There are ways to green every aspect of your Baltimore wedding, but determining what you want is the best place to begin.
Photo credit: Catering by Seasons/Portobello Mushroom Salad on Focaccia
What are 5 ways couples can plan a green wedding?
Just as with every wedding in Baltimore, it is good to begin planning early. The best place to start is with asking yourselves some important questions. What aspects of green weddings are most important to you? Do you want a local, seasonal menu or are you more interested in cultural foods from around the globe? Are you interested in a do-it-yourself wedding with a lot of personality and sustainable details or are you looking for a luxurious elegant event with spectacular sustainably produced products?
Food Conscious - At Catering by Seasons, we believe sustainable, locally grown food is the key to a fabulous green wedding. By starting early – meaning at least six months to one year in advance – you can coordinate directly with local farmers to utilize what will be in season. Summer and fall weddings have a good variety of produce, from mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli and peppers, to eggplant, kale, kohlrabi and more exotic choices. However, this does not mean that you are out of luck for winter weddings! Winter and spring may be an ideal time to incorporate an array of pasture raised meats and cheeses, complemented with early spring or winter greens and root vegetables like spinach, potatoes and onions. Working directly with our chefs and local farmers, can ensure you a fresh, wholesome meal throughout the year.
Photo credit: Catering by Seasons/Butternut Squash Cubes
Location, location, location - The location of your wedding ceremony and reception is also very important.. Now, almost all Baltimore area venues have green policies in place, so regardless of whether you opt for a luxurious indoor gala or a rustic outdoor reception, you can feel good about your choice. Many venues now utilize renewable energy, green roofing, composting services, rainwater reclamation and more. Be sure to ask the on-site manager what their policies are, and what they can do for your wedding. It is important to share this information with your other wedding vendors in order to make the most out of your eco wedding in Baltimore.
Gift Giving – Another wonderful way to green your wedding is to register for gifts on a reputable green registry. Since these have grown in popularity over the past few years, you can now find almost any kind of gift on these sites. If you have specific presents in mind, go ahead and search a green wedding registry first. If you cannot find what you want, then more traditional wedding registries may have a green product option for that specific item. You can also find eco-friendly invitations, party favors and more sustainable options on these sites.
Photo credit: Catering by Seasons/Tomatoes on the vine from local partners
Happily Ever After – Honeymooners can really green the routine by finding an environmentally responsible travel agency, green accommodations and energy credits for travel. Most travel agents will have some information on how to make your trip more eco-friendly, but if you choose to plan your honeymoon yourself, there is an abundant amount of useful information on green travel websites. Plane rides, rental cars, cruise lines, hotel rooms and attractions usually have environmental policies that are often forgotten in the honeymoon phase. Research this early on in your planning so that it is not forgotten.
Keep an Open Mind – Lastly, throughout the wedding planning process, keep an open mind and read as much as you can! Throughout the country, wedding couples are looking to host sustainable weddings. The internet is full of useful information – the good, the bad and the ugly. Read up on green wedding blogs and other sites to learn what to do and what to avoid.
Photo credit: Catering by Seasons/Pasture raised beef, fresh arugula on French bread
What are your favorite organic menu items to suggest?
This is a tricky question. While we do utilize some USDA Certified Organic foods in our production, these products are not always the best solution. For green weddings and events, our team prefers to rely on sustainable local growers, ensuring that every dollar spent stays in the surrounding community. By partnering with local farmers, we at Catering by Seasons can ensure the quality of our food and the means by which it is produced. For your green wedding, we suggest visiting local farms for yourself. To stand in your own wedding garden and see your own pasture raised livestock is a truly eye-opening experience.
Without a doubt, our Butternut Squash Cubes (see above) and Pork Sliders are locally grown favorites. For a main entrée, we also love a plated beef dish with fresh mashed potatoes and variety of grilled vegetables. A vegetarian alternative, our Portobello Mushroom Salad can be served on focaccia bread with micro greens, goat cheese and tomato or as a traditional salad with our house made croutons.
For more farm-to-table menu ideas, please take a look at our Sample Menus.
Photo credit: Catering by Seasons/Green salad with beets
Do you offer organic cocktails?
Again, we can potentially provide organic cocktails, but we prefer an array of locally sourced beer, wine and liquor. We can source from locals like Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware, Green Hat Gin in Washington, DC, Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey and just about any other local alcohol producer.
We love to also include fresh local fruits and juices in our cocktails. Blueberry infused vodka with ginger ale and organic US lemons are a great summer refresher. Local apple cider with bourbon is a fantastic crisp fall drink. We also use our own herbs such as fresh mint, lavender, basil and sage to add a kick to lemonade, gin and tonic and other classic mixed drinks. With the ever-changing seasons, the possibilities are truly endless.
Photo credit: Catering by Seasons/Green Drinks