Greening the Modern Wedding
Party in a big tent under the stars!
This post is a little on the personal side, as we just welcomed a daughter-in-law (and her associated family) into the fold this weekend. It was a joyful affair, and a bit greener than the average wedding celebration. I thought I'd share
First was the selection by the couple of an outdoor venue. People do this all the time, using backyards, church grounds, private event centers, resort locations--you name it. Outdoor venues have one huge advantage, to my point of view, over traditional indoor settings. After the main ceremony, the kids in attendance can run around! How much fun is that? The other big advantage, of course, is you are not using power to heat/cool an outdoor venue to the extent that you do when all parts of a wedding and the following reception are held indoors. Climate plays a role in this (and did this weekend!)--since a cold snap may mean that outdoor heaters are necessary to keep the party going. But overall, there are fewer light bulbs involved and less electricity consumed than when moderating the indoor climate. Be sure and click open the image at left for the full impact!
Flowers are one of the many expenses of a wedding. Why not treat some of them like we do trees at Christmas and use plants that can be put in the ground after the festivities? In this particular wedding, marigolds from the backyard made their way to the men's lapels (free of charge!) and huge pots of mums will soon be in the ground, providing pollinators even more deliciousness--for years to come!
Where else do we use flowers? Well, all over the place. But here are some examples of where plantable ornamentation ruled: the rehearsal dinner, the arbor where the ceremony took place and the tables at the reception after the wedding. This first photo (at right, top) shows one of the moss gardens that decorated the tables at the reception under the "big tent." And yes, those leaves were just picked up out of the yard. :) The second photo shows one of the two large baskets that were planted up and placed under the arbor on either side (on top of stumps). These may not be as showy as more formal bouquets, but they were very appropriate to the nature-loving bride and groom.
The final photos are from the rehearsal dinner. Each centerpiece was composed of three small terra cotta pots set into a large terra cotta saucer. Tea lights were set in sand into small canning jars between the pots to light the tables after dark. And for the mood. Ya gotta get the mood right, right? These centerpieces were recycled for use the next night at various locations at the wedding venue. After the parts are removed from the pots, the kale and lettuce will be planted for later consumption. Heh!
One other element made the guest "hot list" at the rehearsal dinner. The dinnerware selected to take the weight of hefty portions of lasagna was made from bamboo and the (very strong) flatware was... spudware! Both of these components of dinner are compostable and were no compromise to traditional china in terms of strength. They also didn't have to be washed--saving more energy! I don't think either one of these is going to break down as quickly as my chopped up grass clippings, so they'll go in the "big bin" instead of the "kitchen compost" bin.
"Going Green" was by no means the main goal of the bride and groom, but some of their choices certainly ran in that direction. Have you had a party lately with a "green" bent? Tell us what you did!
-- with our thanks!