Eco-friendly Transportation Tips

August 27th, 2012
Photo by MWD Photography.

Photo by MWD Photography.

Probably the largest environmental impact from any kind of celebration is from the transportation involved. Guests from other places and in-town transport cause inevitable carbon emissions. To reduce the environmental impact, you might encourage your guests to arrive by rail, by bus, or to carpool. Of course, if you have your event where public transportation is an option, you can help your guests to get around by local transit. If possible, reserve hotel rooms for your guests within walking distance of the party. If they will have to travel some distance, charter a bus for them. Or, try a pedicab.

Carbon offsets are one way to mitigate the environmental consequences of travel. Although there are some who question their effectiveness, you might know of a program you feel comfortable with. You could ask your guests to pay for carbon offsets instead of bringing gifts. Or it can be your gift to them in place of favors.

For an eco friendly honeymoon, try these ideas: honeymoon close to home; honeymoon at home (turn off the phone and tell everyone you’ve gone away); honeymoon by bicycle; or, most romantic of all, honeymoon by rail. (As my sister says, “Anyone who says romance is dead hasn’t been on a train lately.”)

DIY Weddings: Dishes

August 20th, 2012
How many cake plates do you need?  Photo courtesy of Artisan Events.

How many cake plates do you need? Photo courtesy of Artisan Events.

When you see the total cost of rental dishes, you might be tempted to go to Ikea and buy dishes instead of renting them.  Depending on your circumstances, that might be a good choice–or it really might not be.

I know someone who bought enough dishes to serve about 50 people at her wedding. They got married in their own home, had a good caterer, and had places to store all those dishes after the wedding.  It can work.

On the other hand, if you are having 150 guests at a rented venue, you might run into some unexpected difficulties.  For example, keep in mind that everything may need to be washed before it is used.  Your catering staff probably won’t do that for you without an additional charge.  Next, think about what will happen to all those dishes at the end of the night.  The kitchen staff will scrape them and pack them up in whatever boxes you provide for them.  Then you or your representative will have to pick them up from the venue the day after the wedding and take them somewhere to wash them.  And then you’ll have to figure out what to do with 150 place settings.  That might not be how you planned to spend the first day of your honeymoon.

This is not to say you shouldn’t buy dishes, but you should think it through all the way to the end before taking the leap.

Vendors I Know: Kenilworth Club

August 13th, 2012

The Kenilworth Club, as it appears on their website.

The Kenilworth Club, as it appears on their website.

As you may recall, I coordinated a wedding at the Kenilworth Club last spring.  I really can’t say enough good things about the club as a wedding venue.  I have been a guest there and I have worked there, and I find it to be one of the nicest halls on the North Shore.

The Kenilworth Club is located on Kenilworth Ave. just east of Green Bay Road in the heart of the North Shore.  There is easy parking at the train station opposite.  The hall is located on a large lot with areas for an outdoor wedding ceremony, if you choose.  It is also possible to have your ceremony in the main room; have cocktails in the adjoining large foyer; and return to the main room for dinner and dancing.

The building itself is a prairie-style jewel that is on the National Register of Historic Places.  It has unusually nice amenities:  a working fireplace in the foyer; a stage for your band; and some of the nicest restrooms I’ve ever seen.  The staff is extremely accommodating.  And the price is a lot less than I had expected.  This is one place I can recommend without hesitation.

Wedding Pitfalls: Bridal Magazines

August 6th, 2012
Sometimes, the nicest weddings are the ones that don't do what they "should."  Photo by Paul Grigonis, pplusgphoto.com.

Sometimes, the nicest weddings are the ones that don't do what they "should." Photo by Paul Grigonis, pplusgphoto.com.

I try to keep tabs on the current bridal publications.  There are certainly a lot of ideas and some useful information to be had from reading them.  There are also snares to watch out for, as with many things in the wedding industry.

One thing I notice is how often articles use the words “should” and “must,” generally when referring to items or services to purchase.  Then, when looking at the advertisers, I see that most of the things they say are required are things the advertisers sell.  Based on what I know about the publishing industry, I know this is no coincidence.  So, my advice would be to take the “shoulds” and “musts” with a grain of salt.  Decide what is important to you and make your decisions based on that.