The Greening of the American Wedding
One goal of most every engaged couple is to find ways to express themselves in their wedding; to make it a truly personal representation of who they are as a couple. To do this more and more couples are bringing their social consciousness to the party. From environmentally friendly weddings to ethical jewelry to charitable donation registries, today’s couples are seeking out ways to proclaim their love for the planet and its inhabitants as they proclaim their love for each other.
Going green doesn’t mean wearing hemp and taking your vows in a field of daisies while munching on organic tofu. In 2007 you may not even see much of a difference on the surface. This means that you can do your part for the planet without freaking out Granny.
The key factor in having a green wedding is to make conscience choices and to ask questions. Many vendors in the event industry are catching on to the different options available and jumping in to fill the need. From when and where you decide to get married to the invitations to your honeymoon there are ways to lessen the impact your wedding has on the environment.
As you start to plan your wedding consider the time and place. A ceremony and reception held in the spring or fall will require less energy to heat or cool the space. Host your wedding in a location central to most of your guests to minimize the miles traveled. If possible have your ceremony and reception in the same location or you can provide transportation between the two.
If you think about it weddings require an amazing amount of paper goods. This is also one of the easiest ways to go green. Recycled paper has come a long way from the brown rough texture of the early days. Now you can get beautiful invitations printed on recycled papers from most of the major manufacturers. You can also find printers that use soy ink.
Take it another step further and you will discover all the beautiful handmade papers now available for the bride that want to make her own invitations. There are papers that come with embeds like flower petals or seeds. The seeded ones are especially nice to use for your program; guest can take them home and plant them after the wedding. No waste and a new plant in the bargain. Anything you need for your ‘paper wardrobe’ can be found in an ecologically friendly format.
When you talk about decor the first thing most people think of is flowers. Even though flowers are a natural product they are one of the hardest places to have an impact. Unless you live in an area with a long growing season it can be very hard to find the kinds of flowers you want locally and organically grown. Don’t despair, there are still thing you can do. If you get married in a garden you have flowers all around you. For your table centerpieces you can use a tablescape of small potted plants, maybe a combination of flowers and herbs. Pot them up in a moss lined basket or put them in pretty little pots and have you guests take them home for their gardens. If you still want a more traditional look you can order organically grown flowers on the internet from Organicbouquets.com. Even if you go with completely traditional flowers you can make arrangements with your florist to donate your flowers afterwards. Perenity is an all volunteer organization that will pick up your flowers after the wedding and use them to make arrangement that are delivered next day to patients in hospice care. Harriet Karo of the local Perenity group told me that this trend has grown in