Thursday, May 22, 2008

A green wedding in the making

One of my wonderful couples (Michelle and Derek) that I am having a blast with planning their August wedding in Santa Barbara, has decided to go green with as many elements of the wedding as possible. This was a very exciting challenge for me as I had yet to plan a green wedding. They have done a wonderul job of teaching me tons of unique ways to make a wedding more environmentally friendly. I wanted to pass some of their fabulous ideas along (with their approval, of course) in the hopes that other couples will be inspired to incorporate something green into their Big Day as well. Here are just a few of their many ideas:
  • Using less paper or green paper for invites and offering an online RSVP

The paper details can add a lot to a wedding but there are ways to make just as big of an impact without them. Instead of placecards, have one seating chart. Use natural elements for table numbers; for example, find gorgeous stones and paint the table numbers on them. Michelle and Derek had Joceybella design a gorgeous map for guests, but instead of printing one out to include in the invites, they are directing guests to their wedding website to print off only if necessary.

  • Incorporating sustainable and organic food and drink

One catering company that is fabulous about ensuring their food is sustainable and working to include as many green items as possible is Good Gracious. They worked with Michelle and Derek to put together a custom menu including vegan and vegetarian options with an emphasis on fun family style food. Guests will also be able to enjoy the organic wines the couple select.

  • Limiting utensils used for food

This one is pretty self-explanatory; have fun with the cocktail hour food by choosing bite sized morsels that don't require utensils or serving vessels.

  • Providing green favors for guests

Some ideas include potted plants or seeds to be replanted. This is a gift that will keep on giving, and not just something that may or may not be used ever again.

  • Having green options on the registry

Michelle and Derek are encouraging guests to donate to charity as a part of their registry. For those guests that wish to buy them a gift, they made sure to select registries that allowed a portion of the gift price to go to various charities. They even found a store that has a line of eco-friendly furniture (check out Crate & Barrel for more info).

  • Using less flowers or veriflora certified flowers

Instead of providing bouquets for each of the bridesmaids, Michelle selected a variety of brightly colored shoes for each of the girls to choose from. This will be their fun accessory and help the girls to stand out as the bouquets would have done. The guys will be skipping the boutonnieres and instead will be wearing fun and hip attire that will add the extra pizzazz needed. For reception flowers, actual flowers will be minimal and the color will come from bright linens, fresh fruit in glass vases, and lighting.

Planning a wedding with as many green elements a possible is no easy task, but it can be done. All it takes is a little creativity and a lot of inspiration. I am proud to say that working with Michelle and Derek has even encouraged me to be more environmentally aware in my daily life. Thanks, you two:)


Charming Events said...

Great tips and bravo to your couple for implementing these ideas!

Simply Modern Weddings said...

great post...I love that they are incorporating all these green ideas for their wedding!

Joyful Weddings & Events said...

So fun- I grew up with Derek! I am so glad to know that they have a good coordinator! I can't wait to hear all about how it turns out!