California Courting

Mandy and her husband Joe were married in Anaheim Hills, California in May 2008. Their wedding took place on the "grounds of Kindred Community Church, in the hills" and their reception was held in Woodbury Community Park where the site fees "go back into the upkeep and care of the beautiful hillside oasis - home to tons of birds, lizards and other woodland creatures. [It was] hard to believe that a bustling city and freeway weren't far away!"

Another cool thing about their reception location was that the park utilizes low energy appliances. "Mother nature provided the ambiance and light for the wedding itself and the reception location provided low energy appliances and fixtures [for the party]." In addition to choosing eco-friendly locations, the couple incorporated a number of other green elements into their plans as well.

Recycled Paper Mandy and Joe used recycled paper for their invitations, programs, menu cards, etc.

Instead of having a guestbook they used an "old branch for a 'wish tree'" which guests hung little tags on.

Bamboo and Rice Paper Parasols To keep her maids comfortable on the hot California day, Mandy gave each of them a bamboo and rice paper parasol (both biodegradable natural materials).

The men enjoyed them too!

Locally Grown Flowers Throughout their wedding Mandy and Joe used roses from Growers Direct in Tustin, CA (a local grower).

For their centerpieces, they set the roses into vases full of sliced organic limes, which they surrounded with soy votives. "No rocks or other things to throw away - everything was biodegradable and the vases we gave away."

Favors Mandy and Joe wanted their favors to reflect their love of nature and wanted to encourage their guests to get outside and explore. To this end they chose "Love Beans" and reusable compasses. "Continuing with our nature theme, we gave little potted plants with a bean inside that says, "Love" when it grows. We also encourage walks through nature, and provided these compasses for said walks with non-animal (leather) synthetic cords."

Cake After a vegan dinner they cut a fake cake! Instead of getting a cake they knew would go uneaten they had a faux cake from Fake The Cake and offered guests a simple sheet cake made by a local bakery instead. They had just enough cake for every guest to get a slice.

When their wedding was over - what did they drive away in? Their own car - and they did not have to drive it far either! "The house where we came home to after the wedding was only one block away from the reception (and the wedding was less than 15 miles from the reception as well)! Low emissions!"

Photo Credit: Nataly Lemus

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