Unexpected Ways to Cut Wedding Costs and Your Carbon Footprint Part 2

written by Aspen Zettel on November 27, 2013 in articles with no comments

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to guest blog on the Rose Pedals Vegan Wedding website last month, to share with their readers the tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years to help prep for the big day. I want to go into a bit more detail though, about the vendors I’ve had the chance to work with and why they might be good to check out if you’re in the midst of planning your wedding. This post is in running with the last post on our Greenmunch site, and I’ve incorporated some of the post I wrote for Rose Pedals, but fleshed it out just a bit more.

Every bride knows that planning a wedding is a lesson in multitasking, decorating, budgeting, and scheduling. For any bride-to-be, if you haven’t been planning your wedding since your Barbie had a car, the task can seem a bit daunting.  However, the Internet is a great resource for finding alternative choices to classic planning items, and going eco-friendly with your decorations and supplies is a great way to spend less and feel good about your carbon footprint. Greenmunch specializes in environmentally friendly, one-time use products that simplify clean up and planning, while their availability in a wide variety of sophisticated palettes will satisfy any stylist. The dilemma of renting versus buying is all about evaluating where you want to invest your dollars in décor, so let’s go through some product options to help you make those decisions a bit easier.

One of the best ways to save expenses on decorating is to make your products do double duty. Using a piece of fruit as a favor is an easy way to add a pop of color and decorate. Add a gold pin and a paper leaf with a name on it and it’s a place marker. It’s an elegant way to dress a room and layout a table. Plus, any fruit not taken home by your guests makes a good brunch add-on the next morning. Select seasonal fruit to keep your costs low and to imbue a sense of naturalism to the room. Wash everything well and remove all the stickers in case anyone gets ambitious and takes a bite before dinner. I saw this first hand at one of my weddings I photographed this year – the wedding planner, Sofia Morgadinho of Awespiring Weddings comes up with the most beautiful and sumptuous layouts that I’ve had the pleasure to photograph. A great way to invest in your wedding while keeping it eco-friendly is to hire a wedding planner. They have access to industry professional rental places, and their bank of knowledge and experience is well worth the investment.

Using mason jars as wine and water glasses is a pragmatic choice for keeping spills at a minimum, can also be used as a great decoration for holding tea lights, as well as be re-used for parties and canning season. Recycling glass jars can be done for decades, and are a great investment as such. The Ball Heritage Collection series in blue glass are especially pretty and unique. Mason jars are also great vases – if you crave floral centerpieces but are on a tight budget, ask your florist about buying an assortment of green foliage in bulk and adding a few sprigs of each leaf to every arrangement. Or, take a trip out to the countryside and snip cattails, foxtails and wildflowers for your centerpieces. It’s a bit more labor-intensive, but it’s free! There are two floral arrangement gurus I recommend to clients in Edmonton – one being the newcomer Fabloomosity, because their stuff is inventive, glorious and has longevity. The other is Zocalo – Located in Little Italy, I have never been steered wrong by Stasha (she did my flowers for my own wedding). They are just as creative and talented as Fabloomosity, and maybe even a bit more cost effective? Talk to your florist about using locally sourced whenever possible. It cuts down on fuel emissions from shipping and your arrangements are often fresher. You can also use unconventional items in your arrangements like rose hips, berries, pine cones, acorns and more. Sounds like a fun afternoon in the woods collecting forest floor items to me! When you’re finished, they compost beautifully.

Renting linens, cutlery, stemware and plates increases exponentially with every guest. Decide what is important to you to rent, and what you could supplement with high-end disposable products, like our Veterra Palm plates. They compost within two months and are steamed into their shape. The texture and color of the natural fibers elevates the organic, natural feel of the room and adds a rustic touch. Our innovative Origami napkins come in a variety of colors, are fun (and fast) to fold, add texture, and hold your guest’s cutlery at their table setting. The new table runners come in an assortment of patterns and are subtly perforated for easy transition into placemats. Lastly, our wide variety of paper straws come in so many colors and patterns, you’ll be certain to add a pop of color and whimsy to your table layout. If you want to collect vintage lace table cloths for your wedding, many people have the same idea and even sell them afterwards – check out places like Craigslist and Kijiji for recycled items. You can pass them along when you’re finished as well and recoup some of your costs.

In terms of decorating the space, tissue paper poms are lightweight, soft and pretty and come in a variety of colors. Adding bunting to the bar and head table imbues a whimsical element and a hint of nostalgia. You can also have charming patterned cupcake wrappers, paper napkins, and paper cups in matching patterns for your dessert table and coffee station. These small but punchy accents pump up the vivacity of the rental space. The fancier and more high-tech your venue, the higher the rental cost. Think about an afternoon wedding outdoors with picnic accents in lieu of an evening affair. Many kids camps around the city are a short driving distance and have rustic, cost effective options if you’re willing to forego alcohol or an evening event.

Greenmunch products are cost effective, elegant, and fun to layer into any wedding. The best part is that everything can be ordered online and shipped to your door. Size details and materials, as well as environmental certifications are all available for review on our website. Also, depending on where you’re located, many cities have a few distributors for renting supplies. My go-to in Edmonton is River City Rentals. Don’t select the big name provider without looking for alternatives first. You’ll often be pleasantly surprised at the great customer service and lower cost of option B. Give yourself lots of time to decide what the feel of the day should be, and prioritize what is most important to you both. At the end of the day, don’t over think your choices – your guests will remember the feel of the room, the food, the music, and most importantly, the love between you and your spouse bringing everyone together for a fantastic night of making memories.

Here’s my list for great vendors in the Edmonton, Alberta area. Check out their sites to see what they do and why they love to do it!
Awespiring Weddings  – talk to Sofia, she’s a wizard!

Justine Ma Design & Hand Lettering – Justine Ma is an amazing calligrapher in the Edmonton area. If you ask her to use recycled materials, she will dream up something divine!

Zocalo – awesome floral arrangements, talk to Stasha

Bangbang Bijoux – the best and most creative costume jewels I have ever seen. Every piece is a statement piece, and the majority of components are rescued from warehouse suppliers who went under during the first and second world war. Never used, but achingly beautiful and untouched for decades, Rachel lovingly transforms furniture finials and more into glorious pieces of wearable art.

Fort Edmonton Park  – one of my favourite venues of all time, the best thing about using the park as your venue is that the rich history of the rental spaces is all the decor your really require. Check out the various venues for your facility needs. I love the married men’s quarters for the big stone fireplace and low ceiling. Pick this venue for a winter wedding and everyone will remark forever on how romantic and cozy it was.

River City Events – best service and price in Edmonton, hands down.

Kelsey McIntyre Bridal Design  – Edmonton designer Kelsey makes great wedding dresses and I bet would consider recycling some beautiful fabrics to be found second hand if you work together!



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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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