When musician and animal advocate Paul McCartney married American businesswoman Nancy Shevell on October 9, 2011 in London, animal activists wondered if the wedding was vegetarian. Maybe even vegan?
Short answer: The wedding was vegetarian, and parts were vegan.
The former Beatle is a long-time vegetarian, and has been a celebrity spokesperson for PETA, Viva!, and Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. McCartney also co-founded Meat Free Monday with his daughters Stella and Mary McCartney.
McCartney's first wife was American photographer Linda Eastman, who passed away in 1998. His marriage to British model/activist Heather Mills ended in a very bitter and public divorce in 2008. Shevell is McCartney's third wife, and Shevell's previous marriage to attorney Bruce Blakeman ended in divorce in 2008.
The McCartney/Shevell nuptials took place at a historic place, on a historic date. The Marylebone Registry Office is where McCartney married his first wife in 1969, and October 9, 2011 would have been John Lennon's 71st birthday.
What They Wore
Vegans do not wear silk, wool, fur, leather, suede, feathers or anything that comes from an animal. Both Nancy Shevell's dress and Paul McCartney's suit were designed by Paul's daughter, fashion designer Stella McCartney. Although she does use wool and silk in her designs, Stella is an outspoken animal advocate, staunchly standing against fur and leather in an industry that cares little about nonhuman lives. Raised an ethical vegetarian by parents Paul and Linda McCartney, Stella says, "Ethical thinking is a parcel of the way we were brought up. It first came from diet. When it came to working in fashion, it would have been very hypocritical of me to work with leather and fur. For us, being vegetarian was never about health, but because we didn’t believe in killing animals." It is not known whether Nancy Shevell's wedding dress or Paul McCartney's suit were vegan, but because they were designed by Stella McCartney, they could not have contained fur or leather.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Shevell's shoes were also designed by Stella McCartney, and were vegan. The designer and materials of Sir Paul's shoes are unknown.
Shevell's dress was inspired by the dress worn by the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, when she married the Duke of Windsor in 1937.
What They Ate
According to the Daily Mail, the meal at the reception was "meat-free and organic," including "Dumangin Grande Reserve champagne costing £26.50 a bottle" and a vegan cake made of "sugar, soya milk, apple cider vinegar, wheat flower (sic), cocoa powder and vanilla cream paste." Rounding out the menu, which daughter Stella helped choose, were "rocket and basil salad, goat cheese polenta, savory tarts, and dumplings" and a "traditional" wedding cake in addition to the vegan cake, according to Hello! magazine.
Is Nancy Shevell Vegetarian?
According to an unidentified friend quoted in the Daily Mail, "Nancy has toned down her super-Republican views and given up her beloved steaks . . . When they travelled around America this summer, they lived on avocado sandwiches and tomato soup. Now Nancy orders veggie food all the time." While some blogs and news outlets have labeled Shevell a vegetarian based on this quote, celebrity-wary animal advocates will wait for more evidence before endowing her with the "v" label.
McCartney's first wife, Linda, went vegetarian along with Paul one day when they were eating lamb chops and saw their own lambs outside their window and made the connection. Linda McCartney Foods continues to sell frozen meatless meals.
McCartney's second wife, Heather Mills, has stated that she went vegan when she lost her leg and the wound would not heal. After her divorce from McCartney, Mills opened VBites, a vegan restaurant that she hopes to turn into a chain.
Always the Activist
McCartney often takes advantage of the attention he draws to raise awareness for causes like animal rights, the environment and land mines, and used his wedding to Shevell as an opportunity to raise funds for charity. The official wedding portraits, shot by his photographer daughter Mary, were released to media in exchange for a £1,000 donation to Meat Free Monday.