Friday, May 8, 2009

Guest Blogger - Green Lily Events

I'm always interested in weddings and especially green weddings in other areas so I can steal ideas from other companies and bring them to Winnipeg:) Cassandra from Green Lily Events in Texas was game to be a guest blogger (and I will be a guest blogger on the Green Lily blog sometime soon as well), and I'm excited to share her blog post with you! Thanks for the fantastic post, Cassandra, and readers, please leave a little bit of blog-love for her in the comments section!

Green Lily Events is an event planning firm that specializes in creating unique, elegant contemporary events. They are recognized as the design trendsetters in Texas. Green Lily opts to use nature's elements and beauty to design events that compliment the environment. From recycling to organic foods to sustainable decor, they plan parties with a purpose so that they create events with a lighter carbon footprint! Their environmentally friendly and innovative designs are what sets them apart from everyone else, and they have extensive knowledge in all things eco-chic!

Green Lily's Top Five Green Wedding Trends in Texas:

1. We have seen a growing trend in our clients finding ways not be wasteful in their wedding reception, and one of my favorite trends comes in the re-using and re-cycling of floral décor. Minimize the amount of cut flowers you use by opting instead to use earthy and romantic plants. Natural Manzanita branches, birches, twisted willow, fruit pods, and even cinnamon sticks all have an essence of natural beauty to them that will leave your guests speechless! You can find some of these items at Nettleton Hollow. The Sunday Brunch that is typically held the day after the wedding can be a garden party in which you invite all of your out of town guests and family over to help you plant your décor from the night before. Instead of wasting flowers, you and your guests are building a garden that not only adds beauty to your home, but also to the Earth!

2. Another fabulous green trend that we have seen is the use of environmentally-friendly liquor being served at the reception. There are a lot of great organic, sustainable, and all natural wines and liquors out there that are delectable and add a great touch to the wedding. One of our personal favorites and a guaranteed crowd pleaser is 360 Vodka. You can create some great signature cocktails from a vodka with a conscious! The bottles are made from 85% recycled glass, the label is chlorine free and made from 100% recycled content, is made from 100% corn and the vodka in every bottle is quadruple distilled through a high energy efficient process. Each bottle comes with a small main-in envelope in which you can mail the top of your bottle back to the company so that they can recycle and reuse the tops. Another great reason we love 360 Vodka is because the bottle is re-usable and super chic! All you need to do is peel off the label with hot water and fill the bottle with your favorite sauces, spices, oils, and anything else you can imagine.

3. For a couple, it is undeniable that one of the biggest perks of a wedding are the gifts received. It may be a little hard for a couple to turn away gifts all together for the sake of being ‘green’, but we have noticed and encouraged a lot of our couples to select local stores to register at and to select products that are environmentally friendly. For instance, why not register for bamboo trays and serving dishes and organic mattresses in lieu of the regular ones. A great local resource that we have here in Houston, Texas is New Living. New Living is a home destination store that is stocked with nothing but environmentally-friendly products for your home. Couples can register for soy candles, organic mattresses and bed sheets, bamboo flooring and eco-friendly paints for their home renovation projects, and even a compost for their kitchen! You can find a variety of eco-friendly alternatives at other major department stores such as Macy’s, Target, and even Crate & Barrel. Switching from a normal product to an eco-friendly version of that same product is just one small step that we are seeing a lot of couples make when greening their lives!

4. My personal favorite trend that I am seeing here in Texas is the use of environmentally-friendly stationery for wedding invitations and programs. From 100% recycled paper to bamboo paper to plantable invitations, the options are endless. Paper and invitation companies are seeing the trend grow as well, and we have a whole list of some really chic and stylish invitation companies that will completely blow you away. It is hard to imagine that eco-friendly stationery has taken on such a sleek look, but we could not have been more pleasantly surprised. Some of our favorites that you all should check out is Bella Figura, Design by Sofia, and Waste Not Paper! People tend to overlook how much paper is used during a wedding, which is why we always recommend for our clients to consider the environment and use a paper that has been recycled or is re-usable. The save the dates, invitations, reply cards, menu cards, table cards, ceremony programs, seating cards, and thank you notes can all add up to trees and trees of paper! Eco-friendly stationery is definitely a growing trend in Texas and I think it will continue to be on the rise with all of the great different styles evolving!

5. The trend that we are the happiest to see growing in Texas is that couples are now opting to recycle at the end of their wedding…and yes it is possible! The average wedding produces so much extra waste, that it is no wonder people are starting to consider the effect of their event on the planet. Hotels and venue sites are becoming more and more open minded to bringing off-site recycling into their facility so that couples can recycle all of the plastic, paper, glass, cardboard, and even aluminum. If you think about it, there are a lot of beer cans, coke cans, wine bottle, liquor bottles, cardboard boxes for food, plastic bottles and containers, and paper that all goes into the creation of a wedding reception. Instead of throwing all of that into the garbage so it can sit in a landfill for thousands of years, couples are now opting to make a difference and set up recycling bins in the back of the house. Just get the staff on board and it is as simple as literally placing the bins in the kitchen and having the staff just be aware of the bins and place the trash accordingly. You can make such a big impact with this small step without anyone even noticing!

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