A Zero Waste Wedding
Throop UU Church, where I have invested hundreds of gardening hours over the last three years, but where I am not officially a member, graciously offered its hall at a discount rate for our son's wedding. Ah! The sharing economy at work!
Inventory of Throop Hall found it well-equipped with tables, chairs, chafing dishes, wedding china, and a mishmash of stainless steel utensils adequate to deliver food to mouth. No wine glasses, though! Yikes! A quick message to the Time Bank and I was flooded with offers for borrowing wine glasses and champagne flutes. Collecting 100 was not a problem!
When the auspicious day came, arriving guests were invited to meander through the garden to fill their senses with the vibrance, abundance, and peace found in a lively garden. The garden cooperated magnificently with blooming sages, sweetpeas, sunflowers, scarlet runner beans, and apple trees in bud and bloom.
The officiant was an aunt who gave the ceremony as a gift. The groom, being a musician, called in favors for a jazz trio. The wedding ceremony was enhanced by the gift of a violin solo and another gift of a song on guitar by another guest as a lighthearted recessional.
A cousin with a previous life in a florist shop created the brides simple bouquet and arranged a single exuberant bouquet of fragrant lilacs and freesias collected from the farmers market that morning and from backyard clippings. A few simple tulips in 36 rescued juice jars bobbled on each table which was simply set with rented cloths and napkins.
The menu and serving it was a challenge, but as Goethe said, "Make a bold move and mighty forces will come to your aid". The intention for self catering was set when Time Bank Chef, Jennie Cook told me they were booked up for that date. Time Bank friends who would not be on the short invite list offered kitchen help. A week before the wedding, the realization dawned that Throop's kitchen does not have a functional dishwasher. Another quick post to the Time Bank yielded two Time Bankers willing to wash dishes. One of them I had never met! Barbara later thanked me for including her as a dishwasher! Her note said she was delighted to find that kitchen drudgery could be fun with new friends.
As the menu developed we also worked to stay with fresh, locally grown food to keep the carbon footprint low. Each of seven dishes for 100 was made by one person in the community. As a final touch, butter for rolls was decorated with nasturtiums and lemonade floated with lavender blooms, fresh from the Throop Garden. The bride baked her own wedding cakes, a gluten free coconut layer cake, with the help of gathering wedding guests. No plasticware was used except a few lemonade cups that were biodegradable corn base. No "disposable" foil trays were used for food. (when you throw it away where is away?) No paper products were used for nut cups or party favors, napkins or towels. Repurposed Christmas twinkly lights lit the tree as the sun set. The evening ended all too soon.
A week after the wedding, a group of us were discussing the meaning of the title of the new Charles Eisenstein book, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible. I could not help but think how lucky I am to know a slice of that world. It is grounded in appreciation of the natural beauty around us, the sense of abundance found in community, in the gift of sharing, and in gratitude for the love and energy of dear friends, even the ones we have not yet met.
— Therese Brummel