By Mitchell Altholz, Executive Chef, The Manor and Highlawn Pavilion
Floral arrangements are one of the most important decorative elements in any wedding ceremony. And they can also be one of the most expensive. But you don’t have to spend a fortune – or even much of anything – for unforgettable floral arrangements. In fact, you can create them yourself. Unprotected wildflowers, herbs from your parents’ garden, or even store bought fruits and vegetables can be cheaper and “greener” than extravagant floral arrangements – and just as beautiful. Centerpieces created with wildflowers or home garden vegetables like pumpkins or squash (especially in the Fall) are a great green option you might consider. And how about that boutonniere for the groom? It doesn’t have to be store bought. A boutonniere made from home grown herbs works perfectly.
By Christopher Gellings, Banquet Manager, Highlawn Pavilion
Here at the Knowles restaurants in the New Jersey, New York metro area, we’re seeing more interest in all things “eco friendly” and “green” when it comes to wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions these days. These “green” trends range from choosing wedding and reception locations that minimize travel for guests, to selecting invitations made from recycled paper. Now we’re also seeing the green trend in the wedding favors the bride and groom bestow upon guests.
If you’re interested in giving guests an eco-type gift, here are a couple of recent examples from ceremonies hosted at the Highlawn Pavilion . One couple gave their guests potted saplings. We’ve seen other couples make charitable donations in their guests’ names to organizations from Greenpeace to the Environmental Defense Fund. You could also dispense with favors altogether and explain it’s part of your effort to minimize the footprint of your wedding celebration, and save yourself some green in the bargain. The things you can do to inject a green element into your wedding are almost limitless. However, we would draw the line at choosing recycled burlap for your wedding gown!
By Rolf Schick, Banquet Manager, The Manor
There’s a popular new color for weddings: Green. More couples are making their weddings eco-friendly. Just a few small changes to traditional nuptials can have a big impact on the green quotient of a wedding. And since many ingredients to a great wedding have green alternatives, couples can make their ceremony and reception whatever shade of green they want. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Flowers and centerpieces: Locally grown flowers don’t use as much energy to transport as those shipped from overseas. Talk to your florist about the availability of locally grown flowers. You’ll also be supporting local growers and plant nurseries.
2. Wedding invitations and stationery: Specifying recycled paper for your invitations is a great way to set the tone for an eco friendly wedding. Invitations can also be made from tree-free paper. Talk to whoever is handling your printing about your eco-options.
3. Donating Food: No one leaves a wedding hungry. There’s usually an abundance of leftover food that goes home with members of the wedding party. But you can donate the extra food to local food banks or other charities. Check with charities in your local area to learn about organizations you can help.
4. Wedding rings: Even wedding rings can be eco-friendly. Some jewelers now feature rings made from recycled stones and metals. And some couples are taking heirloom jewelry and having it restyled into a more contemporary design. Considering what it takes to mine metals and gems, this can be a giant eco step.
Another way to have a green wedding: get married outdoors, in a beautiful garden or other natural setting filled with greenery! The Manor has been hosting outdoor ceremonies in our formal gardens for years. And our other properties – the Ram’s Head Inn, the Pleasantdale Chateau and Highlawn Pavilion – also have beautiful outdoor areas for weddings and civil ceremonies. If we can help with your wedding, whatever shade of green you’re planning to make it, we look forward to hearing from you.