There are ways to green every aspect of your wedding, but knowing what you want is the best place to start.
Photo credit: La Prima Catering/Butternut Squash Cubes
What are 5 ways couples can plan a green wedding?
Just as with every wedding, 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 world? Are you interested in a DIY wedding with tons of personality and sustainable details or are you looking for a luxurious elegant event with spectacular sustainably produced products?
Photo credit: La Prima Catering/Green Salad with Beets
Food Conscious - At La Prima Catering/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 a year in advance – you can coordinate directly with local farmers to see 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 picks. However, this does not mean that you are out of luck for winter weddings!
Winter and spring may be the best time to offer an array of pasture raised meats and cheeses, paired with early spring or winter greens and root vegetables such as spinach, potatoes and onions. Working directly with our chefs and local farmers, you can ensure a fresh, wholesome meal any time of year.
Photo credit: La Prima Catering/Pasture raised beef and fresh arugula on French bread
Location, location, location - Your location is also very important. Now, almost all wedding venues in the Philadelphia area have green policies in place, so regardless of whether you want a plush indoor celebration or a rustic outdoor reception, you can feel good about your choice. Many locations now utilize renewable energy, green roofing, composting services, rainwater reclamation and more. Make sure to ask the venue manager what these policies are, and what they can do for your event. It is important to share this information with your other wedding vendors in order to make the most out of your eco wedding celebration.
Gift Giving – Another fantastic 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 anything on these sites. If you have specific gifts in mind, go ahead and search a green registry first. If you cannot find what you want, then traditional wedding registries may have a green product option for that specific item. You can also find green invitations, party favors and more on these sites.
Happily Ever After – Honeymooners can really green the routine by finding an environmentally responsible travel company, 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 yourself, you can also find useful information on green travel websites. Plane rides, rental cars, cruise lines, hotel rooms and attractions often have environmental policies that are often forgotten in the honeymoon phase. Look into this early on in your wedding planning so that it is not forgotten.
Keep an Open Mind – Lastly, throughout the planning process, keep an open mind and read as much as you can! All over the country, brides and grooms are looking to host green weddings. The internet is full of useful information – good, bad and ugly. Read up on green wedding blogs and other sites to learn what to do and what to avoid.
Photo: La Prima Catering/Tomatoes on the vine from local partners
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 can ensure the quality of our food and the means by which it is produced. For your green wedding celebration, we suggest visiting the farms for yourself. To stand in your own wedding garden and see your own pasture raised livestock is a truly eye-opening experience.
Photo credit: La Prima Catering/Local Winter Cheeses
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 mashed potatoes and array of grilled vegetables. A vegetarian alternative, our Portobello Mushroom Salad can be served on focaccia bread with micro greens, goat cheese and tomato (see above) 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.
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 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 for 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 fall drink. We also use our own herbs such as mint, lavender, basil and sage to add kick to lemonade, gin and tonic and other classic mixed drinks. With the ever-changing seasons, the possibilities are endless.
Photo credit: La Prima Catering/Green Drinks