Greening Your Wedding – Part One

Author: Christine March


 

 

With Earth Day just around the corner (April 22) let’s talk about how you can have a gorgeous and memorable wedding while minimizing your impact on our precious Mother Earth.

There was a time when an eco-conscious wedding looked like this:

Image From: http://whenyouawake.com/2011/07/08/picture-book-hippie-weddings/

Image From: Hippie Weddings

 

That was then. Today your wedding can be beautiful, unique, meaningful and eco-conscious. Let’s cast a green eye on some of the major components that go into creating a memorable wedding, keeping the environmental impact top of mind.

 

Venue

Finding the perfect place to celebrate with family and friends is the #1 goal of newly engaged couples. Your venue sets the tone for your wedding and, along with catering costs, will likely represent the largest percentage of your overall budget.

For many couples a green venue means only one thing:  being outdoors in a beautiful natural setting. Toronto Parks and Recreation offers many outdoor options for your wedding, from parks to gardens to sandy beaches. But remember you cannot control Mother Nature and not all Toronto park locations provide a Plan B should the skies open on your special day. Contact the park directly to find out what their policy is for inclement weather. And remember you will need a permit.  Click here for information on properties managed by the city, including permit costs and maximum capacities.

If worrying that a downpour will ruin your special day, don’t despair. Toronto has many gorgeous, green indoor alternatives. Consider a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified venue, such as:

Toronto Botanical Garden

Evergreen Brickworks

Artscape Wychwood Barns

Alternatively, look for a venue such as Hotel le Germain that has clearly stated environmental policies.

 

Catering

The Eat Local movement really took off a few years ago and continues to influence our food choices, from shopping for groceries to choosing where to dine out. Many – possibly most – catering companies have a strong commitment to sourcing local ingredients, but here are just a few caterers that expand the Go Local credo to include a published environmental policy:

Jayne’s Gourmet Catering

enVille Event Design & Catering

The Food Dudes

 

Invitations

A strong argument can be made for e-vites as the most environmentally friendly way to invite people to your wedding. Personally, I prefer to let etiquette be the prevailing consideration and encourage couples to send paper invitations to their guests. E-vites do not express the sense of occasion that a beautiful paper invitation does. E-vites don’t work for grandparents (or Luddites) who do not have computers. E-vites often end-up in spam or junk mail folders. And you can’t stick an e-vite to your computer or fridge as a reminder to RSVP.

There are environmentally-friendly options, however.

Look for paper that is Forestry Stewardship Council certified. This is what Toronto’s Papier Lapin uses for all their stationery designs. Here’s a sample of their work:

PaperLapinInvitation

 

Winnipeg’s Botanical Paperworks  has been designing and producing beautiful plantable paper products for years. You can shop online for all your stationery needs. Closer to home, Cry If I Want To (love the name)  in trendy Leslieville also carries eco-chic stationery embedded with flower seeds.

If you insist on the e-vite option Paperless Post is the leader in creating beautiful, customized and cost-effective e-vites.

Greening Your Wedding – Part 2 will look at minimizing your environmental footprint in the areas of  wedding fashion, flowers, transportation, and guest favours. Look for that post on Earth Day, Monday April 22nd.

 

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