Step 1: Decide you want to compost your wedding scraps.

Step 2: Also decide to use compostable serviceware (plates, utensils, etc.).  This is only a benefit if you decide to actually compost; throwing compostable stuff into the garbage is basically as bad as throwing away the regular stuff; it releases methane (one of the top greenhouse gases) in landfills and is no good to anyone.  There are many cool options; I haven’t decided what we’re going to use yet.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Right now I’m looking at Worldcentric (made of bagasse, or leftover sugarcane fibers), (various materials), Branch (mostly bagasse), etc.  More or less comparison shopping.  I also love Verterra, but it’s a little out of our budget.

Step 3: Search Google for your location and composting; i.e. “chestertown maryland composting.”

Step 4: Find results for the Warrington Foundation or similar composting organization.  Use contact info to e-mail wedding situation.

Step 5: They e-mail back and let me know that they work with agricultural compost, and can’t do regular food scraps.  But they suggest  contacting the local college, Washington College.

Step 6: Procrastinate, and maybe do other important things like order invitations (next post!).

Step 7: Caterer e-mails me with list of supplies he’ll need…oh, and by the way, his parents (living in Chestertown), would be happy to compost the non-meat scraps and serveware!

Step 8: Celebrate and write blog entry!

So I kind of lucked out.  But seriously, don’t give up if composting is something you want to do!  Contact local schools and state departments, or if you happen to live in an awesome city like Seattle that has composting programs, take advantage of it!  But first, ask your caterer if he/she has any advice.  🙂

p.s. I’m also hoarding yogurt containers (the big ones) and the like that I’ll provide to my guests in case they want to take leftovers home.  No need to buy specialized carry-out containers!  (They’ll be washed, I promise.)


A site visit

February 15, 2009

Jason came to visit me for Valentine’s Day weekend. It was his first visit out here, and it was fabulous. And we even accomplished something! We went out to the Eastern Shore to finally see the Inn at Mitchell House (our ceremony/reception site) in person. And we’re really happy with our choice.

ceremony site, by the pond

ceremony site, by the pond

I took a few more pictures and uploaded them to my Flickr site:  It’s a little brown right now, but imagine what it’ll look like in late summer!  There are plenty of gorgeous pictures on the Inn’s site, too.  But there’s room for some ultimate frisbee, and plenty of room for the ceremony down by the pond and then to have the reception tents up by the house (I didn’t actually take pictures of that space b/c that’s currently where the cars are parked).

Jim and Tracy are really knowledgeable, and we feel like we’re in great hands.  Tracy was ready with lots of recommendations as far as local vendors for tents, officiant, and so on.  And she was completely ready for my questions about composting and recycling.  (They don’t have an official compost on site and just throw non-meat items out in the woods, so I’ll probably work with Mark, our caterer, whose parents might be able to take care of that, and they have lots of recycling barrels.)  It’s also a pro that both the ceremony and the reception will be in the same place, although unfortunately Chestertown really is only accessible by car.  Tracy did give us the information for an adorable trolley service, though, so hopefully we can get the majority of the people from their hotels to the wedding site in large groups (better for more local beer and wine drinking, too!).

Jason’s parents came with us, too, and Jason’s mom especially had some great ideas for decorating.  So stay tuned!

New Name!

June 4, 2008

Okay, it’s official.  Well, at least Jason has told his parents, so that makes it pretty official in my book.  Barring unforeseen circumstances and/or any sudden decisions to take off and get married in Vegas with only my little sister and Elvis as witnesses, we will be getting married in Delaware.  Sorry, Seattle!  I love you, but it works out the best for everyone.  And we’re definitely going to be using our friend Mark for the catering.  He’s going to have his very own bread oven (yeah, I linked here earlier, but here’s a tiny bit more publicity for you, Mark), so I think it’s a win-win situation all around.  🙂  Stay tuned for more info on the catering, like what we chose to serve, ingredients, how to reduce waste, etc. etc.

I have to admit, “living green” is something I feel the west coast does much better as a whole than the east coast.  I hope I’m going to be pleasantly surprised.  Obviously big cities have lots of options (New York, Philadelphia, DC), but maybe it’s just that people on the east seem more set in their ways and the fact that it’s been settled longer means they don’t have quite the same sense of awe about the land around them.  I’m not putting East Coasters down, I lived in the Adirondacks for years, and we learned about conservation (and surviving getting lost in the mountains!) in grade school, but I just feel like my friends and family there don’t quite get it yet when I talk about reducing and saving energy.  I’m not talking about buying organic groceries from Whole Foods down the street, but the big lifestyle changes just don’t seem to be quite as much on the forefront of the social conciousness.  Anyway, like I said, I’m hoping I’m proved wrong.  🙂  I mean, I already know that New York City is pioneering change in plastic bag usage.  And the University of Delaware is a leader in photovoltaic energy.  So I don’t know why I’m worried!  Oh, and I haven’t explored this site yet, but maybe it’ll be promising (I just Googled “eco delaware”):

Now, time to update the title for the entire “project.”  This blog will now become a little more about being a green bride in general, about my general philosophies towards creating a greener wedding, rather than resources specifically in Seattle.  Since there’s so much information on the web anyway, and we end up doing so much shopping online, a lot of stuff I will post (and have already posted!) is applicable anywhere.  Thanks for reading! 


Well, I may have to change the title of this blog.  Largely due to a very generous offer from a good friend, we are again considering getting married on the East Coast.  Probably Delaware, but it’s kind of near DC, and the Washington vs. Washington is better title.  Maybe.

Anyway.  So our friend Mark has offered to cater our wedding.  And he tempted us with promises of using local, seasonal food (and potentially organic) and a reminder that Dogfish Head brewery is found on the East Coast.  And he’s going to have his own bread oven…One of the original reasons why I was able to dismiss getting married on the East so easily was that I didn’t like any of the caterers I found in my searches around Delaware.  But the main reason Delaware is on the list is that Jason’s parents moved there, and it’s fairly close to all my New York relatives.  Not only is that a plus just in terms of older relativies being able to come, but it means less travel and hence a smaller carbon footprint.  On the other hand, that benefit may be offset by the number of friends we have traveling from other places, including Seattle.  So, nothing’s set in stone.

But, in the meantime, I have been researching a few places in the Seattle area where we could get married.  The idea is to have the reception and the ceremony as close as possible, and preferably in the same place, so that we can just relax in one place and not have to take a bunch of cars somewhere else.  Here’s the list (all can accomodate at least 150 people):

Clise Mansion, Redmond, WA


  • Both ceremony and reception could be held here easily.
  • Beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces
  • Not too expensive, the information I received had Sunday from 11am-4pm at $975.
  • Preferred caterers include several of the caterers that I have been vaguely looking at, including Herban Feast (there will be more in-depth food posts later, I’m sure).
  • They have A/V equipment available (more on the reception music later, too).


  • On the Eastside
  • Can only use preferred caterers
  • Booking for September 6th will be tricky; the managers have to leave those dates open until the park’s concert schedule is set, so you get your name on a waiting list.

Fremont Abbey, Seattle, WA


  • Can house both ceremony and reception.
  • It’s in Seattle proper and is more easily accessible both by car and public transportation.
  • It’s a beautiful building
  • The organization that runs it is doing great things for the community and supports youth arts education.
  • It has A/V equipment available.


  • More expensive: I was quoted 1300-1600 (but it is a holiday weekend).
  • No outdoor space (can’t throw a frisbee!  sigh).
  • Might have to use a preferred caterer? 

Redhook Brewery, Woodinville, WA


  • Delicious microbrews!  Sorry, had to put that first.  It’s the one thing we’re definitely set on for the reception because we both love it so much (although I like my porters and he likes his IPA’s)!
  • Cheap: $400 for the room that holds 200 and $700 for the big outdoors “bowl” that holds 300.  That’s just from the website, though, so it might not hold on a holiday weekend.
  • Outdoors area (hopefully we’d have access).
  • For Seattle area friends, it’s easily accessible by bike via the Burke Gilman trail.
  • Did I mention the microbrews?
  • In-house catering with a yummy appetizer buffet @ $16 a person.  And preliminary research shows some amount of organic/local focus on the food…


  • On the Eastside.
  • Not clear if we could have the ceremony there, but I believe we would be able to find a place nearby.
  •  Preferred caterers.
  • Not sure of the A/V equipment or tables/linens status.

So, that’s what I’ve got so far.  It’s pretty basic, but I like to think it’s a start.  The location, and how people will be traveling, will be the biggest challenge to maintaining a low carbon footprint.  I’ve got some resources for offsetting that I’ll put up eventually, but for now we’re going to keep looking at how to continue to lesson our impact.  Keeping to (and deciding on) one location will be important, to minimize how far people have to go. 

One last thing: today would have been my sister Christine’s 24th birthday.  My whole family and all her friends miss her so much.  I’m so glad I asked her to be my maid of honor (waaaay before I was even engaged) before she passed away, and I’ll be honored to list her in our program as such.  So, my final thought: take nothing for granted, from this planet to your best friends and family.