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.
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!
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?
- Charlottesville, Virginia
- College Administrator
- Wedding Date:
- June 2012
- Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards