Saturday, April 26, 2008

Going green on your wedding

No, I'm not suggesting you do up your wedding like a St. Paddy's Day parade. No, no, no. In honor of Earth Day, which we all celebrated this week (right?), a friend suggested I do a post on green weddings. At first, I was like, eh. Going green is like going organic -- the latest yuppie trend. But, as I thought about it more, I liked the idea.

Photo by Flickr's Blue Orchid Designs

It can be as easy as buying potted plants for your centerpieces, rather than having a cut flower arrangement. But because I haven't done this myself, I'm going to let the experts have their say.

The Kaleidoscope of the University of Alabama says its as easy as brides making thoughtful choices:
Brides can choose to have a cake made with completely organic ingredients, or buy organic wines from the local wine store. One of Bennett’s favorite things to provide for guests is an organic potted plant placed on the dining tables so that guests can take it home to remember that couple’s special day.

The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles spotlighted one bride that went kosher and green:
But the nontraditional dress was just one part of Kraft's "green" simcha. In lieu of sending out paper invitations, Kraft and her husband, Jordan Elias, sent out their invites via e-mail, used organic flowers, registered for green products like bamboo kitchenware and bath towels made of organic cotton and hired a biodiesel van (which runs on peanut oil instead of gasoline) to transport their guests to the ceremony. In addition, they donated 3 percent of their gift registry proceeds to the National Resource Defense Council, a national environmental action organization. has a nice, handy list on ways to go green on your wedding day, but to really go hardcore eco-friendly, you have to go with TreeHugger's comprehensive guide on getting married in a green way. And oh, is it comprehensive -- not only are there 10 Tips on ways to go greener, they also give you ways to do more and give you stats on how much CO2 all the weddings in the U.S. produce each year. Oh, and they give you a list of other sources that will further bring out the green in you.

Photo by Flickr's lilfishstudios

Of course, going green can be as easy as recycling old stuff for your own purposes -- like, say, getting married in the wedding dress your mother wore. But who does that nowadays?! (Sorry, I'm done being sarcastic.) I found this cute, innovative concept on bouquets on Flickr. I mean, who woulda thought button bouquets???

However, when it comes to getting married in an eco-friendly way on Flickr, no one did it better than zzilch. She had a slew of pictures of all the little things she did to make her wedding as eco-friendly as possible.

Photo by Flickr's zzilch

For example, she used origami flowers for her bouquets, rather than using cut flowers. Cheap and eco-friendly! Although, I imagine there would be some people who would take issue with using so much paper. For those people, there is what zzilch did with her invitations.

Photo by Flickr's zzilch

If you can't read that, it says "Plant Me! This handmade tree-free paper is embedded with flower seeds. Soak paper in water for one day, and plant under a thin layer of soil and keep moist. Happy planting!"

What. A. Cool. Idea. Seriously.

Of course, you may wonder if what I've done in the past is eco-friendly. Well, when I decorate, I use draping materials that we keep at certain lengths. I don't ever cut them and we always wash them and reuse them. While my mom, as a florist, uses cut flowers for arrangements, we use equipment that is reused again and again, unless the bride wants to use vases or some other vessel she wants to be given away to her guests. So, yeah, I guess you could say that often what I do as a decorator is green.

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