Over the weekend, I devoured the latest Domino magazine. For those of you that don't know me, this is my very favorite magazine in the entire world...I literally wait by the mailbox for it to come each month. Then I wait until I can find the perfect uninterupted moment to really read it, (i.e. Sunday afternoon with the windows open, my pup asleep on the floor and a hot cup of coffee in hand) to completely absorb every page. My love affair with Domino is somewhat of a problem...it's an obsession.
If you haven't read the latest issue, the entire mag is devoted to living a green inspired life...to improving our planet inch-by-inch, person-by-person. And what I found incredibly fascinating is that living green doesn't mean living in a bland or colorless world anymore. Many of the great designers are catching up with the environmental concerns and are coming out with sophisticated, green inspired designs . ABC Carpet and Home (in my opinion one of the best home stores in the country) has a new line called Pure that is completely eco-friendly and completely eco-fabulous. Think chairs covered in vintage saris, sofas made without heavy chemicals or dies and stuffed with organic cotton then covered in hemp fabrics. And, they are GORGEOUS.
So I am now completely inspired. And why not put that inspiration into the one thing that I do best..weddings! I have scoured every magazine I own, searched through all of the most in-the-know sites for green design, pulled specification info on some of the more popular wedding designers, and much to my delight, have come up with a lovely, green inspired wedding...and all in just a couple of hours. So of course that makes me wonder, what could YOU do in a couple of months?
The gowns above are all designed by Olivia Luca who is extremely conscious of the fabrics that she uses and their effect on the environment. Many of her pieces are made using 100% raw silk, others using Certified Organic 100% Cotton Sateen. The best part though, (because let's face it...as a bride, you want to look spectacular), is that each Olivia Luca gown is made from scratch, based on your own ideas and personal style. So, not only can you tell all of your friends that you are wearing an environmentally friendly gown, you can also tell them (with a bit more sass) that it's couture.
California Organic Flowers specialize in seasonal, fresh cut flowers.They can be delivered anywhere in the country, bunched and ready for you to create your own arrangement. If you can find a local flower farm near you, however, it is best to buy those that you can easily transport. Also featured are really great paper vases, a summit vase and transSglass vases, perfect homes for your organic flowers.
Debra King designs the most gorgeous cakes, all made with organic ingredients and fresh flowers. That means no artificial colors and no preservatives, so your guests can enjoy a slice of cake completely guilt free. Well, sort of.
Almonds with Piment d’Espelette
Cheeses, Black Mission Figs & Acme Breads
Fresh Shell Bean Puree with Garlic & Rosemary
Green Olive Tapenade with Chopped Egg & Savory
Fried Artichokes & Lemon
Rocket Salad with Corn & Cherry Tomatoes
Niman Ranch Rib-Eye Steak Grilled over Vine Cuttings with Salsa Verde
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Scallions & New Garlic
Green Beans with Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Fleur de Sel
Ginger & Mulberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
When it comes to the food you serve, try to find local caterers that offer fresh, locally grown organic ingredients.By choosing seasonal ingredients, you can avoid additional additives and preservatives that many caterers use. If you don't have a caterer that offers organic products in your area, there are online sources (see below) that can ship directly to the kitchen of your choice.
Other great tips for pulling off a green inspired wedding:
-Use organic 100% cotton table linens and napkins and beeswax or soy based candles for decor. OR, for an outdoor wedding, place eco pine torches around the grounds for an all-over glow.
-Rent tents, china, linens and silverware...rentals fall under the recyclable category.
-Use organic, locally grown flowers from area farmer's markets if possible. Potted plants transport well and can be planted in your garden after the reception. If you don't have local markets, contact Organic Bouquet for fabulous, fresh flowers.
Food & Drinks
-The food you serve should be locally grown and organic. Again, talk to your caterer about the quality of their products and make sure that they are able to get the best season ingredients. According to Domino (and me, as I live in SF where some of these companies are based), Cow Girl Creamery has the best cheeses, Niman Ranch has the best beef, pork and lamb, Diamond Organics has wonderful produce and Horizon (available nationwide) gets the gold star for butter.
-If you can afford to do this, buy organic wine, coffee and tea to serve your guests
**Anything that you buy locally cuts down on fossil fuels used when shipping products. If you are getting married in a remote area and can't buy locally there are online sources that will ship fresh, organic ingredients directly to you.
Hotel & Travel
-It is definitely more eco-friendly to have your wedding and your reception in the same location (or walkable). Check with the Green Hotel Association to see if your favorite spot is green.
-If you have to travel from point A to point B, see if your city has eco-limos for your bridal party and set up carpooling for your guests.
-While planning your honeymoon, check out Eco Resorts...the greatest source for environmentally friendly (and still completely decadent) vacations.
-Give a tree! What better way to give back to the world.
-Use centerpieces or place settings that double as favors...potted plants in vintage tins, votive soy candles.
-Wrap recycled boxes filled with Miette's organic macaroons in this adorable and sustainable wrapping paper.
-Leave your guests on a sweet note with organic chocolate truffles
Portovert, a new, green weddings magazine filled with wonderful information for creating an eco-friendly wedding.
Eco Fabulous, a blog for the eco-minded style maven.
ZahZoom Weddings & Parties, a full service wedding planning company that caters to green-minded couples.
Domino Blogs, great resources for great green design.
Splendora, check out their new eco-style section with super shopping tips and go green links.
Sustainable Style, a blogger's guide to living green...and living well.
Girlawhirl, a girl's guide to making your way in a green world.
Tree Hugger, the blogging bible for living a green lifestyle
Fabulously Green, the best in environmentally sound design
**Email me your tips for other great, green resources!! There is a great article on Brides for designing a chic, stylish eco-friendly wedding. You should definitely check it out!
And finally, my friends, I must admit...I am somewhat "green" when it comes to living in an environmentally friendly world. I am working to educate myself and modify my lifestyle in simple ways and I just hope that you are too. There are so many small changes that we can make when it comes to weddings...use organic ingredients and recycled papers, give your guests favors that will create a better world or those that are made organically by local artisans. Recycle the cans and bottles that are used during your reception and use fresh, locally grown flowers.
As trite as it sounds, every little bit counts...every little bit is important.