16 SEPTEMBER 20, 2018 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
AN ECO-FRIENDLY AFFAIR
Proclaiming your love while protecting the planet
BY TERESA IQBAL
Weddings planning can be
a conflict of interest for
those couples who have a
wedding style in mind but are environmentally
of elegant fl owers, fancy invitations
and fl avorful food are not necessarily
green-thinking. Luckily, there are a
number of alternatives these days.
With a little creativity and planning,
couples can reduce their wedding
carbon footprint and still express
their personal style.
Wedding invitations are one of
the most important aspects of the
planning process. They introduce
your wedding theme and inform your
guests of your pending nuptials, including
logistical information about
the big day. There are a number of
paper components: save-the-dates,
the formal invitation and RSVP cards.
To avoid waste, create invitations online.
You can consolidate everything
onto one central Evite, or even create
a wedding website. The Knot is the
nation's largest source for wedding
news and inspiration. It off ers many
templates for couples' personal sites.
Besides event details and an RSVP
function, you will be able to upload
directions, information on accommodations,
bios of those in your wedding
party, a link to your wedding registry
and photos. You could upload a whole
collection of photos of you and your
honey, from your fi rst date to your
One design aesthetic that can be
altered for eco-friendliness is fl owers.
They are used everywhere, from the
bride's and bridesmaids' bouquets, to
the groom's and groomsmen's' corsages,
to the petals thrown down the aisle,
to the centerpieces. Fresh fl owers are
oft en grown specifi cally to be cut and
used for weddings and other events.
Many couples encourage guests to
take the centerpieces home to enjoy,
thinking it is less wasteful. But there
are many other decorative options
that leave fl owers out altogether.
Succulents are a great alternative
to a living centerpiece. They survive
only by being watered very little, in
fact. Succulents come in many looks
and sizes, so altogether they are a
somewhat eclectic aesthetic. Try placing
one oversized succulent across
a table, or scattering three or four.
Terrariums are large glass containers
that can house succulents, making a
beautiful modern centerpiece that can
double as wedding favors.
The big day is another page in each
couple's love story. Why not include
other stories as a decoration? Antique
books make for a great centerpiece.
Find them at thrift stores, yard sales
and the library discard pile.
One article on Martha Stewart Weddings
called "19 Non-Floral Centerpiece
Ideas for a Wedding" lists clever
centerpieces for couples to "think
outside the bloom." Ideas include
spray-painting game pieces white, or
spray-painting faux bay-laurel twigs
gold; collecting seashells to display
in vases (Why not take a walk on the
beach with your betrothed to collect
them?); fi lling Champagne fl utes with
ornaments; and arranging rows of
tea candles. Not all are considerably
eco-friendly, but what's great about
them is they can all be brought into
the home for later use, whether for
special holidays or table decorations.
Couples can also outfi t the wedding
party with alternative wardrobe accessories.
Bouquets made out of paper
flowers or feathers are becoming
increasingly popular for brides and
bridesmaids. In place of corsages for
the groomsmen, many are choosing
novelty pins, such as navy boats for
a nautical themed wedding. Visit the
Etsy website to customize your own
for a reasonable price. Oft entimes,
fl ower girls throw fl ower petals as
they walk down the aisle. But couples
can get creative with this, too. Fallen
leaves or pinecones, for example, are
a simple, natural touch appropriate
for weddings in fall or winter. And
seashells can do just the trick for a
As far as cuisine goes, it's a wellknown
fact that environmental
impact rises the farther food has to be
transported. As a way to lessen environmental
infl uence, choose a caterer
who specializes in using local, seasonal
produce. This is also a terrifi c way to
share delicious cuisine that's special to
your area (or the area of the ceremony)
and may not be accessible to the guests
who've come from other places.
Though the saying "one steps forward
and two steps back" is oft en seen
in a negative light, when it comes to
reducing the carbon footprint of
wedding decor, the more steps back,