Eco Friendly Wedding

written by Aspen Zettel on October 8, 2013 in articles with no comments

As a wedding photographer extraordinaire, this summer has been a whirlwind of white dresses, bunting, three-tiered cake and first dances. The structure of the day often stays the same throughout the season, but it’s always interesting to see what a couple will do to make an often generic space their own. This season especially, my wedding couples got really creative, eco-friendly, and cost-friendly to decorate and celebrate their nuptials.

In early August, two good friends tied the knot at the groom’s parent’s place near Cochrane – overlooking a vista filled with woodland, mountains and valleys. They set up a bright white tent on the cliffside and held their ceremony in a wildflower-filled meadow. Sounds delightful? Yep, it certainly was. The bride spent a good while rescuing vintage table cloths and floral teacups from the second hand stores around the city. Mason jars full of fresh wildflowers decorated the tables, and the dessert table was laid out with hand-baked goods from a selected group of guests. Quick little name plates let you know who made what, so that you could pester them for their secret recipes later in the evening. Asking a few key people you can rely on to bring something small is a great way to include aunties and and friends without burdening them, and it also offsets your catering expenses.

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Another great wedding I was at took place at a kid’s camp, about an hour and a half just outside the city. Mini-destination weddings are great because it cuts down on the guests  that are just there for the food! It’s good not to go too far though, so that commuting doesn’t become an environmental burden through fuel consumption. We all slept in cabins or in the main lodge, we brought our own bedding, and everyone pitched in with set up and clean up. The dinner was especially fun because the set up was so different from anything else I’d seen. The couple had borrowed hay bales and draped blankets over them. That way you could sit on the ground and lean against one, or you could sit atop and watch the festivities. The whole thing was sprawled out in a tetris-like grid in front of the lake and the setting sun. Guests sipped their wine and munched on gourmet salads and sandwiches stacked high with charcuterie items, while speeches and entertainment commenced.

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These two weddings were fundamentally different because they took into consideration the landscape and incorporated them into the decor to create a magical day unlike anything else. They were both a lot of work, and asked for many hands to make the work light. In the end, the participation is what made them fun and personal, and so lovely.

None of the elements used at these weddings were super expensive or hard to acquire – every element was about taking the time to look for things in out-of-the-way places, asking for help in a fun and reasonable way, and relaxing your focus on matching every element.

Introducing Greenmunch into a wedding styled like these two would be a great way to stay eco-friendly, off-set the cost of renting dishes, and adding interesting textures and finishes into the overall look of things. Creating layered table settings with Greenmunch products interspersed is fun and easy. Adding the plates made from palm leaves and using the patterned paper straws creates color and texture in effective and cost-friendly ways.

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Creating center pieces from found objects is a cool way to go on fun adventures before your wedding to search out a collection of artifacts – like taking a stroll on a beach vacation to collect some (unoccupied) shells or interesting rocks, sticks, or sea glass. Adding candles and some second-hand candle holders establish different little stories on each table and provide visual interest for guests in-between speeches and dessert. Lastly, using fruit as a decoration is pretty and useful if there are plenty of kids present – parents can placate them with it if dinner is running behind, which keeps them quiet through your emcee’s opening remarks….

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    I’m a full time photographer, make up artist, writer, and foodie. I currently freelance for Where magazine, helping out with their Hot Dining section, as well as freelance as a make up artist for Global TV’s creative department. When I’m not doing either of those things, I’m either photographing a wedding, or saying yes to an awesome project… such as taking on the blog for Greenmunch!

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