Getting married is a tradition that marks the start of a new life. Planning a green wedding is a continuation of an environmentally conscious lifestyle. Going green is hugely popular right now and the concept of living organically is quickly sewing an environmentally-conscious thread throughout many communities. From recycling to planting to energy monitoring or water conservation, being environmentally conscious takes meticulous planning with well thought-out Eco-strategies for sustainability.
Planning a green wedding is surprisingly easier and more cost-effective due to the defined guidelines for applying sustainability and organic strategies. For Aaron and Arden, two Eco-conscious non-profit professionals, living organic is a large part of what’s important to them. Married since 2008, they are two outdoor active people who share a huge respect for the environment. It’s how they think and love, and desired to project that in their nuptials.
Arden emphasizes that “Whatever is important in your relationship should reflect in your wedding.” Most people don’t realize that green weddings can be elegant, classy, and cost-effective without sacrificing quality. “A wedding doesn’t have to be what you normally see in a story book or magazine. It can be what you want it to be. When you consider what it takes to be conscious about the environment, you simply apply those principles to your wedding.”
Here are a few Eco-friendly ideas the couple applied to their green wedding:
Arden’s Bridal Bouquet
The glass bouquet was commission by Chris Belleau, a glass-blowing artist who created a timeless keepsake for the green bride.
Live Organic Flowers
They worked with a local florist, designer Lynn Mehl of Good Old Days Florist. Mehl offsets her carbon impact via NativeEnergy.org, a “Wind Energy Credit-Giving” organization.. She only uses seasonal floral arrangements and works with flower farms who has fair labor practices which Aaron and Arden strongly support.
Arden purchased glass vases for the flowers from Housing Works Thrift Shop. This is a non-profit organization that runs a string of thrift shops where all the proceeds go to support housing for individuals living with HIV/Aids in New York City
Another portion of the flowers used at the wedding came from the garden of Arden’s mother. They were returned and composted to her garden to be absorbed by the soil after the wedding.
Using minimal paper, they worked with an Eco-friendly paper company called Twisted Limb Paperworks They purchased 100% PCW recycled invitations that are processed without chlorine. Their invitations had seeds embedded in the paper so that guests can plant the invitations back into soil once disassembled and enjoy the flowers that grow from them.
The invitation consisted of a single piece folded with invite printed inside and an embedded pocket for directions. How cool is that!
Arden bought a designer dress from The Bridal Garden, a non-profit organization that takes sample dresses from runway bridal fashion shows and recycles them on consignment. All the proceeds go to the education of New York City children.
She got a great deal on this dress, because they are usually discarded after fashion shows. Arden found a lovely gown worth an estimated $5000 for only a couple hundred dollars!
Of course the dress was dry cleaned and refurbished by Slatewhich uses sustainable dry cleaning CO2 laundry methods to clean and preserve special garments.
Arden’s engagement ring was set with a diamond from a ring that had belonged to Aaron’s grandmother. They didn’t want to buy new metal or new gold so they recycled rings that came from both their families and had them melted down into brand new rings for their nuptials – talk about something old, borrowed, and renewed.
The wedding rings were created by nature-inspired ring designer Meghan Donahue. The compressed rings utilized a unique texture using a seashell the couple found while camping in the Florida Keys.
Former Hollywood photo Kimberly Wright was enlisted to put one of the most elegant touches on Aaron and Arden’s wedding. A fiercely raw vegan, Ms. Wright is thoroughly green as a skilled wedding photographer who works exclusively in digital and uses no chemicals.
Whenever she shoots in analog, which requires film and development, Kimberly is committed to finding ways to circumvent the chemicals from going into the water waste process. She takes her chemicals to waste management to ensure they are deposed of properly. Now that’s environmental commitment!
The couple did their part in cutting down on excess paper by not ordering too many print proofs and ordering the exact amount of final prints they needed.