As a green wedding coordinator, I am often asked questions such as, “So, everything’s green? The cake, the dress?” To which I answer, “Yes, but not in the St. Patty’s day way that you might be imagining”. And from others, well versed in sustainable semantics, “So how do you green a wedding?”
Interestingly enough, some dresses and centerpieces are green both in color and eco-consciousness. Such was the case when Jill Fehrenbacher and Peter Rojas were married last July, and Jill (the woman behind Inhabitat.com, a weblog devoted to eco-friendly design) elected to have her sage hued dress made by a local Bay Area dressmaker, and chose green, yellow, black and white as her wedding colors!
Jill and Peter’s wedding serves to illustrate one way to have a gorgeous wedding that includes limiting waste and supporting local, organic and recycled economies, as well as the couple’s personal values.
FLOWERS & ATTIRE:
One of the first things that we talked about was how to dress up a large bridal party, without going overboard. Jill had six bridesmaids, and didn’t want to ask each of them to buy a dress of her choosing, so she picked a uniform color instead. Each bridesmaid wore a black cocktail dress that suited her and was, in some cases reused, and, in all cases, reusable. I designed and assembled the bridal party’s personal flowers using California grown seasonal picks including orchids, freesia, chrysanthemum and hydrangea.
The chapel was decorated with potted orchids that went home with lucky guests, and for the dinner reception, we used non-floral centerpieces. The bridesmaids also recycled their bouquets as cocktail centerpieces, to conserve on cut flowers.
Jill and Peter knew that they wanted to have very few cut flowers in their wedding, since these expire quickly and are often promptly discarded. Jill chose centerpieces of lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana), a hearty desktop companion that is a highly efficient recycler itself, converting carbon dioxide and nitrogen from the air into respired oxygen! At the end of the evening guests were encouraged to take some lucky bamboo with them, to enjoy at home.
Jill and Peter observe a vegan diet, and so it was important to them to have their wedding dinner reflect their lifestyle in this way. Back to Earth Organic Catering put together a delicious vegan menu, and Jill and Peter consented to include some wild caught salmon as an option for
their non-vegan guests.
The overall look of the wedding was warm and simple, with elegant lines and highly personalized creative touches. During the reception, the newlyweds displayed a crest that Jill
had designed for the occasion of their marriage, and which had been emblazoned on their 100% PCW recycled paper invitations and pre-ordered thank you cards, in soy & vegetable based inks.
The avid blogging couple, who were featured last February on GeekSugar, ceremoniously changed their status on Myspace.com, from “single” to “married”, before their guests. To add another techy-themed item to the mix, recycled computer circuit board luggage tags served as escort cards that doubled as practical favors.
And instead of your average disposable votives, guest, cocktail and cake tables were decorated with reusable glasses, each containing a lead and paraffin free beeswax tea light (because you breathe what you burn).
Overall, Jill and Peter’s wedding was a great example of what two beautifully unique people can do to create a memorable day that not only speaks to their aesthetics and personality, but also serves to share their values of sustainability with the people they cherish most.