Happy Saint Paddy's Day! There are so many things I love about living close to Asheville. There are so many eco-friendly folks here.
In honor of “wearing green” for the day, I thought I'd go over my top five picks for making your wedding green, or eco-friendly.
- Limit your guest list. Fewer guests mean fewer resources used: less garbage, fewer dishes washed, and fewer fossil fuel used driving to your wedding, or transporting consumables. A smaller guest list also allows you to choose a smaller, more intimate venue, which could mean less electricity, heat/air. This has the added bonus of saving you money. And in these trying economic times, who doesn't love that?
- Buy locally. Find vendors that buy local (preferably organic) foods. Also, check out some of Asheville's fabulous craft stores, art supply shops, and yarn and quilting nooks for your DIY projects. You can also find these in towns like Waynesville and Sylva.
- In WNC, check out Short Street Cakes, which bakes wedding cakes “fresh, natural, from scratch, [and] with love.” Oh, and if you're a vegan, Jodi bakes a tasty wedding vegan cakes too!
- For list of caterers who use locally grown food, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project has a guide.
- Have edible center pieces and “tablescapes” such as potted herbs. Make them due double duty as wedding favors. Potted plants and seedlings could work well too. Your guests could bring them home and plant them.
- You can buy in-season cut flowers from local farmer's markets, put them in pretty little thrift-store vases, and scatter a few of them on each table. The trick here is to use fewer flowers. One or two blooms look fantastic in smaller vintage vases.
- Have edible centerpieces such as baskets of fruit or vegetables on each tables. Tomatoes or apples make colorful, rustic
- Find a local florist with solid eco-values in WNC, try Aria Floral. Lissa at Flora Events and Floral Design also creates super cute terrariums. Lissa also have a love of all things vintage, which is très eco-chic because design elements are reused.
- Buy and pre-owned wedding gown, (preferably locally) See previous post Your Wedding Dress: Green and Cheap for details.
- Have your ceremony and reception in the same place: Consider having the wedding and reception at an inn or bed and breakfast. There are a number of western North Carolina inns, and bed and breakfasts that offer beautiful ceremony sites and can accommodate a full reception. Or, get creative and contact some of the local museums and historic houses. The Crest Pavilion, Claxton Farm, or the Grove Park Inn also offer beautiful wedding venues for any bride: elegant, chic or rustic.
Bonus tips: Use 100% post-consumer recycled paper and soy-based ink for your invitations; and check out the Green Bride Guide to calculate your wedding's carbon footprint.