Ok so not exactly “my big fat Greek wedding” but the decision to go green was a NO-BRAINER for us. We found creative ways to maximize the positive impact our wedding had on the planet. These are our green wedding vendors:
DRESS: My mom lent me her wedding dress worn 30 years ago to be mine for a day. How often do you get to wear vintage that has personal sentimental value? I used to watch ”Say Yes to the Dress” in horror. All of those raw materials, resources and money spent on an outfit you wear for 8 hours? I would have been riddled with guilt. Instead with the blessing of my mama and the amazing skill of Phuong Do (seamstress extraordinaire) we amended the original dress to reflect a little bit of me.
INVITATIONS: Yoko Chapman was the brains and creative force behind Pulp & Circumstance. They offered filigree designer invitations on 100% post-consumer recycled and Forest Stewardship Council certified paper printed with soy-based inks. Fortunately for us, we got a great deal on our invitations and got to do the whole black & white motif in an elegant way. Unfortunately for everyone else, Yoko decided to close shop at the end of 2009.
FLOWERS: Marie-Soleil at Les Halles En Fleurs designed our wedding party flowers and centerpieces using Sierra Eco flowers which are fair trade and sustainably grown. Originally, I had my heart set on anemones but her Sierra Eco producer couldn’t guarantee availability for January 01. She convinced me to go with a combination of orchids and white amaryllis and it turned out beautifully.
DECOR: I had a wonderful plan to include oodles of candlelight for our wedding. It seemed fitting for the day and time of our ceremony. I had ordered ivory pillar beeswax candles but UPS sucks and the delivery didn’t arrive in time. Luckily, I had a stash of Trillium Soy Candles that filled in…sort of.
CEREMONY & RECEPTION: We chose Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac - the “greenest” hotel in Canada (and apparently the most photographed one too!). Fairmont has received the Four Green Key Rating from the Hotel Association of Canada. Fairmont has an Energy and Carbon Management Program in support of their Climate Change Strategy, that allows them to monitor, track, and report on their progress toward achieving significant CO2 reductions at all of their locations worldwide.
There was an emphasis on using local, organic, Fair Trade and sustainable food products where possible in our dinner and late night buffet. We enjoyed local ingredients, Canadian wines and fair trade coffee. There was a lot of food. Thankfully, no food waste went to landfill. It was composted.
CAKE: Our delectable wedding cake was courtesy of LPK’s Culinary Groove. It was VEGAN (no dairy, no egg) and beautifully made with certified organic and fair trade ingredients by a sustainable bakery in Toronto. Our flavour: vegan vanilla zinger cake. Vanilla cake with sweet ginger frosting. Delicious!
MUSICIAN: We saved a bit of electricity and supported a local musican by having David Jacques play guitar for our wedding ceremony. Not only did David work out a classical guitar arrangement for “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney & Wings which I walked down the aisle to but he also accompanied my uncle/gentleman of honour who sang Serena Ryder’s Winter Waltz following our vows.
RINGS: We opted to make our own wedding bands at The Devil’s Workshop which was wonderfully DIY. Both rings were cut from the same piece of metal. Since we did not do the whole diamond engagement ring thing, on my band, 8 white sapphires were added around. Although the price difference between a sapphire and diamond was nominal (which causes me to wonder why the hell diamonds are so expensive then), sapphires are much easier on the earth.
WELCOME BAGS: In lieu of favours, we invested a bit more in preparing welcome bags for everyone. I wanted most everything to be PRACTICAL. So the bag itself was from EnviroSax. Inside was lavender hand & body lotion from Tiber River, VEGAN chocolate chip banana bread (homemade), fruit and cheese supplied locally, and roasted ground nuts harvested by our sponsored child’s mother. 95% of the paper products found in the bag were post-consumer recycled and with the exception of one piece of plastic, everything else was recyclable.
ACCOMMODATIONS: We were totally impressed with the Hotel Chateau Laurier. They have an excellent hotel greening program and offered great value. Located at the intersection of Place George V and Grande Allee, we were in the middle of the action and just a short walk from Old Quebec. This meant we could use carbon-free modes of transportation like our own two feet.