Married to the Earth Weddings go green 2009: Haily Zaki

Married to the Earth Weddings go green

Haily Zaki and Brian Tuey trekked four miles up southern California&39s San Gabriel Mountains with 32 friends, accompanied by pack mules carrying granola bars

and organic lamb. There, in a propane- and hydro-powered campsite dining hall bedecked with pine cones, they exchanged wedding vows. Replace cut flower centerpieces with potted plants that guests can take home and replant. Rather than registering for china or pots and pans, dedicate a registry to a cause. The (Idofoundation.org) lets guests donate money to a specific charity chosen by the couple. If you want to have a small ceremony to reduce carbon emissions from traveling, consider webcasting your big day. Websites such as and livevows.com offer guests a chance to view the nuptials on the Net. Give favors that can help the earth, such as a tree seedling or seeds to plant in guests&39 backyards, by using the website plantamemory.com. Tara Brown and Michael Selders incorporated 21 "eco-initiatives" into their wedding at Houston&39s Four Seasons Hotel. To make up for the pollution caused by their honeymoon flight to Hawaii, the Selderses purchased carbon offsets, a means of reducing carbon emissions by contributing money to plant trees or develop renewable-energy projects. Dana Wilmert wore a 1950s sea foam green prom dress purchased for $1 from a thrift store when she married Johnny Damm in DeLand, Fla. She made the paper for her invitations and stitched magazines together to make the envelopes. At the reception, her guests ate local, organic fare served on biodegradable bamboo plates, which were later composted.

For these - and some other - brides and grooms, wedding traditions and festivities are taking on a distinctly greener hue. These ecoconscious couples are donating leftover reception food to shelters, planting trees in honor of their guests in lieu of giving favors, and eschewing gifts in favor of contributions to the charity of their choice.

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