September 10, 2008
I made it! I’m now in Maryland, and minus Jason for a few months. 😦 But I’ll be able to distract myself with wedding planning and this blog, hopefully! And I’m going back to Seattle this weekend to see him, so it’s really not that bad (or so I keep telling myself). If you’re interested, eventually I’ll put up some documentation from our cross-country road trip up on Flickr.
Seeing as how it’s been a few weeks, I feel out of practice. So please bear with me these next few posts while I get back in the swing of things. Planning will be starting for real, with a binder and everything, so hopefully with a schedule to guide me, I’ll have plenty of relevant topics to write about.
Tonight, I bring you a book review. A little background: Suzan St Maur stumbled upon this blog and left a comment offering to send me a copy of her book, How to Get Married In Green, for review. Of course I accepted; eco-wedding resources are hard enough to find, and also, I think most librarians love free books! So my apologies, Suzan, for taking so long, and I only hope I can get a few people to check it out (request it at your libraries, folks, if you don’t want to buy it yourselves).
Suzan lives in England, and the book is targeted for UK audiences. That said, there’s plenty of information applicable to probably anywhere in the world. I especially loved the in depth information she provided on jewelry: not only does she discuss blood diamonds, but there’s information on mining and production processes for the all the metals and gems most often used for weddings. There’s also an amazing interview with a wedding photographer that goes into lots of detail about the impacts of both traditional and digital photography and what can be done to lesson them. The photographer says more or less outright what I think Suzan does a very good job of implying throughout the book: it’s not just what you do on this one day that makes a difference, but committing to making lifestyle changes that will help make sure you do as little damage as possible.
However, any one person can only do so much. Whatever that means for you, Suzan does a great job of giving lots of options. Maybe you always get your clothing second hand, so getting a beautiful, unique wedding dress the same way is a great option. But maybe your career demands nice, new clothing, and people expect the same on your wedding day. Suzan offers suggestions on fabric and reusability. She includes numerous ideas and options for all the aspects of a wedding, and I think she does a really strong of emphasizing that we just need to think about the decisions that we’re making. If we alter one small thing in every part of that special day (and our lifestyles), that makes a difference. If we have to compromise on some things and then totally give up on, say, flying somewhere exotic for the honeymoon because that’s a little more our style, then that’s perfectly okay.
While Married in Green is somewhat comparable to Eco-Chic Weddings (which I’ve mentioned before), I think there are a few notable differences, and I’m certainly glad I’m lucky enough to have both books (I’ll be passing them on when I’m done, perhaps to a library!). First of all, Suzan’s book isn’t quite as resource-based as Emily Anderson’s. Although there is a chapter at the end with lots of web resources (mostly UK, but don’t write them off without checking them out), Suzan emphasizes looking around on the web yourself, and offers lots of search terms to get you started. To a certain degree, I think the search terms are a little simplistic, and I think there are some better ways to search than just a search engine (find a good wedding site, for instance, and browse/search around in there; on theknot.com, which I love, not all the individual pages are indexed/found on Google, but there’s a ton of info), but it’s definitely a good place to start. I also think that there are some areas in Suzan’s book where there’s a little more information about why we need to be thinking about these things: I already mentioned the jewelry and photography; the chapter on receptions has some interesting thoughts, too, such as the energy it takes to power the lighting and dj.
All in all, I’m really grateful I got the chance to review Suze’s book, and I definitely recommend it to all you other brides-to-be out there. And it’s printed on paper certified by the FSC!