A Midwest/Belgian Wedding

Katrien Michiels and Mark Singer were married on June 8th at Promontory Point, a public park in Chicago IL. The two, both financial consultants (SAP), met through a mutual friend who invited them on a ski trip in March of 2006. "We quickly hit it off and were engaged almost two years later." When it came time to plan their wedding, Katrien and Mark decided to make it as simple and as eco-friendly as possible. "We both have a love for the outdoors and try to think green as much as we can. We wanted our wedding to reflect that, and tried to balance simplicity [and] eco-friendliness, while keeping cost in mind."

Invitations To announce their wedding, they used seal-and-send invitations. The invitations were printed on one sheet of recycled paper which folded into a square for mailing. "We loved our invitations! We did not want to use the amount of paper usually involved in a wedding invitation and thought these were a cute way to get around the inner envelopes and tissue paper. The people at Valley printing in ND were a pleasure to work with! The invitations were then shipped to our home, with seals, and we folded them, added address labels, and sealed them ourselves."

For their programs they bought seed paper (plantable paper embedded with seeds), and printed them out at home.

Transportation Their guests were shuttled to and from the wedding on public transportation. "We had everyone dropped off and picked up and brought from and to the hotel downtown using the Chicago Trolley - which was probably my favorite part :)"

Flowers For their centerpieces, Katrien and Mark used sprays of dried lavender in glass candle holders.

Cake Instead of getting an expensive "wedding cake" Mark baked their cake himself. "For desert my husband baked 4 duncan hines cakes and frosted them (my brothers helped) with simple white frosting." To supplement, "We had an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen for the head table, which is the one we cut." For toppers they used playmobile people.

Belgian Touches Katrien is Belgian (her family moved to the States when she was 13) and she wanted her wedding to reflect her ancestry. To this end they had the following:

- Belgian Beer - "Our beer selection was therefore superior. We offered Hoegaarden and Stella - as well as Miller Lite for the faint of heart. Our guests loved it, the caterer was dry by 10:00PM."

- Favors Our favors were little belgian chocolates we served with coffee after dinner.

- Dessert In addition to the cake, Katrien's mom and aunt had baked belgian waffles, which were served with the coffee.

Entertainment To balance out the Belgian touches, Katrien and Mark included some good old fashion western entertainment. "We set up two games of cornhole (a yard game where you throw beanbags filled with corn at a board) out on the front patio for people who wanted to hang out back there instead of down by the lake or inside for dancing."

Katrien and Mark prove that you can have a fun and beautiful eco-friendly wedding without breaking the bank!

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