Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Invitations and The Website

If you're interested in how we did the invitations, Andrew created them on Macromedia Fireworks. We made them JPGs and attached them to emails to our guests, including a link to the website which Andrew also designed, Pretty neat, huh?

The Eco-Friendly Wedding?

This is a photo of the view from the reception site. It reveals the gorgeous wild landscape of the Tucson foothills. Will our wedding be a force of preservation or destruction?

My dear friend Rupa sends me articles about wedding industry trends, which I am obviously interested in analyzing at this time. (See websites like for more.) The other day she sent me a link to a story from the Washington Post called "Wedded to Green" and awesomely enough, our wedding plans scored pretty well on the green scale - at first glance. Then I realized that on a larger scale, maybe not.

While some brides and grooms are using hybrid cars instead of Hummer limos, we're getting shuttles to move all our guests together and at once, cutting back on petrol use, the temptation to drive drunk and the potential for getting lost on unfamiliar roads. That said, 80% of our guests are flying in, which probably trumps any resources that we're saving otherwise.

In the paper department, we may not have printed invitations with soy ink on paper made of 100 percent post-consumer waste, but we did better, I think, by dumping the traditional invitations and mailed response cards completely. We used e-mail invites and RSVPs.

Some couples ask retailers not to wrap gifts in yards of paper and ribbons that will just be thrown away; our gifts will require nearly zero packaging, being that our gift registry basically states "send money!". We totally saved ourselves the guilt of whatever unsavory impacts certain retailers may be having on the environment, or society for that matter. However, we still could've done better, like the couple who invited their guests to donate to a small foundation they established to help children in Zambia.

While many couples now ask where flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces are coming from and whether they have been organically grown using fair-trade practices, these are not concerns of ours. We're using traditional Mexican hand crafted paper flowers - which last much longer!

In terms of what I'm doing to encourage fair trade, my dress, jewelry and the favors were hand made by Paraguayan folk artists who were justly compensated by me in dollars. (That said, I still saved a bundle.)

I sadly admit, however, that I cannot ensure that all the food that will be served is locally grown or organic, and as of now I am not sure how the trash is going to be recycled.

Although the Washington Post article quotes Rebecca Mead saying "Sure, it's easier to be green when you're affluent," she also agrees that the most ecologically sensitive way to throw a wedding is to have a small one. I think I've demonstrated right here how a couple can be cheap AND green! But seriously, if a couple truly wants to be green, my vote is commit to simplicity and small numbers.