The vows haven’t changed so much over time – a promise to love and stand by your spouse through years of job stress, debilitating flu viruses and the awesome task of bringing new humans into the world.
But how you stage your wedding celebration can reduce your carbon footprint, according to the new planner Green Wedding by New York Times style writer, Mireya Navarro (below). As she puts it:
“Some environmentalists say the best green wedding is the one that doesn’t happen at all. Elope, they say. On a bicycle. But couples who stick to a more traditional approach can still plan the wedding of their dreams and do well by the environment.”
Recognizing that the bridal industry is a huge money-making monster that preys upon fulfilling the fantasies of wanna-be princesses (let’s face it, the groom can end up as a prop), the book walks us down the alternative aisle, steering clear of costly corporate venues with throw-away centerpieces and factory meat.
And don’t forget that costly dress most women wear once and store away.
Instead, she highlights the inventive service and parties thrown by a handful of couples committed to both preserving the union of marriage and the resources of our endangered planet.
It needn’t be “wasteful and gluttonous,” insisted one bride. Navarro’s examples went down leaner and greener paths.
One young woman, call her the anti-Bridezilla, said her ideal wedding celebration was going camping, and so she did, inviting guests to a historic reserve in the San Gabriel mountains for a weekend of bliss that included a four-mile hike with a pack train of mules carrying food and luggage.
Another couple composted their reception fare on-site, served an organic menu and offered cocktails with biodegradable stir sticks. Another made a statement with a portable cart featuring solar panels that powered the sound system.
There are some good ideas for dresses (borrowed, used or made of eco fabric), rings and the gift registry. Navarro also takes readers beyond the day to planning an eco honeymoon and the life happily ever after.