Stacy Levy, founder of aura yoga + wellness
We are fortunate to have Stacy Levy, founder of Aura Yoga & Wellness, give advice to Be U readers today on how to throw an eco-conscious wedding. Stacy’s passion for all things wellness started in her teenage years when she chanted her first “Om,” became a vegetarian, and read just about every health magazine she could get her hands on. Stacy’s passion for teaching yoga is rooted in her strong spiritual foundation and love of movement and the holistic lifestyle, which led her to pursue her other passion of healthy living and wellness. Combining all these passions led to the birth of aura yoga + wellness, where she counsels clients on holistic nutrition and a healthy lifestyle while incorporating her therapeutic yoga instruction. A newly engaged bride-to-be herself, Stacy has done her research to help you carry out your “green” lifestyle throughout your wedding day. For more features by Stacy, you can check her out monthly column on Cheeky Chicago.
Planning a Green Wedding: a Guide for the Eco-Conscious Bride
By Stacy Levy
Your wedding is the ultimate expression of your style, personality and who you are as a couple. In your daily life, you recycle, shop locally at your farmers market, and live a green lifestyle—it makes sense that you would want your big day to reflect those values too. Now that “going green” has become so mainstream, you no longer have to compromise the look and feel of your wedding to be eco-conscious. Rustic, vintage, romantic, modern—whatever your wedding vibe may be, mindful practices will make your day unique and eco-chic.
Green Pan- GreenPan.com
Gifts: Your bridal gift registry is the ultimate wish list and a great opportunity to bring mindful products into your new home. Choose tableware, linens, towels, and other housewares that are made from sustainable products and materials such as bamboo and organic cotton. You can even go green with your pots and pans. “Green Pan,” a company that produces non-stick cookware, uses a technology that is free from harmful, synthetic substances, is now available at most large retailers. Other registry options such as Poladora.com allow you to register for items such as yoga classes and massage, which minimizes any product shipping costs, gift boxes, etc.
Invitations: Choose a stationer that uses 100% post-consumer-recycled paper, which uses no new trees. Look for papers made out of hemp bamboo or organic cotton and processed chlorine-free, and printed with vegetable or soy-based inks. Use white paper—the less ink, the better. Local stationers like Squash U and Be U Brides offer earth-friendly options, as do large sites like EarthlyAffiar.com and Minted.com.
Design and favors: Use recycled resources for your decor. Fabric straps, recycled materials, and burlap will give you that coveted rustic look without compromising elegance. Beeswax or soy candles, vases, jars, and tins are great options for reusable decor. Spread the green love by offering guests eco-friendly favors, perhaps wild seeds in a vintage jar or luscious-smelling soy candles. Guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Check out etsy.com or RecycledBride.com for more great options.
Dress: Wear a vintage wedding gown or a family heirloom to conserve fabric and resources. Another idea is to buy a pre-worn dress. Sites like OnceWed.com and Preownedweddingdresses.com have stunning, designer dresses at half the price. For “something borrowed,” wear your grandmother’s jewelry or vintage broach.
Wedding bikes, projectwedding.com
Transportation: Consider ditching the gas-guzzling machine and opting for a “Just Married” bicycle or horse drawn carriage. Or “rent” a hybrid car from igo, a car share company based in Chicago, to transport you from ceremony to reception.
Donate: Rather than letting all your stunning floral arrangements and excess food go to waste, donate them to a local hospital or homeless shelter after the day is over. Choose a florist that offers pesticide-free, seasonal flowers, such as Pollen in Chicago.
Venue - Green House Loft
Venue and Caterer: Consider having your venue in a local garden museum or family backyard. Often times, gardens and museums are run by nonprofits, so your rental fee will support a good cause. Choose a setting that minimizes travel impacts, saving on fuel emissions. Venues in Chicago such as Greenhouse Lofts, Loft on Lake, or Logan Square Kitchen. Choose a caterer that serves organic food, such as Pure Kitchen or Bleeding Heart Bakery.
Rehearsal: Choose a green caterer like Goose Island Catering, who includes farm-to-table freshness in all their menus. Choose a green restaurant and/or vegetarian menu options. For more information on local green restaurants, visit buygreenchicago.com and click on the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition.
For more information on planning an eco-conscious wedding, visit http://greenweddingalliance.