Because sustainability starts at the source of the materials, many hosts are looking for local businesses to help them ensure their wedding supplies are responsibly produced. With sustainability as a key value for many people in the Bay Area, many local caterers will work with hosts to ensure that the centerpieces for the wedding are responsible sourced, and recyclable or reusable.
Something as basic as a cheap glass vase can be replaced with a more responsible option. Instead of a mass-produced item that used up gas and oil for long-distance shipping, find a local glass artisan willing to produce the vases for a discounted price in exchange for on-site recognition. And, in this example, not only are you decreasing the environmental footprint of your event, but you are supporting a local artist.
Flowers come in from all over the world — and the working conditions in the origin country might not match the values of the wedding hosts. Poor pay and unhealthy working conditions are two challenges that foreign workers face. Finding a responsible florist might cost more, but is a way to uphold human dignities around the world. Or skip flowers altogether and work with a local business owner to help you produce colorful arrangements with silk and paper flowers, and naturally green plants.
Even the wedding attire might violate some closely held beliefs of the hosts. Rented tuxedos are often mass produced in countries with poor working conditions. Instead of using synthetic materials for the formal attire, find a clothier with standards that match your own values. While these kinds of clothes might require the wedding party to purchase their outfits, the clothing is more likely to be reusable for other formal occasions.
Weddings come with high expectations. However, there is no need for the hosts to sacrifice personal values for the sake of a “perfect” event. Because the Bay Area is filled with local businesses trying to maintain a sustainable world, anyone can hold a sustainable event with a little extra effort.