A Brown and GREEN Wedding

Christine Mentink and Greg Diedrich were married July, 26 2008. Christine is a managing editor at a nonprofit medical society where she leads "the Green Team" - getting co-workers to "recycle everything from paper to batteries and cell phones." Greg is a bicycle fanatic. "He builds them, teaches other's how to maintain theirs, and constantly promotes bike riding and less car driving. In fact, he doesn't own a car and bikes year round---through Chicago rain and winters!" In addition to being a bike enthusiast, Greg is also a graphic designer.

The ceremony took place at the First Congregational Church in Des Plaines, IL. "We chose this location because it accepts all people and all marriages. The church will marry people regardless of religious affiliation and believes that all people have the right to their individual beliefs. The church was also very green."

"We didn't waste electricity by using air conditioning to attempt to cool the high-ceiling space - instead we used overhead fans and open doors. We used an aisle runner provided by the church that is washed and reused for all wedding services. We let the drinking fountain do its job instead of promoting the use of bottled water. Throwing rice is not allowed by this church, so we completely skipped the tradition of "throwing stuff" at the bride and groom to reduce waste of any kind. Also, the church is located very near public transportation, so some of our guests took the train to our wedding."

The reception was at Old Orchard in Mount Prospect, IL (pictured above). "We chose this location for its beautiful landscape, ability to house 200+ guests, and willingness to take green measures. The venue manager and I had an in-deph conversation about green concerns during planning. In addition to the usual washable china, napkins, and tablecloths, we did not serve bottle beverages at the bars. The venue buys in bulk and reduces garbage whenever possible as their usual practice. The venue also allowed me to provide multiple meal options for my guests, including vegetarian and gluten-free."

The Dress and Bridal Accessories "My dress was bought from a consignment store [I DO Designer Bridal Consignments, in Chicago], which I feel is a very important green element. Too often, exorbitant amounts of money are spent on dresses that are mass-produced, overpriced, and distributed for one-time use. I found a beautiful dress from my local consignment store and was able to give 'new life' to this dress and to support a local, female-owned small business in doing so."

"We also incorporated "green" elements by using independent artists to contribute to the wedding as much as possible. The ties, cuff links, and all jewelry and wedding party gifts were made by hand by independent artists instead of being mass produced. [Local artisans] almost always reuse as much material as possible, create less waste, and use less energy. One of these artists created the favors for our wedding shower: We gave all our guests homemade, all natural soaps."

Flowers "Greg's cousin owns a flower shop [Locker's Flowers in McHenry], so they provided all of the flowers. The shop is family-owned and a local, thriving business in the community where many of the groom's family lives and where he grew up. It was important for us to include his family in the planning this way."

Instead of wearing a veil, Christine commissioned, Mikiye Creations, whose work can be found on Etsy, to create a reusable silk flower clip. "She designed [this clip] for me, based on photos I sent her of my dress, flowers, and jewelry.

For the reception decor, Christine and her mother created simple, elegant displays with limes, which guests took home and used after the wedding. "My mom and I went to the local market and bought 400 limes! How often does anyone get to buy 400 limes! The limes were taken home by many of the guests, including one who told me that she'd be using her to make margaritas the next day for her own guests! My mother-in-law used hers to make limeade! I love that the centerpieces used live ingredients that were reused."

Programs + Seating Cards Greg's sister created the programs (printed on recycled paper) as their wedding gift. They seating cards also matched the brown at lime color scheme.

Favors Each guest received a favor box tied with a green ribbon. "The favor boxes had two truffles in them. I did not want to give out favors that would be thrown out or regarded as "tchotchke." The truffles and the boxes were made by Truffle Trolley, a family-owned business. The truffles were a delicious treat that everyone could enjoy immediately and would not go to waste."

Photography Their photographer, Jay Crihfield, provided them with "the digital negatives instead of printing out any prints." Christine and Greg plan to provide their guests with electronic copies of their photos and to create their own wedding album so "nothing is wasted and we do not print a single picture we do not want."

Carbon Offsetting The couple is also planning to "'give back' by donating money for tree planting or carbon emissions to offset and celebrate the wedding."


Anonymous said...

Beautiful wedding colors and amazing flowers!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful colors. I was also thinking of those colors for my wedding. Did you make that table setting and small brown gift boxes or did you purchase them?