Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Scale Back Your Affair For a Truly Green Wedding
“Our life is frittered away by detail... Simplify, simplify, simplify! ... Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.”—Henry David Thoreau
One of the big problems with most weddings is that they’re just so huge. If you’re getting married soon, ask yourself if it’s really necessary to stage an affair that’s on the same scale as one of those old Cecil B. DeMille biblical epics with thousands of extras and set details encrusted with gold leaf? A surprisingly simple way to make a green wedding is to keep your affair small. Every guest who arrives from a distant location increases the carbon footprint of your wedding that much more. Plus, the larger your wedding is, the larger your wedding venue needs to be, the more food that will need to be purchased, the more lodgings arranged for out of town guests. Scaling back just makes so much sense from the standpoint of using fewer resources. Unfortunately, we Americans are just so used to conspicuous consumption that this may be a very hard habit to break.
For the new century, all of us must learn to think smaller, to scale back our wants to what is easy to sustain. A humongous wedding might be fun and exciting, but ask yourself: just how much attention could you give any of your guests if there are 200 of them? A smaller wedding is more fun, more intimate, and gives you the opportunity to really spend quality time with your nearest and dearest. Handle your small wedding tactfully, letting all your friends and family know that you love them and wish that they could be there, but that you have decided to walk softly upon the earth and have only a small wedding that includes immediate family and only your closest friends. And you know what? I think that most people will probably understand and respect your wishes without giving your grief about it.
There are so many advantages to having a small-scale wedding from the lack of stress in planning a smaller affair to not having to worry about how you are going to feed 200 people, to not worrying about booking a fancy venue for the wedding reception, to…well, you get the idea, right? Scaling back means making everything simpler, easier, and above all, green! We Americans must keep our eyes firmly fixed on the idea of simplicity. Reduce, reuse, recycle, and be happy.