7 Surprising Green Wedding Tips that Won’t Break the Bank.

According to Green Bride Guide, “Each one of the 2.5 million weddings this year in the United States will produce an average of 62 tons of carbon dioxide and 400-600 lbs 

green wedding

of garbage.” Wow! Having a green wedding is a wonderful way to add some personality to your celebration, while respecting the Earth. But planning an eco-friendly wedding can be challenging.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of green to have a green wedding. Plus, there are lots of easy ways to cut-back on your wedding’s carbon footprint, while bringing out your unique style.

Pro-Tips for Pulling Off Your Green Wedding

You may already know that using natural venues, local vendors, and shopping around for green products are not only better for the environment, but also provide plenty of options for adding your personal touch to what will be one of the most important days of your life.

Going beyond these basics, let’s get into some specifics about how to pull off your green wedding without sacrificing elegance or going over budget:

1. Choose a natural space for your venue.

Outdoor venues like a friend’s backyard, a barn, the beach, or the mountains provide lots of natural beauty as decoration for your event. Adding candlelight, instead of expensive traditional lighting, is a good way to save money and spare the electricity, which can be very difficult to provide for some outdoor venues. Besides what could be more romantic than the soft light of hundreds of candles reflecting off of water or reusable glass decor?

Additionally, plan to host your green wedding and reception at the same location. When you keep the wedding and reception at the same place, you save on transportation costs between two venues, burn fewer fossil fuels, and have more time to spend with your guests.

Of course, with any naturally beautiful space, one big challenge is providing restroom facilities for guests. Nothing kills the mood faster during an elegant wedding reception than watching guests tromp off into the woods to use the “natural” restroom. (Talk about taking your green wedding to the extreme!) Fortunately, Blue Ribbon can make sure that whatever natural outdoor space you choose is equipped with luxury restroom trailers. Choose from green options like fresh flowers or rolled cotton towels for drying hands. And all of our trailers come with automatic shut-off faucets to save water.

2. Source locally and in season food and flowers.

From food to flowers, check out what is in season for your menu and arrangements. Since food is one of the biggest ticket items for any wedding, consider serving heavy hors d’oeuvres instead of a big meal.

Using locally sourced food, like local fruit and vegetables, supports the area’s economy and adds regional flair to your wedding. When choosing a caterer, look for one who specializes in sustainable, organic, and free-range offerings. Farm-to-table offers fresh, healthy options that will make your menu unique and amazingly delicious too.

When choosing flowers, you don’t need to go fake to keep your wedding green. Instead, invest in your community and save on shipping costs and energy, by purchasing chemical-free, organic flowers from your farmer’s market. While your choice of flower variety will be limited by what’s seasonally available, mismatched flowers provide just the right rustic touch for an outdoor wedding. You could also ask a friend to grow flowers in their garden or plant your own special garden for your event.

Alternatively, online florists, such as Organic Bouquet, allow you to have more varietal options and are a good choice, especially if shopping locally isn’t realistic. Be sure to have guests take flowers home to maximize the eco-friendliness.

3. Don’t toss the plates.

Consider the non-perishable items that you use for your wedding too. If possible, ask your caterer to use cloth napkins, cloth tablecloths, real dishes, silverware, and glassware. Not only are these items more eco-friendly, they are also more elegant than non-reusable table settings. However, depending on the size of your wedding, using green dishes can be a budget-buster. If you must use disposable items, make sure to get biodegradable products.

4. Something borrowed.

Another major expense that can also feel extremely wasteful is wedding attire. Today there are many convenient options for borrowing or renting your wedding dress. Who really wants a dress taking up space and getting dusty in your closet for the rest of your life, anyway?

Remember the tradition: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue! Making your dress the something borrowed is often a great way to get a more glamorous dress than what you could otherwise afford if you bought it outright. And with the average cost of a wedding dress around $1300, renting one for $100 saves you a lot!

One rental option to consider is Rent the Runway. Bridesmaids and the mothers of the bride and groom can get into the act by finding something here too. Also, it’s quite possible that one of your friends or family members have a dress you could borrow. Consider altering your mom’s dress or find another type of formal dress that could be reused and enhanced for this special occasion. Local consignment or vintage stores are often a great resource too. So many great green options here!

5. Give something meaningful and green.

Green centerpieces or tree planting kits can double as lovely favors for your guests to take home. Check out the great ideas at Plant a Memory. Or offer guests local gifts such as jam, beer, or wine as a favor. If you’d rather not give guests more stuff to take home and clutter their homes, why not donate to your favorite cause  in honor of your guests. Your wedding tradition will continue long after you say “I do.”

6. Skip the paper invites.

Save the cost of mailing invitations and avoid adding paper to the recycle bin by using electronic invites. Evite, Punch Bowl, and Green Envelope offer cute, digital invitations that will save you lots of green! If you want to mail an invitation, send earth-friendly, plantable invites that include seeds. As your guests watch your their flower or plant grow, they will remember your special day.

7. Recycle.

Finally, at the end of the event, don’t forget to recycle! Make it simple for your green wedding guests and add cleverly camouflaged recycling and composting bins around the event venue. For additional tips, review our earlier blog post on the Top Ways to Recycle Wedding Items.

With these 7 tips, you’ll be ready to have a green, elegant, and cost-efficient wedding. There is no need to sacrifice the Earth or your values at your wedding. Your eco-friendly wedding will be even more meaningful for you and your guests.

At Blue Ribbon we are here to make your event, whether it’s green, blue, or purple, the best it can be. Contact us today! Your custom quote is waiting.

5 Amazingly Awesome Tips for Hosting a Super Successful Outdoor Event

Recently we observed Memorial Day, a special holiday meant to honor America’s fallen military men and women. At Blue Ribbon, we remember and appreciate the servsuccessful outdoor eventice of all of our veterans. Of course, Memorial Day also marks the beginning of summer and summer means outdoor festival season. Outdoor events are tons of fun, but planning a successful outdoor event has its challenges.

Here are some tips for planning a successful outdoor event with minimal stress (and who couldn’t use less stress, right?):

1. Double-check permits and ordinances.

If you want to use a public space, research which permits you need based on the city, municipality, township, and neighborhood where will hold the event. Start looking into the specific rules governing the outdoor event space that you hope to use as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that the type of permit needed and rules that apply will depend on the type of event you are hosting. For example, if you would like to plan a successful outdoor event on the National Mall or any other National Park units in the Capital Region, you will need a permit for the following:

  • Special events such as recreational activities, musical performances, and celebrations;
  • Demonstrations such as speeches, picketing, vigils, and other activities designed to communicate a message;
  • Special uses including any sport activities, weddings, and ceremonies; and
  • Commercial filming and photography.

Unless you want your event shutdown, you will want to get all of your paperwork in order well ahead of time. Once you believe you have filed all of the necessary paperwork, double-check with the local authorities to be sure everything is in order.

2. Take your time with logistics and layout.

Some outdoor event venues are easier to use than others. Is there an existing structure, like a pavilion or an outdoor stage? Great! That cuts your work in half. But if you are staring down at a blank canvas of an outdoor space, advanced planning and coordination are crucial. You will need to arrange for everything—power, toilets (may we suggest luxury restroom trailers?), equipment, food, etc.

Start planning your layout by taking tons of photos of your venue. You can even make a sketch (or, if you have mad graphic design skills, a digital reproduction) and test out different arrangements for vendors, sound equipment, booths, etc. Consider how the equipment will be loaded into the space. Schedule a meeting at the venue in advance with your suppliers, to coordinate setup and teardown. Additionally, don’t forget about parking. Where will your vendors park their trucks? Where will guests park? Is your event easily accessible for people with special needs?

3. Provide for the proper health precautions.

Summer weather makes planning a successful outdoor event, especially difficult. If your event involves spectators standing or sitting out in the sun for long periods of time (e.g., a charity race, parade, or music event), make sure to provide plenty of water and places for overheated people to cool off. Set up cooling tents with fans blowing misty water.

Have medical personnel on standby with first-aid kits to monitor anyone feeling dizzy or lightheaded. This is especially important for events taking place in remote areas. Prepare a list of local hospitals and healthcare service providers including directions for how to get there.

4. Prepare for communication and crowd safety.

First, make sure you can communicate with your vendors and staff during your event. If you are in a more remote area, cell service may be spotty, so it may make sense to use walkie-talkies to communicate.

Second, make sure your event coordinator and performers can easily communicate with the crowd. Communication with the crowd is key both for ensuring the enjoyment and safety of any successful outdoor event. In the event of inclement weather, fast-moving storms can present serious safety hazards without much warning. Be prepared by having a plan and communicating that plan with your spectators in the most efficient manner possible.

5. Don’t skimp on the sanitation.

Last, but certainly not least, having the right number of appropriate restroom facilities available is an absolutely crucial element of a successful outdoor event. Trust us. Mistakes in this area will ruin your event faster than greased-lightning. Above all, make sure you have enough sanitation equipment both for guests and for the crew.

It’s also important to take into account your audience’s sensibilities. For crowds of a certain type, not just any ol’ portable toilet will do (but if that’s what you need, our friends at Don’s Johns are happy to help). That’s why at Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailers, we have a wide variety of luxury portable trailers that are sure to impress even your most discerning guests. Our portable trailers can accommodate crowds of all sizes and our friendly experts are always happy to discuss the best options for all your sanitation needs.

At Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailers, we’ve got you covered! Contact us for a quote today!

Your Outdoor Wedding Reception Survival Kit: Top 10 Often Overlooked Items

When it comes to planning your big day, it can seem like there are a million big things to remember, especially if you’re having an outdoor wedding reception. While it’s fairly easy to make a list of the big things—ordering enough food, finding the perfect flowers, making sure there’s enough seating, renting the tent, etc.—it’s also fairly easy to let some of the smaller items slip through the cracks.

outdoor weddingRemembering these small, but essential items can really make or break your special event. Along these lines, one creative and highly appreciated gift that bridesmaids often give to the bride-to-be on her wedding day is a wedding day survival kit. The kit includes things like her favorite lipstick, safety pins, tissues, and tweezers.

You can think of this blog post as your outdoor wedding reception survival kit. We’ve scoured the web for the best advice from brides who have been there and put together a checklist of 10 often overlooked to-do’s. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Outdoor Wedding Reception Survival Kit:

 

1. Designate a clean-up team.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your caterer, venue staff, or other vendors will pitch in and help clean up after the reception. You’ll need to specify that as a service you want ahead of time and make sure it’s in the contract.

You may need to hire a separate cleaning crew or designate members of your wedding party for the task. If your wedding party will be helping out, remind them to bring comfortable clothing, so that they aren’t doing dishes in their dresses and tuxes until 3am (been there!).

2. Make a list of take-away items.

Every bride and groom remember to make a list of things they need the wedding party to bring to the wedding site to be set up before the wedding. But very few think to make a list of things to bring back after it’s over.

This list of take-aways is important because at the end of the night, you will be too occupied with guests and each other to direct the tear-down of your reception. Anything you leave behind at the venue will likely be tossed in the dumpster. So if you want to save that photo backdrop DIY project, make sure it’s on the list.

3. Consider where the wait staff will change.

This is especially important if you are having your outdoor wedding at home. If you have a guestlist of 200 people, there could be 50 or more additional staff people working at your event. How will you make both the staff and guests comfortable? Consider renting coat racks so that staff has a place to hang up their personal items.

4. Plan for restrooms.

If there aren’t restrooms at your venue (and even if there are only a few nearby), consider renting portable luxury restrooms for your guests. A good rule of thumb is that you should have one bathroom or stall per 35 guests. Take a look at our restroom trailer options to choose the size that meets your needs.

Each luxury trailer includes flushable toilets, a hot water system, climate control, an oak vanity with marble or Corian sink, skylights, music, lighting, and an automatic fragrance dispenser. For an extra special touch, upgrade to the VIP package (or DIY) and add:

  • Lotion
  • Mouthwash
  • Safety pins
  • Fresh cut flowers
  • Feminine products
  • Individually wrapped mints
  • Topiaries for outside the door
  • Hand-rolled real towels in a basket

5. Don’t leave floral arrangements in the sun.

Live flowers won’t last more than an hour in direct sunlight. So wait as long as possible to put out flowers before guests arrive. Keep them out of the sun and in a cool place until you are ready for them.

6. Make sure the seating cards don’t fly away.

Whether you have your guests pick up their seating cards from a main table as they enter or you have put out individual cards at each place, remember to plan for the wind picking up. There are many creative and elegant ways to weigh down cards on tables—from beautiful polished stones to ribbon tied to a glass or twine around branches.

7. Offer guests cute flip-flops.

No matter how many times you remind your girlfriends to wear comfortable shoes to your outdoor wedding (and do make it clear to all guests in your invitations that the wedding will be outdoors), some of them will still insist on wearing heels. Cute stilettos and soft grass just don’t mix.

8. Put someone in charge of being a photo gatherer.

It’s so wonderful that everyone can take photos with their smartphones and share the best ones on your wedding website or social media. However, guests with the best of intentions might forget to do that last step. One way to make sure you get those photos is to designate a friend as the photo gatherer.

Station this person (and it’s best if he/she is NOT part of the wedding party) near the exit with a computer and a memory stick. Ask him to remind guests to upload their photos before leaving at the end of the night.

9. Remember to thank great vendors publicly.

Wedding vendors often go above and beyond for their brides because they want your day to be perfect. Why not thank them by posting a positive review on popular wedding websites? There is no better thank you gift you could give a wedding vendor.

10. Relax and enjoy your day!

Above all, remember that this day is all about celebrating your love for each other. If you focus on that and on being present throughout the event, you will take home fond memories of the day. So, eat, drink, dance, talk to your guests, and take some time out just to be yourself.
At Blue Ribbon Restrooms, we’re here to take care of the necessities. What better way to show your guests you are thinking about their comfort on your big day than by renting stylish and luxurious mobile restrooms? Contact us to request a quote today!