How We Kept Our Wedding as Green as Possible.

Another wedding post! Sorry, but folks have been asking me to spill the details a la People Magazine. Well, maybe not THAT trashy, but apparently, wedding details are popular topics of discussion. I was at a lunch with two tables full of insanely smart and talented women last week, and somehow most of the conversation focused on weddings. Granted, it’s just what was was going on with us, but I still felt guilty about it. I felt really bad for the few women at that table who didn’t have wedding-on-the-brain.

Still, I’m amazed by how wonderfully our wedding came together, so I thought I’d share some tips on what we did to keep it as Green as possible.

I’m still in shock that most wedding flowers are imported from South America. We were fortunate enough to find a florist/designer who understood our desire to Keep it Local. We had three quotes and Ann Rowan James Designs was the one in the middle. It wasn’t the cheapest, but she worked her a$$ off and made everything just beautiful.
We used potted plants to decorate the aisle and decks at the venue. I think most were rented, although some may have been herbs from my garden. Honestly, I can’t remember even seeing them because I was in a daze all night, but I’m told they were perfect. Also, they were returned and re-used, rather than having been cut arrangements to be composted/trashed.
I grew my own bouquets. That could have turned out horribly. We had a backup plan, which was to call the Farmers’ Market folks ahead and ask them to save any pinks, greens, and red flowers for us. Fortunately, my zinnias went crazy (and are even MORE crazy now, in case you are getting married this weekend and need a bouquet). There were six bouquets that were made from my own front yard — zinnias and mint — and flowers leftover to decorate the trellis and whatever else.
Locally grown hydrangeas were also purchased to supplement the bushiness of a few things, I believe. They were in-season and organic. Perfect. Really, we didn’t need to order them because there were so many hydrangea bushes around the neighborhood, we had access to plenty. I think it was just easier on the florist to have them delivered.

I made hundreds of bourbon balls in my own kitchen, using pecans grown from David’s parents’ front yard in Lubbock, Texas. We brought them back with us after our last visit to Lubbock.
– Of course, we used local bourbon to make the treats flavorful.
– David’s mother made miniature Chinese take-out boxes for guests to take home bourbon balls in. She spent months collecting scrap paper from various projects, so that none of the boxes was made out of virgin paper. They were adorable — and recycled.

Wedding Programs
– Instead of programs (paper waste!), we painted a giant piece of scrap plywood with Chalkboard paint. Then some good friends with more art sense than we have wrote up one giant program with everyone’s names and pertinent info. The program was hammered into the ground for everyone to see.
– We also made chalkboards for signage that can be re-used by the venue for future weddings.
– We were able to re-use some handheld fans from a friend’s wedding, so our guests could keep themselves cool during the ceremony.

– I borrowed my dress from my oldest friend (as in the friend I’ve known the longest, not actually my oldest friend). Seeing as a wedding dress is certainly only worn once, this was a perfect way to re-use and recycle.
– Most of the bridesmaids bought their dresses at a consignment shop. I’d basically said, “Wear whatever you want, as long as it is a bright, summer shade of green … think the colors in a watermelon rind.” It caused a bit of chaos at first. I thought after a while that most bridesmaids would actually prefer to be forced to buy something ugly rather than try to choose something for themselves. But it worked out gloriously, and so many people told me how pretty the greens looked up against the rolling hillside in the background.
The groomsmen just wore a black suits, which pretty much all of them already had.
– David ended up buying a new tuxedo for the occasion, mostly because it was actually cheaper than renting. But as a bonus, he looks super-hot in a tux, so I know I’ll be taking him to some black tie event in the future.

– It was all vegetarian, and I bet that most of the guests didn’t even notice that until they read this post just now. It was all finger foods — crudite, salsa bar, cheese & crackers, brie wheels, mini capreses, tapenades, tartlets, fried mac-n-cheese balls, etc. That’s probably the biggest way we made the event Green — no meat was purchased for it.

Getaway Car
– Some wonderful friends surprised us with the 21C bedazzled Limousine for our getaway car. Inside awaiting us was a bottle of champagne, as well as a note explaining that they purchased carbon offsets from They knew that we were avoiding big cars because of our Green Guilt, and they found a way around it. Cheers to having good friends who care as much as we do. It was a wonderful and almost guilt-free ride back to the hotel — the guilt came from the number of macaroni and cheese balls I consumed on the trip.

That’s it for now.