Thursday, June 26, 2008

How to sync my wedding with my values

I love the current trend in eco-weddings. The cynical part of me (admittedly a very large part) rolls my eyes whenever I see a new blog story about them because I think they're very trendy right now and that quite a few people have them just so they can brag about them to others. As in "My wedding is so environmentally conscious. I have letterpress invitations done with soy based ink on recycled paper made from used condoms."

Unfortunately, many aspects of the environmental movement are out of reach for most people. Although I buy free range meats for my FH and I, there's no way I can afford to do that for a wedding. My Mom was telling me the other day about this great story in Martha Stewart Weddings (groan!) about a menu that featured free range beef and chicken. I said "Mom - that sounds fantastic! Do you have any idea how much that's going to be?"

I don't want to give up flowers just because I can't afford organic ones. I don't want to tell my friends and family that live out of town not to come because of the carbon wasted traveling. Even though I eat about 95% local in the summer and 60-65% the rest of the year, I can't afford all local meats and food for my wedding.

However, there are things I can do to that sync up with my values. The main one being that if I can buy it, rather than rent it, I will. I know that sounds ridiculous - how does buying more stuff help environmentally? My main goal for this is that I hope to reuse aspects of my wedding in my day-to-day life and I plan on passing the other things down to another bride after me. I also plan on buying used as much as possible.

I do plan on using some flowers in my wedding. I've already asked the first florist I've interviewed if I can use flowers from my garden - she thought that was a great idea. I'm also coming up with ways to reduce the amounts of flowers I need. I plan on using lots of votive candles and a farmer friend is growing heirloom winter squash for me that we plan to decorate with. We'll even be able to eat some of them later this winter!

Brothers Cove is one of the more environmentally friendly resorts in the Pigeon Forge area which unfortunately isn't saying much. However, they do make an effort to place their cabins so that they don't disrupt the natural beauty. They plant trees for any they have to cut down and use any trees cut down in the building of the cabins or in the furniture inside. They use building techniques like building on platforms to keep from cutting down more trees than is necessary.

We'll be eating seasonal foods and some of what we'll be eating will be from local providers. Cheese will be from Locust Grove Farm and several farmer friends will be growing produce for me. We'll be serving hot pepper jelly made from peppers from my back yard and the fillings in the cake will be from local fruit I preserved this summer. For favors, we're giving out apple butter made from local apples.

There are just a few things but I'm happy about them. I wish I could do more but then the rational side of me says to the perfectionist part "The perfect is the enemy of the good". We do what we can and we try to improve. And that's all we can do.

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