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Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas

Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas
Elsje Designs creates fun & functional gifts, stationery and table decor with a true South African touch


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Friday, June 4, 2010

Steps to a Green Wedding: Part 2

Steps to a Green Wedding: Part 2

More steps to having an eco-friendly wedding.

1. With this ring...

A green wedding begins where any engagement does: with a ring. Don't start off on a sour note. The beautiful alternatives to "blood diamonds" (those that are mined in war zones and fund conflicts) include:
vintage rings, whether a family heirloom or an antique find (you can even have old gold melted down and refashioned)
diamonds certified as "conflict-free" under the Kimberley Process, an ongoing effort to reform diamond mining in Africa (ask your jeweler the questions in Amnesty International's buyer's guide)
one-of-a-kind wooden bands (see the proudly South African Wild Pear Seed Ring on today's post)

2. Location, location, location

Your choice of venue sets the tone for your wedding day--and accounts for a big chunk of the money you'll be laying out. Spend it wisely!

having the ceremony and the reception at the same place, or providing ecofriendly transportation between them
picking a unique local spot--like an art gallery, nonprofit space, organic restaurant or farm, green hotel, botanical garden, - that supports a cause you believe in
an outdoor setting that will infuse the whole event with a natural sensibility (and require less decorating too!)

3. Here comes the bride... a gorgeous hemp-silk gown. When it comes to outfitting the bridal party, green options abound.

You can:
go vintage (and update your look as necessary with tailoring and modern shoes and accessories)
pick clothes made from hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton or silk--or find a dressmaker who will make a one-of-a-kind item out of these sustainable fabrics
buy something you'll wear again (and let your bridesmaids do the same)
accessorize with a unique recycled purse and/or jewelry
donate the dresses to charity after the event

4. Set the stage

Add beauty and style to your wedding décor, naturally.

Here's how:
find a florist who's diligent about recycling packaging and will source locally raised flowers
have bridesmaids carry matching purses or silk bouquets instead of cut flowers
decorate with branches, dried grasses, grains, greens, berries, or live plants (potted or dried arrangements can double as favors)
choose beeswax or soy-based candles over those made with paraffin, a petroleum byproduct
arrange to have decorations moved from the ceremony to the reception
use leaves or other natural objects as place cards
donate the flowers to a hospital or rest home at the end of the day

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