A Green Wedding on a Cherry Blossom Pink Day

It is not very often that you attend a wedding where the bride and groom grew, raised and fermented almost everything on the menu. That was the case at Brook and Brandon’s wedding on a glorious, cherry-blossom-sprinkled April afternoon on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The setting was the Crow Farm & Winery, a family-run cattle farm (and former dairy) that was recently converted into a farmstay B & B.

 

 

 

The couple planned the event in a few months, but they had been toiling together for years on the farm. Their hard work paid off handsomely for their wedding. The grapes they planted and harvested became the first vintage of the new winery, a crisp, delicious 2011 Vidal Blanc. The chickens and black angus cows they raised became the gourmet meal prepared by local Chef Robbie Jester. The vegetables served came from the neighboring CSA. The eggs used in the boutonnières and the decorations came from their hens. The bride baked the wedding cake. Her father baked the bread.

Leslie Raimond recounts the day poetically ….

Mother Nature smiled and blessed us all with softly sunny light and gentle breezes. The guests gathered on the lawn and took their places. Looking far down the rows of vines we could see the bride on the arm of her father and her attendants start their procession through the green rows; the little girls with their crowns of grapes and their baskets of pink petals; the bridesmaids with dresses the color of the bloom on plums; the fiddle and guitar strumming; the petals swirling; the bride’s hair flying in the breeze.  Brook joins Brandon who is standing with Marc the “Minister”. There are smiles. Now, there is a long moment of silence. The flower girls are solemn and play their roles perfectly. The sounds are birds, leaves rustling, a champagne cork popping in the distance. No one speaks. Now, it’s time for vows. Just between the bride and groom… in Quaker tradition, there is no higher authority… just the inner light. Now, the ceremonial kiss. They are married!

We all sign the Wedding Certificate, that Quaker tradition which has been so useful in tracing our own ancestors. The feast is beginning. A huge white tent has stage, dance floor and tables set for 150 revelers -white linen, sparkling glasses. The wine flows and the toasts, respectful and loving, are made. Delicious chicken mole, avocado salad, fine bread. The music playing throughout has been compiled by Chad and is a wonderful mix of delightful, but unobtrusive sounds. Now it’s time for the band to strike up! Yee-haw! Let’s square dance. A caller urges the dancers on. We swirl and swing, and slide and circle.  It’s wonderful! A break for the cutting of the cake – layers of chocolate made by Brook, and created to look like slices of birch-bark trees. Brilliant. More dancing … Checkie and Chad adorable as they circle in and swing high. It’s time to leave. As Vince and I pull out of the lane in the now black velvet night I catch a glimpse of a little girl in a blue satin dress, alone, lit bright by a spot light, gathering pink blossoms in the swirling wind of the approaching storm.

 

Photos of the rehearsal dinner and wedding day by Leslie Prince Raimond

Event Coordination, Francesca Raimond  – FIR Productions Green Events

Melissa Barrick Photography

Bouquets and boutonnières by Lydia Gerres

Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding Reception by Chef Robbie Jester

Decor and Decorations by Brook Schumann and Ashley Herr

What Is a “Green Event”?

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with a couple who are planning a September wedding in St. James, Long Island. They were overflowing with excitement about their upcoming nuptials. They were all for creating a fun, memorable, beautiful and eco-friendly event but first they wanted to learn more about what a Green Event was or could be.
As a courtesy to the couple, I came up with this GREEN EVENT PRIMER.
  • Distribute pre-event information invitations, announcements and directions via electronic means.
  • Select a Vintage Wedding outfit or craft something new from organic materials.
  • Fill your gift registry with eco-friendly options.
  • Pick local, organic, flowers in season. (In the New York Metro area we adore Grove Design and Amy Merrick).
  • Decorate minimally, selecting flowers, plants and trees that can be planted after the event is done.
  • Find eco-friendly party favors.
  • Shine with soy-based candles and solar lighting when available.
  • Facilitate use of carpooling or charter services to transport guests to and from the venue.
  • Find a creative caterer from your community who employs best Green practices.
  • Use local organic foods in season.
  • Provide vegetarian options.
  • Serve bite-size or finger foods that require no utensils or choose entrées that can be served in cozy large containers, “buffet-style” – (saves resources and encourages a more casual, communal feel to the meal).
  • Offer reusable items for serving and eating. (If you can’t find a caterer in your area who provides this, consider choosing these items yourself at your local thrift store or consignment shop, and have fun creating an eclectic, mismatched vintage presentation for your tables with a unique array of reused silverware, glasses, mugs and plates and cloth napkins).
  • Avoid single serve containers and wasteful packaging of beverages, condiments, sugar, cream, etc.
  • Fill water glasses as guests desire from pitchers or a water cooler as opposed to filling when empty.
  • Use real glasses or compostable/sustainable paper products, avoiding styrofoam and individual water bottles.
  • Offer organic local wines or beer from a local brewery, and organic, fair-trade certified coffee.
  • Reuse and store banquet materials; plates, stemware, tables, chairs for celebrants in the future.
  • Recycle and/or compost waste.

Keep your Green Eyes Open and be delighted by what you can find to support your sustainable vision!