How do you green the favors? …
Today, there are limitless options and resources for the green bride -go to any dedicated Green Wedding blog: GreenBrideGuide, BlogWithEnvy, Off Beat Bride, GreenWeddingShoes … the list goes on and on. So what are the things you might want to consider? Well the first thing is, do you want to give favors? Favors won't typically be the item that busts your budget so a decision on having them is more on do you want to perpetuate the idea of favors, and do you want to be responsible for creating that "waste". I don't actually think it's "necessary" but it is a nice touch and I opted for yes. So if you do decide to give gifts or favors here are some things to consider if you want to green them
1) Do you want to make them yourself aka D.I.Y?
2) If not, how and where is it made? Do you want something mass produced or handmade?
3) Can it be used?
4) Can it be reused?
5) Is it made of eco-friendly materials?
What did we do?
Organic Chamomile and Sea Salt foot soaks in a natural muslin bag, adorned with a Beering boutonniere.
Well I looked around and decided I actually wanted to do my own. I wanted to say I was a D.I.Y bride, at least on some items. One thing I can say is that it does not always cost less to do it yourself since you have to factor in not just the cost of your materials but of your personal time. If you are a lawyer, and have little precious time -I would not recommend doing this as it can take possibly more time than you think. I already make earrings that I sell on behalf of my non-profit called "Beerings" (see www.BeeringsforChange.com or www.HaveABeering.com ). I was planning on making all my girlfriends that were assisting me with wedding planning and tasks special beerings that they could wear to the wedding. I ran out of time for that unfortunately. However, the Beering idea, along with a request from my mother that family members should have boutonnieres, gave rise to an idea for the favors I would create.
D.I.Y. means that you are "doing it yourself" which would infer that you are making something by hand and therefore, I can say my favors were handmade
In considering usage … I wanted to give something people could use. The favors were actually two parts. The first part was the foot or bath soak, and the second part was the boutonniere. I purchased organic chamomile, sea salts, and muslin bags in bulk. It ended up being about equal parts chamomile and sea salts, filling up only 1/2 the muslin bag so I could wrap it with the chord and fan out the top to make it look more decorative. I would promote it as a "food soak" instead of a "bath soak" so perhaps people could realize they didn't have to take a full bath -especially since I thought after I was finished with my project that perhaps a product perpetuating the luxurious usage of water within a State in drought was perhaps not the best idea. Although I believe everyone should be allowed to indulge on occasion. The second part of the favor was the boutonniere which was made from using recycled bottle caps. The design was from Amy Tan, it was a segment out of the artwork that she had made for our invitations, so it had sentimental value. The laquer to seal the artwork is an eco-polyurethane. I ended up using a tiny bit of ribbon on the back, fastened with a dab of glue so I had a backing the pin could attach to. The foot soaks where then pinned with the boutonnieres.
Part of the reason I liked the boutonniere idea was because it gave a gift that people could use at the party and possibly reuse in the future. My uncle actually put the boutonniere in the center of his cowboy hat and now we have cute family pictures with my Uncle putting the favor into use. I'm not sure if anyone besides myself as used the foot soak. It's aromatic, relaxing, and the sea salt dissolves so all you have left over is chamomile that you can dry out and compost. The bag can possibly be reused, or if thrown away, at least it was natural and will biodegrade.
Side note: Fans … although they were not part of my favors, I did give my mom the okay at the last minute to purchase some eco-friendly fans at her request. I'm actually glad I did, because it was literally, extraordinarily hot that day -record hot – 105 degrees in Big Sur when the average for that time of year is 65 degrees. My grandmother had to leave my wedding early, as well as my friends with infants. If you are going somewhere hot, or having your wedding outside during summer, it's not a bad idea. They were quite useful and I feel like it's something people keep.
Pictures by Tom O' Neal Photography www.TGOphoto.com
You can follow me on Twitter @GreenGeisha, or check out our non-profit Green Wave www.InspiringWavesofChange.org