Saturday, August 24, 2013

Thinking about having a "green" wedding?

When planning an environmentally friendly "green" wedding, there are three words that comes to mind:  Recycle, Re-purpose, Rent!  Borrow or buy containers that have already been used for a wedding. Look around your home and decide if there is anything you can use to hold flowers:  pitchers, vases, interesting jars, and even cleaned out cans with colorful labels!  I've done flowers for a party using an Italian food them in Italian tomato cans!  Some of them have fabulous labels!

I recycled beer bottles and turned them into vases for a party.
Even blue jeans can be re-purposed and turned into vases.
I've re-purposed an urn I bought at an auction and used my mother's golf clubs to create this golf container.
These flowers were arranged in a re-purposed cigar box.
I've also created flowers in baskets for a wedding.  The groom's mother had taken basket making class and they sat in a bag in her attic because she didn't know what to do with them. As soon as I heard that I suggested we use them on the tables and make each one a bit different for the wedding.

There are now several manufacturers who also make their glass vases out of recycled materials.  I have used these for several events.  And I also use "crepe" containers, particularly for ceremonies, that are made from recycled materials.  And a way to not involve flower foam when using these containers for centerpieces is for your florist to arrange flowers in sand rather than floral foam.   And if you can rent anything for your wedding - that's a great way to go.  I work with Mile Hill Wicker in Trooper that rents out lots of wonderful vintage and rustic items for a wedding.  I'd be happy to show the containers or techniques to a bride who is interested in doing something like this. 

 Another thing that a bride might want to consider is her flowers - do you want them to all be from local gardens where no pesticides are used or can the be flown/shipped/trucked from other states or countries?  This is a completely personal decision and it does limit the seasons when you can have a wedding to make use of garden flowers.  I've used hydrangea, zinnias, dusty miller, branches, mock orange and more from my garden for many of my weddings.

We carved this log from our backyard with a chainsaw.

Logs cut from my backyard to hold placecard birds.   I also rent these out.

Mock orange from my yard for this placecard table arrangement.
A tree fell in my back yard and we turned the trunk into containers that we rent out to our brides.

I used twigs from my yard that I painted to make these houses for a party.

This is also a tree trunk from my backyard that I turned into a placecard table arrangement.

Please keep in mind that all flowers are biodegradable and can be put in a compost pile.
 If you've used fruit or vegetables in your centerpieces - would you consider donating these to a local food pantry after the wedding.   How about donating your centerpieces to a geriatric center or nursing home?  All of the centerpieces at this wedding contained fruit. It was all donated to a food pantry in Phoenixville.
These apples in this centerpiece came from the orchard of this couple's grandparents.  I also added hosta from my garden.
The birdseed in this placecard table arrangement was left at the arboretum to feed the birds.
And finally, this flower girl basket was filled with bird seed - instead of rose petals or flowers.  The birds at Tyler Arboretum graciously ate them up!
So even if you're not having a totally "green" wedding, there are many things that you can do to help our environment in small ways.

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