Brilliantly Green Events & Education, oh my!!!
As a wedding goddess, a recent theme I’ve run into is brides who want to incorporate green ideas into their weddings but have no idea how to do so without turning their special day into a mini-Woodstock – e.g. wedding dress made out of recycled grocery bags, granola cake with mung bean frosting, and a drum circle for reception music. Now don’t get me wrong, if this is your idea of the perfect wedding, then great. I’ve got the name of a great local vegan caterer for you femme de terre. But for those of you who might not want to go that extremely green, here are some ideas on how to make your wedding and reception environmentally conscious but in a way that makes sense for you.
A great way to recycle while still looking fab is to buy vintage jewelry, shoes & clothing for you & for your wedding party. You can find amazing attire in many places like antique stores, costume shops, EBay, your grandmother’s closet, and many resale stores like Anonymously Yours http://www.ayresale.com/page2.html . One of my favorites is The Dallas Vintage shop in Plano on Avenue K. http://dallasvintageshop.com/index.php Not only do they have every piece of clothing known to man but their proceeds go directly to fund relief efforts in Romania. A bonus to this option is your “something old” is already taken care of.
Another way to green up your wedding clothes is hemp wedding garments. What can I say about hemp? It’s not just for rope sandals anymore. Today’s hemp clothing is soft, durable and absolutely beautiful as you can see from this Conscious Clothing website. http://www.getconscious.com/intro.html . Erich (my main squeeze) seems to think the only reason I’m a fan is that they have a “goddess” wedding dress. That is not the reason . . . well, that’s not the only reason. I also think Chrystal’s designs are amazing. She sews pure poetry.
One green trick I like throwing into most weddings is using live trees as decor. Throw some lights on those little oxygen makers and you have some magical scenery. Once they’ve decorated your reception, you can plant them on your own property or (if you live in a metro area) you can donate them to the parks and recreation department of your city for them to plant in a local park. Either way, you’re helping the environment & you’ve got a living testament to your love. Calloway’s Nursery (http://www.calloways.com/index_main.html ) is a great resource for this.
Using locally grown flowers is another great, easy way to help the planet. Texas grown flowers are cheaper, fresher and not only are you supporting local greenhouses but you are also reducing fuel reliance. We’re only an hour and a half from Tyler, the rose capital of the nation. http://www.texasrosefestival.com/museum/index.htm . Magnolias, hydrangeas, lilacs, sunflowers, and azaleas are also prevalent all over TX. Check with your florist to see what local suppliers they use or find your own flowers on Local Harvest’s website http://www.localharvest.org/ .
Another idea of how to “green” your venue is to find a location which is already filled with ambiance such as a local museum, aquarium or arboretum. Not only do these places reduce or eliminate the amount of extras you have to use to make the event look fabulous, but part of the rental fee is earmarked for continuing improvements to the locations themselves & the charities they support. You’ll be enriching your local community. Some of my favorite locations include the Chesnut Square Historical Village (a living museum) – http://chestnutsquare.org/rentals/facility_rentals.asp , The Dallas World Aquarium – http://www.dwazoo.com/catering2.html, and the Dallas Arboretum – www.dallasarboretum.org .
Ladies, we live in Texas! Home of the longhorn, award-winning locally produced wines & tomatoes bigger than your fist. Supporting your local winery, farmer & rancher is a no brainer. Being the giver I am, I’d support my local winery every day if I could! Using local sustainable ingredients helps the environment, keeps the small farmers working, & enhances your wedding day by giving your guests tasty fare. Make sure to ask your caterer if they use locally grown produce, meat, & wines. Here again, Local Harvest’s website http://www.localharvest.org/ can prove invaluable. One of my favorite local businesses is Kiepersol Estates a few hours south east of DFW. They produce both award winning beef & wine. http://www.kiepersol.com/ I love the 2005 Texas Sangiovese!
If you and your babycakes have been on your own for a while, chances are you’ve got your household set up pretty much the way you want. You don’t need 3 more toasters and a chafing dish. A traditional registry is probably not the answer for you. Registering at the I Do Foundation will solve your problem. You can register for a combination of unique gifts including charitable donations in your name to various charities, Home Depot for the Bob Vila-ette , money towards activities on your honeymoon, and REI for you outdoorsy chicas. A really great thing about this site is even if you decide to register at a store like Mikasa or Tiffany & Co.; those stores will donate a certain percentage of the proceeds from your registry towards your chosen charity. http://www.idofoundation.org/
I’ve saved the best for last. Heifer International is my favorite charity. They live by the adage “give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach him to fish, he eats for a lifetime”. You and your fiancé can register for livestock, honey bees or poultry. When someone buys you that item, Heifer International sends those animals to various parts of the world. They also teach the local men, women & children how to use the animals to make their life better. When the donated animals have offspring, the owners pass those on to others in their village. It’s sustainable & it’s global. What more could you ask for? http://www.heifer.org/site/c.edJRKQNiFiG/b.476835/
Hopefully this article has given you some good ideas for greening up your wedding. Whether you use one or all of the suggestions listed above, I’m sure Gaia (Goddess Earth) will appreciate your efforts to save her forest, people and atmosphere – even if there isn’t a drum circle in sight.
Wishing you love, laughter & happily ever after . . . . .