It’s Not Easy Being Green

With Earth Day around the corner, I got to thinking about some of my efforts to “green” our wedding. Some worked out well. Others didn’t. I’d like to share one aspect of our wedding that isn’t as green as we had hoped it would be: the decor.

I imagine I’m not alone in looking at pictures from other weddings and thinking that candlelight adds a beautiful quality to the scene. Early in my planning, I was especially drawn to mercury glass. I love it so much that my floral designers are using mercury-glass vessels in all of our table arrangements and aisle decorations. I can’t wait to see the beautiful result.


From Inspired by This / Photo by Joielala Photographie / Via

I thought I’d collect mercury-glass candle holders to extend the look to others parts of our venue. The hitch: Mercury glass, the real stuff, is expensive. We could spend hundreds of dollars on mercury glass and only amass a small collection of it. I briefly considered making my own using one of the many tutorials that are on the web, but a discussion with one of my florists changed my mind. She suggested that we use mercury-glass votives on the bridal-party table, but stick to clear on the rest because the clear glass would allow more light to bounce around the room.

I knew plenty of brides sold decorative items from their weddings in the Classifieds section of the ‘Bee, so I started watching the listings for votives. I started doing the math in my head and decided that I wanted around 100 votives to put on tables and around the venue. The flicker of candles would be everywhere!


From Inspired by This / Photo by Henry Dillon Photography / Via

I made arrangements three different times to buy another bride’s glass votives, but each time something came up to thwart the transaction. When we got to the two-month mark, I worried that it was getting a bit late and decided that Mr. Mink and I had to act. We went to our local SPCA Rummage Store, which is like a Goodwill but the proceeds go to fund the local animal shelter. Surely, with all those used votives online, we could find plenty used votives in thrift stores. Our first outing resulted in precisely two glass votive holders.

Mr. Mink loves a good scavenger hunt and wanted to press on to the next thrift shop, but I realized that we’d possibly spent a lot of time (and gas!) on this search and still not have anywhere near the number of votives we needed. Though I had hoped to buy secondhand, we gave up the search and bought new votives at Michaels.

I think our cache is pretty impressive:


The pre-filled votives will go around the outside perimeter of our venue space, where mirrors with shelves are hung. The regular votives will get candles and go on the tables, with the flower arrangements.

I wish we hadn’t had to buy new, but I’ve consoled myself with the thought that we can sell our votives to someone else and give them a second life after our wedding. If we’re lucky, we’ll even find someone relatively local to take them so we don’t have to pack them up and ship them.

Have you made any efforts to “green” your wedding?


Mrs. Mink

Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
All Aboard the Fail Train
Wine 101
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  1. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:03 pm

    @Miss Ke Aloha: I’m really hoping we can “recycle the wedding” at the end. You did so well!!!

    @Miss Dragon: I definitely support keeping things small! :)

    @jk: Renting them is just as expensive. We preferred to keep the floral budget as is and dedicated to floral arrangements.

  2. parasol Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:30 pm

    Oh, love it! I can’t wait to see how this turns out at your wedding. :)

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Maria, Guest @ 6:26 am

    I’d be happy to buy them off of you after the wedding!!! I’m not local, but maybe we can work something out?? I’ll be travelling down south this fall…?? Keep me in mind!

  4. Member
    primcess 209 posts, Helper bee @ 6:27 am

    Should have logged in before I left that last comment so you can find me easier later… I’m Maria AKA Primcess. :) Can’t wait to see the photos of the final product!

  5. ostrich Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:37 pm

    ahhhh, mercury glass – be still my beating heart. i scored about 40 of these bad boys at michaels and bought the rest from a former bride of my wedding planner’s in hawaii :) and after the wedding, my planner bought virtually everything off me – decor wise – which was AMAZING because i didn;t have to ship anything back…and future hawaii brides got to use all my favorite things for their weddings too. hooray for being green!

  6. Member
    microscope 111 posts, Blushing bee @ 8:44 am

    I bought my “mercury glass” votive holders from Koyal Wholesale. :-) I think they came out to a little over a buck a piece. I also picked up cracked glass stemmed votive holders from Garden Ridge. I wanted a little height variation among the candles. I like the way the candlelight bounces around the stemmed votive holder but still shines out.

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