Guest Blog by Wendie Aston: “Green” Centerpieces (with a Purpose)
“Green” Centerpieces (with a Purpose)
By Wendie Aston
One of the most expressive elements of a wedding reception is the table centerpiece. Often centerpieces are comprised of flowers that paint a 3D picture of the personality of the bride and groom. The common use of organic elements in centerpieces make them a natural fit for adding a touch of “green” to your wedding, which could mean having re-useable centerpieces, natural elements, or multi-purposed arrangements that save money and leave less impact on the environment.
Even for the traditional floral arrangements, going green is simple. Using organic and Fair Trade flowers is best for you and the environment. If you live in the NYC area, here is a great sustainable florist like Gardenia Organic. For those in Los Angeles you can try LA Botanicals or just look online or visit your local florist.
Depending on the theme of your wedding and the time of year, you also have various non-floral options and additions. For evening weddings, candles are simple, yet they add elegance to the table and can complement any centerpiece design or stand alone in a glass jar, vase, or vessel of water. Picture floating, organic roses on a mirrored surface with the reflected light of a few soy votive candles around the arrangement. Candles add warmth and serenity to a room that might otherwise feel too big or chaotic. To be eco-friendly, it is important to avoid paraffin candles, which are made from petroleum and emit toxic fumes. Choosing candles made from beeswax or soy will help to ensure that your guests breathe easy and the impact on the environment is minimal.
A less traditional option is to create edible centerpieces. You could use a large basket with a variety of breads, rosemary, and an assortment of olive oils or olives–perfect for an outdoor, vineyard-like reception. Another edible centerpiece is a tower of cupcakes at each table. Cupcakes are a great way to double as a dessert (if your guests can wait to eat them), which means it costs less for you. And if they are organic, you can rest assured that your guests are ingesting only natural ingredients.
If you are a spring bride, consider using potted orchids. You would have the tradition of a classic floral arrangement, yet you would not be left with dozens of arrangements that will die in the next couple of days. Potted orchids, if nurtured well, will last you for many bloom cycles. Similarly, you could put together an array of potted organic herbs to give to your guests as party favors. This is a great cost-cutting idea since the herbs serve double duty as centerpieces and party favors—not to mention, your guests get to enjoy natural flavors in their healthy home-cooking after your wedding is over.
Summer weddings usually have that light and airy feel so you could use vases of sea shells and sand. Potted arrangements of summer flowers also work well since they can be easily reused and taken home to enjoy. Bowls or vases of oranges, lemons, and limes can give a bright, cheery look to the table.
For a fall wedding you can borrow the Thanksgiving cornucopia idea and design bowls of apples, pumpkins, and gourds. These can be reused or donated.
If you are planning a winter wedding, you can take advantage of the season by decorating with pine cones in a glass bowl. You can intersperse moss to give the centerpiece an outdoorsy look or use a small potted Christmas tree as the centerpiece for a December wedding. For favors, add small ornaments for each guest to take home.
Whatever centerpiece option you choose for your wedding, consider being creative with the natural beauty that God has created, as well as evaluating whether your centerpieces can be recycled or reused.
Photo © mrorange002
Wendie Aston is a GREEN blogger who hopes to inspire all moms to be better stewards of the environment and to create healthy GREEN homes for families to thrive. She is available for GREEN consultations to GREEN your home, lifestyle, or to create your dream GREEN nursery in the NYC area or via Skype. www.greenonthescene.blogspot.com