The Green Team recently had the chance to chat with Emily Celano about her wedding and the efforts she and her husband made to make sure it was as environmentally sustainable as possible.
Q: Emily, tell us a little bit about your inspiration to have an environmentally sustainable wedding.
A: As an environmentalist, I love organizing and supporting events that focus on local businesses and giving back to the greater community. When I got engaged last Fall, I desired to have a wedding focused on these concepts and my fiancé was supportive as long as the efforts made financial sense. In our early search for a wedding venue and wedding vendors, we quickly came to realize the expense of planning a wedding and how a “W” in front of any request enhanced the cost of the service. After several months of research and visits to traditional venues such as hotels, restaurants, and catering halls, and non-traditional venues such as museums, farms, and non-profit organizations, we were introduced to The Trustees of Reservations through a friend who had gotten married at a Trustees property a few years earlier. The Trustees of Reservations is an organization which preserves properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts. The Trustees currently manages more than 110 special places in Massachusetts, totaling nearly 26,000 acres.
Q: That’s great! What venue did you end up choosing for your wedding? And can you tell us a little more about it?
A: Our wedding venue was The Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton, Massachusetts. The property contains 90 acres of conservation land, including three miles of trails. Like most Trustees properties, this property is free and open to the public for all to visit; however, the grounds immediately surrounding the house have limited access when a private event is occurring. We love the ability to go back to this property and the chance to explore the wider network of Trustees properties with friends and family.
Q: What did you decide to do for catering?
A: The Trustees of Reservations has an exclusive relationship with a sustainable caterer, Fireside Catering for all Trustees events which allowed for some economy of scale with our catering. Fireside Catering sources the freshest ingredients possible from their own Gibbet Hill Farm to bring the most vibrant flavors to the plate. Fireside Catering also works with many area food purveyors and other local farms to provide the very best in local, seasonal, and sustainable cuisine. In addition, Fireside Catering happens to be located within walking distance of EBI’s Burlington, Massachusetts office which made coordinating easier for us.
Q: Aside from the venue, how else did you incorporate sustainable actions into your wedding?
A: I purchased my wedding dress and many bridal accessories (veil, earrings for myself and my mother, a hair accessory, a purse, and a ring bearer pillow) from a bridal consignment shop, Clever Bride Consignments, located in Holliston, Massachusetts. The owner Chris was wonderful to work with and takes extremely good care of her beautiful inventory. In addition to being environmentally conscious, we saved a significant amount of money on these items and plan to re-consign several of these items back to the store once cleaned.
Q: When it came to flowers and reception décor, what were your options?
A: Because of the beauty of our venue, we decided to keep reception decorations minimal. Both our ceremony flowers and our reception flowers consisted of fresh herbs and local field flowers provided by New Leaf Flores, a boutique flower shop in our neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. At the suggestion of our caterer, we re-purposed our bouquets at our reception as side table decorations which was a wonderful way for us and guests to enjoy them longer. By choosing simple, local, seasonal flowers, we kept our floral expenses lower than average without sacrificing beauty. In addition, we printed ceremony programs and reception printables on recycled paper and kept them to one page back to front.
Q: Were you able to incorporate sustainability into events that went on before your wedding, like your bridal shower and bachelorette party?
A: We tried to incorporate sustainability into the events leading up to our wedding, by sourcing some food for my bridal shower from my sister’s farm share at Sienna Farms, having my bachelorette party dinner at a Green restaurant, Taranta located in Boston, Massachusetts and having our rehearsal dinner at our favorite neighborhood restaurant, Redd’s in Rozzie located in Roslindale, Massachusetts. Taranta has adopted many changes in their operation to reduce their carbon footprint and help the environment while promoting social responsibility. Redd’s in Rozzie is a neighborhood restaurant and bar focused on using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients with a Southern American touch.
Q: Can you tell us about any other efforts you may have included in your wedding?
A: We decided to work with small businesses and/or independently owned companies for our photographer (Dan Aguirre), my wedding ring, our transportation services, our reception music, and our hair and makeup services. We reused the packaging materials and boxes from registry gifts by donating them to friends who are moving this Fall. We donated all items that were replaced by registry gifts to a local consignment shop, Boomerangs, whose profits support AIDS Action. In addition, with each gift purchased through our registry on The Knot, a donation was made on our behalf to The I Do Foundation Environment Fund.
Emily and her husband were able to celebrate a beautiful wedding day all while incorporating sustainability into their ceremony and reception. The Green Team applauds you both for your sustainable efforts and we wish you both happiness and love! Congratulations!