Saturday, May 26, 2007

Green Weddings

Yes dear readers, I married just months ago. Weddings right now are an exciting topic, with numerous books like Rebecca Mead's "One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding." For us conservationists, the wedding industry has thoughtfully created the "green wedding."

While I was initially interested in incorporating a green element in my own wedding, I came to the conclusion that the green wedding was about hype. Instead of focusing on reducing, the creators of the green wedding urge you to buy more, just more organic stuff.

I, too, love organic stuff. I would have loved an organic silk crepe dress, preferably by a major designer. Also many seated meals with organic local foods, designed and cooked by a talented chef. Unfortunately, my budget did not afford these things.

Interactive Green Wedding Planning Advice:

1. My budget is: a. $20,000 or up b. less than $20,000

If you answered a or b:

point I:
The purpose of a big wedding is to celebrate with friends and family, not to make a political point. If you want both a wedding and a political event, I recommend that you separate the two.

point II:
Please do not ask for gifts of charity donations. It is very preachy (and if it is a "green wedding" anyway, people already understood the sermon once they saw the slow organic food menu).

I already think you are a good person or I won't buy you a gift. I want to give you a gift that celebrates your union and helps you build a household together. I may buy you something from your registry. So why don't you register for gifts that are lasting and useful. If I determine that it might be a better gift, I will give money. Or you can return the gift I gave you. With the money you either receive directly from the giver or indirectly from the store, you can make a donation to whichever charity you choose. I will never know. Or you can use it to help pay rent, or to buy groceries, or for some other nondisappearing bill.

Now:

If you answered a: follow the tips you will find elsewhere, and thank you for doing your part for our planet.

If you answered b: come along with me.

The keyword here is REDUCE. All these green luxuries, while "glamorous" have little to do with conservation. If you buy favors for all your guests, for example, each favor is one more extra thing that might never have needed to be produced. Even if the favors are organic seeds--those of your guests that are gardeners can buy their own. The others will just waste the seeds.

The good news is that a modest wedding does not have to use much extra energy. Don't be too anxious about it, and don't worry too much about whether it is "green." Focus on what is most important for you and your family.

10 Greener Wedding Ideas

1. Consider each element of the wedding and whether it is important to you.
2. Skip the favors.
3. Use plants instead of cut flowers.
4. Consider where the majority of the guests live, and have it nearby.
5. Skip extravagant touches.
6. Patronize local merchants.
7. Recycled paper for the invitations.
8. Recycled gold for the rings.
9. Reuse someone else's dress.
10. Register for gift items that you need/will use, and will stand the test of time.

2 comments:

Working Girl said...

Hi Liz,

These are some very smart comments about how-green-is-our-wedding! Common sense is a vital ingredient of many things, including (especially) weddings.

And thanks for coming by and posting on my blog. You made some very shrewd observations that others more or less missed, I believe.

CC said...

Thanks Working Girl. I also enjoyed reading your blog. It will be interesting to see what conclusions you are able to draw from all the comments.