By: admin on September 8, 2009
Make your wedding more eco-friendly
View this article here: http://www.banffcragandcanyon.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1625872
By Shawn Slaght
With the wedding season just around the corner, there are many ways to make a wedding in the Bow Valley more eco-friendly according to local executive wedding planner Angela Schrempf.
Schrempf, who has been in the event planning industry since 2002 and currently operates Sweet Occasions Bridal Consulting based out of Canmore, said there are some simple and inexpensive ways to make a wedding more environmentally friendly.
“We like to focus on really being green about everything,” said Schrempf. “Because I respect the area so much.”
Schrempf said one of the things to consider when planning a wedding is to reduce fuel emissions used by guests and the cost of the venue rentals by holding the ceremony and reception in one place.
“There are many venues in both Banff and Canmore and all over the Rockies for that matter that offer both hotel services and services for both outdoor and indoor ceremony locations and receptions,” she said.
If that is not possible, consider getting a shuttle bus for the guests from the ceremony to the reception or carpool in hybrid vehicles.
There are also facilities that promote environmental preservation that can be rented out for special events. One of the local facilities that Schrempf recommended was the Chateau Lake Louise.
“They are really, really big about that with their expansion,” she said. “They actually reduced the amount of water they use and other utilities when they expanded and doubled their property size.”
She said there are also facilities like Buffalo Mountain Lodge and Emerald Lake Lodge that produce their own game and meat for the meals.
When it comes to brides, they can consider wearing gowns made of natural fabrics or wear a used gown.
With photography, she recommended going with a photographer who keeps photos digital and only prints out the photos that are wanted.
“They won’t actually send you a proof book. You can go online,” said Schrempf.
Schrempf also recommended planning an eco-travel honeymoon. She said eco-travel agents can be found online and can meet anyone’s needs such as hiking, lounging on a beach, or strolling through a museum.
“We don’t have to go on a cruise or do something that is going to harm the environment producing carbon emissions,” said Schrempf.
She also suggested, along with holding the ceremony in the Rocky Mountains, staying in the Bow Valley for the honeymoon.
“Ditch everyone and stay in the Rockies,” she said. “Go exploring, go on a lake and do some canoeing. Enjoy yourself, it is gorgeous here.”
Another idea Schrempf suggested was holding the ceremony near water and, instead of leaving in a limo, leaving the ceremony in a canoe.
With décor, a few of the suggestions Schrempf had included using soy candles, which burn cleaner and longer and spills are much easier to clean up. She also recommended using natural elements such as branches and river rocks.
For invitations, the paper can be made of high-recycled content or from alternative fiber such as hemp or bamboo.
“They are really unique in how you can get tons of textures, colours and designs,” said Schrempf. “You can really customize it and also the same price than going with your normal invitations, so why not.”
Flower arrangement can also be done with wildflowers. Also those planning a wedding can ask their florist about donating the flowers to facilities such as hospitals.
One of the simpler ways to make a wedding more eco-friendly in the mountains is to simply go outside.
“Why use lighting indoors and air conditioning when you can have your wedding outside,” said Schrempf. “Go to a lake or a meadow. There are plenty of locations around here.”
However, permits are required for holding an outdoor ceremony in the National Park. Or information is available regarding the permit by contacting the Banff National Park Information Centre at 762-1550.
Hiring local vendors and entertainment cuts down on travel and carbon emissions. Also acoustic musicians can cut down on electricity.
“Local vendors are not more expensive than in Calgary,” said Schrempf. “Calgary vendors are actually more expensive than our vendors.”
More information about eco-friendly weddings can be found at www.sweetoccasionsbanff.com or by contacting Angela Schrempf at 403-678-6366 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.