The Breathtaking Wedding in BajaI was a generally conscious person, aware of the benefits of organic produce, recycling and carpooling. I even favor vintage designs, art and clothes and had become accustomed to recycling and selling my clothes for needed cash or shopping sprees (thanks Berkeley). But my when I became engaged to a vegan who had studied sustainable development, the eco-consciousness raising was significant. After we became engaged, we set forth to plan the most sustainable event we could. And when we picked our venue, we decided on a quaint place in Mexico. Generally, it's more sustainable to stick closer to home. The less you and your guests travel, the less gas and jet fuel is burned. But we chose Mexico for a few different reasons. One: we had free lodging and transportation available to us there since my parents and their neighbors offered their lodging and vehicles for our use. Two: we both resided in the Bay Area, but a good amount of our family and friends lived in San Diego and LA, and the location of our event was only about an hour or so below the San Diego/Mexico border. Three: it was a little easier on our pocket book. With the money we saved on location, we could spend on getting organic and local flowers and other items that would have been more expensive in the US. We also chose to offset the costs of our jet travel. For more information about traveling carbon neutral or even carbon offsetting gift certificates check out:
www.carbonfund.org[caption id="attachment_105" align="aligncenter" width="130" caption="carbon fund carbon offsets"][/caption]
www.terrapass.com[caption id="attachment_106" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Terrapass gift certificate"][/caption] After we booked the location, the next item was the dress. My dress. Partly because as a bride-to-be there is a lot of pressure out there from magazines and commercials to pick the perfect dress, and partly because I myself was fascinated with the process of finding one. I chose to search far and wide (mostly on the internet) for a used or recycled dress to my liking. But this was no easy task in 2007. There were but a couple of websites, and the pickings were dismally slim. Since then, new sites have popped up and the pickings are vast. Here are a few of the websites I ventured to and many new sites now selling used and recycled dresses: I myself found an older pronovias dress on ebay, for darn cheap. Now, it wasn't totally what I imagined, there was a lot of lace involved that didn't suit my taste, but the price was right and the fit and style was exactly what I wanted. I also know how to sew, so for a few weeks before the wedding I managed to take most of the lace off and recreate the top in a way I preferred.
Wedding photography by Erin Beach at www.erinbeach.comIf you are interested in doing the same and you don't sew, find a local seamstress/tailor and have them make the alterations. Not only can you get the perfect fit for your shape, you'll also be paying the worker fair wages and supporting a local business! After the dress, we did some event and dinner planning. We wanted to go vegan, but realizing that many people eat meat, we felt it was important to offer a few options. So, we offered plenty of vegan sides like beans and rice, fresh grilled vegetables and potatoes, organic spring salad, tortillas, guacamole and salsa. For the main dishes we offered locally caught fish and mango chicken. We also had an appetizer buffet of freshly made tacos of either fish or beans during cocktail hour. Those fish tacos were a huge hit and a Baja delicacy. Local food was definitely getting the spotlight, so tasty and fresh! I asked some friends to make some natural aguas frescas for guests who didn't want soda or wine. My mother contributed a few cases of great Mexican wine and sparking wine from a local Baja vineyard, Santo Tomas.
Find info here about Santo Tomas:We decided to go with a vegan and organic cake from a local bakery in San Diego: Stephanie's Bakery in Ocean Beach. What a remarkable flavor explosion! We chose three different cakes, mostly because we couldn't make up our minds. My favorite was the chocolate with chocolate and more chocolate. Can you tell I like chocolate? Along with the dress, food, cake and location, there were many other details that needed planning and greening. Please tune in next blog for more!