Be for an interview. We hope you enjoy following Andrea and Daniel’s story…we’ll share highlights and photographs from their wedding very soon!
The meeting began with a stack of napkins, rows of utensils, and plates piled high ready to serve up a smorgasbord of custom-ordered vegan appetizers, entrees and desserts. Andrea’s menu combines inspiration she gathered from three sources:
· Andrea’s favorite dishes from Vegan restaurants she and her fiancé visited,
· modified selections from Frungillo Caterers’ late summer wedding menu, and
· Chef Rasmussen’s specialty Vegan dishes.
All of the samples looked amazing – and leave you craving for more once you’ve tasted them (whether you are Vegan or not!). The Bride noted that among her favorites were the “mouthwatering Beef Teriyaki dish” and “moist and fluffy wedding cake.” By the end of the taste testing, all of the samples were polished off (we all couldn’t get enough!) and both Andrea and her mother were delighted with all of the selections. Andrea’s final menu will include versions of Atlantic Smoked Salmon, Sesame Encrusted Chicken, and Butternut Squash Soup.
As the sampling plates were cleared away, I interviewed this amazing Bride-to-Be:
Shari Ann: How and did you and your fiancé meet?
Andrea: We met on Match.com in 2009. I was living in NJ and Daniel was living in NYC. He is originally from Bulgaria.
Shari Ann: How long have you been vegan? Why did you decide to become vegan?
Andrea: I have been a vegetarian my whole life and started becoming a vegan in college. I stopped for two years in college but then went back to being a Vegan. My parents raised me to always love animals and my mom, dad, and sister are all vegetarians.
Shari Ann: Frungillo Caterers has hosted many events featuring a few vegan dishes but at your wedding every single dish will be Vegan. Are most of your guests vegans? Is your Groom vegan?
Andrea: About a dozen or so of my guests are vegan. Daniel is 80% vegetarian (he still eats fish).
Shari Ann: What have been some of the challenges of planning a vegan wedding?
Andrea: The hardest part was finding a venue that would accommodate us. We looked at roughly at a dozen venues. Some caterers wanted to charge us double, others didn’t really understand what being a Vegan meant even after I explained it.
Shari Ann: Why did you pick The Villa as the place to host your wedding?
Andrea: The Villa is gorgeous! And, Frungillo Caterers’ staff members not only understood what was required to create an all-vegan wedding, but were actually excited to work with us to put it together. Their staff and Chef Rasmussen have bent over backwards trying to help make our wedding perfect.
Shari Ann: How did your family and other guests react to the idea of an “All-Vegan Wedding”?
Andrea: Some people do not know it is a vegan wedding. Others have somewhat of an idea. We actually haven’t told Daniel’s family because we felt it was too hard to explain. They’re from Bulgaria and are not familiar with a Vegan lifestyle.
In addition to the vegan component that will shape their reception, Andrea and Daniel are planning to feature diverse cultural and religious traditions during their ceremony that further reflect their unique blend of personal beliefs and styles. Andrea is so friendly and interesting that I felt I could have talked to her for hours! I wrapped up our interview so she could be whisked away by our in-house event coordinator John Fucci for a walk through of the wedding set-up and event schedule.
Now her big day is just around the corner – can’t wait!