Wedding Bells...Time to Greenify

June 10, 2008

Couples are opting out of white weddings and going for the green! One of the hottest trends in the $40 billion wedding industry is the Greenified wedding. If you are planning a wedding, consider some of these ways to Greenify your event.

Invitations: There are many possibilities to green up your invitations. Using recycled paper is the obvious choice, but you could also consider using paper made from hemp or other tree free products. Soy ink is pretty standard these days. What about finding paper embedded with flower seeds for your guests to plant? (Maybe suggest they wait till after the wedding to plant. I could see someone forgetting the details with the invitation buried.) If you are a crafty type, you could make your own invitation paper using recycled paper, grasses, even dryer lint.

Wedding Dress: I can see this being the hardest aspect of a wedding for a bride to Greenify. There are a number of designers who are creating eco-friendly wedding dresses made from natural fibers such as organic cotton, hemp, silk, even bamboo. To go a step further, a bride might consider altering a family member's wedding dress or finding a secondhand dress. Recapture Vintage Bridal Designs  in Oakland, CA. specializes in restyling vintage gowns.

Rings: The movie "Blood Diamond" brought light on to a subject seldom talked about in the wedding industry. Consider resetting a family diamond or looking for a local artisan rather than purchasing a ring from one of the large chains.

Flowers: The ultimate green bouquet might be the one you or a loved one grows especially for the wedding. Otherwise, you might start with your local farmer's market and see if there is a flower seller who could create bouquets, centerpieces and altar pieces using local organically grown flowers. Organic Bouquets will also provide you with organic flowers.

Catering: Food may be the single biggest expense at your wedding. You can look for a caterer who specializes in organic food such as Back to Earth Catering in Berkeley, CA. Or you can simply ask your caterer to provide local, fresh, organic food. You do not have to give up beef, chicken or lamb entrees, just look for local providers who raise their livestock in humane, organic fashion. One thing to keep in mind is that the FDA regulates the word organic and being able to use the word costs money. Some local farmers are not able to justify that added expense and they may use words such as "naturally grown" instead of "organic".

Wine and beer: When looking for wine or beer to serve at the reception, there are a number of vineyards and breweries creating organic beverages. Consider first looking for a local vintage. For instance, if you happen to be getting married in Cooperstown, NY, Charlotte's Vineyard is close by as are the Cooperstown Brewing Company and the Ommegang Brewery. Providing local beverages will give your guest a chance to taste something new, not to mention help the local economy.


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