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Is there a point if nobody notices?

A bride from Toronto recently blogged in GreenasaThistle.com about her wedding. It featured local flowers and a local menu, programs printed on recycled paper, a vegan wedding cake and a family heirloom ring, among others.

“But here’s the thing,” she wrote. “I made all these eco-conscious decisions and yet I’m not sure anyone really noticed. Nobody was looking to see what type of wax the candles were made from. Nobody was scrutinizing the jars that the centerpiece flowers were in; and most likely, only a few people noticed that the steak on the menu was from the very reputable Rowe Farms. Obviously, I feel good about all these decisions and know that they made a difference in terms of our wedding footprint –but to all you green brides out there:  how important do you think it is to make an eco-friendly statement on your big day? Does it matter if nobody notices?”

It is a valid question and one I address at length in “Green Wedding.”  Many couples want to inspire their guests to follow their lead. The wedding offers a chance to educate friends and relatives not yet clued in to terms like “post-consumer recycled paper.” But how can you do this without turning into Al Gore and offering a Power Point presentation between courses?

Some couples have a page on their wedding website to show how they are being eco-friendly. Some highlight their wedding’s environmental features during the reception — for example, placing small cards on the tables explaining the party favor of flower seeds.

The key here is not to be preachy or ostentatious. Wedding planners and etiquette experts I talked to had mixed views about using the wedding as a platform to spread the green message, but they all agreed on this: the focus should remain on celebrating, not teaching. So share your green values, but be discreet . And except for the steak — a big no-no since beef production is so energy-intensive — feel good about your green wedding, Toronto bride!

1 comment to Is there a point if nobody notices?

  • Haha, thanks Mireya! I did consult your book beforehand, but yes, it’s a tricky thing to walk the line between being celebratory and being preachy. And the beef: Trust me, I wanted to have a fully vegetarian wedding, but my parents (who were paying for most of it) flat-out refused, as did my husband-to-be. The beef supplier is VERY holistic, though, and they raise their animals using Joel Salatin’s methods for sustainability… in the end, weddings are ALL about compromise!

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