Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eco-Location: Placing a Green Venue on your Radar



It’s no wonder people hire wedding planners. Prepping for an event in which the entire day seemingly revolves around you and your love — and the satisfaction of family and friends — is daunting. Every detail must be pristine. As such, putting your best foot forward, first, may be your best planning strategy even sans a planner.

In the case of Dan and me, the most important decision we made for ourselves and the environment was choosing our venue. A lot hinged on our decision: how far our guests would travel, how the ceremony would transition to the reception, and how the place’s vibe would affect everyone.

Of our three potential locations — Arkansas (our location), New York (Dan’s family’s location) or Wisconsin (my family’s location) — Dan and I chose Wisconsin because that’s where the bulk of our guests reside. Opting for a location close to my enormous extended family meant that the least possible carbon emissions would be produced via traveling.

More than that, we wanted a venue that reflected our love for the environment in its very essence. After some research, we discovered the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, our LEED-certified dream location (pictured above), and jumped at the prospect. Our May 2010 wedding will be held entirely at the Center, which will cut back on travel (and emissions) that would otherwise transpire if the ceremony and reception were held at separate locations. Best of all, the Center boasts “green building practices, such as natural ventilation, passive solar heating and cooling, daylighting, use of recycled and recyclable materials, reliance on renewable energy sources, and a host of environmental impact strategies,” as seen on the website. Dan and I couldn’t be more pleased.

If going the extreme ├╝ber-green route isn’t for you, at least consider having the wedding where most guests can easily attend. Hands down, travel emissions have a much greater impact on the environment than the wedding venue. ~S