Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Opportunistic Bride

I'm getting married next summer, and it has occurred to me more than a few times that 'green weddings' are so much easier said than done.

A quick google search will introduce you to plenty of blogs, consultants, and planners with advice and services to help couples plan a 'green wedding' (Rent a hybrid limo! Choose a LEED certified venue! Ask your caterer to use organic ingredients!) but the fact is that any big event, no matter the purpose, is inevitably going to be a source of waste, carbon, and consumption.

Photo from the hilarious Practical Ryan Gosling.
I know that our wedding will be no exception. We've got a huge guest list, (that's what happens when you marry into an Irish Catholic family) from all over the country (that's what happens when you come from a family of nomads).

But it doesn't mean we're not trying wherever the effort seems worthwhile. We chose a location near the majority of our guests so that as few people as possible are traveling. The reception and ceremony are both on-site so there isn't any travel required between the two.  We're doing paperless invitations for most guests, and online RSVPs for all.  And so on and so forth.

I realized recently, though, that something I've been doing just to save my sanity is also helping to make our wedding greener: I am an Opportunistic Bride.

Instead of having an exact vision of what precise colors, flowers, decorations, etc. our wedding must have, I've been letting happenstance and luck determine our exact decor. Found an awesome container at a thrift store or in a dumpster? Dust it off and call it a flower vase! Some random pieces of ribbon that my aunt saved from someone else's wedding? They're perfect!

It doesn't mean that I take every old thing I find and plan on using it in the wedding. I'm being quite selective, in fact.  It just means that I don't need to hunt for very specific or perfectly matching items.

Instead, I keep an eye out for items matching the general look and feel that I hope to accomplish. I always have a few paint chips in my purse so that I can check to see if my opportunistic discoveries fit the general palette I'm going for.  I've given myself permission to match a broad color range instead of an exact hue, and to not need consistency or symmetry anywhere in our decor.

I'll still have to buy some things new, no doubt, but being open and flexible to reuse whatever objects I can find has allowed me to save a lot of used items from the landfill, not to mention saving my budget and my sanity as a bride.

1 comment:

EcoAgentLA said...

I have done some event bartending this summer. Both brides bought cases of Ball jars and gave them to guests with a pen and name tag to be their container for the evening...everyone loves the idea and it creates so much less waste at the end of the evening...and both brides were avid canners, so the jars got used again. Eco-Consultants help to grow the green movement by teaching people how to save money in their homes, purchase more sustainable products, keep their families healthy and away from toxins. You can learn exactly how to become an ECo-Consultant with Eco Institution's online curriculum.