Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Wedding Tip #5: Reuse, Reuse, Reuse!

Happy Earth Day everyone! Time for another Green Wedding Tip.

Part of "living green" is being less wasteful, and weddings are traditionally big on the "waste" factor. So many of the items we purchase for the ceremony and reception are used just for one day, and then stored in a closet or perhaps even thrown away.

As you plan your wedding, think about things you can use that have already had a life. Perhaps you can borrow reception decorations from a friend, or buy a wedding dress that's already been worn. Most of the items you can purchase new, you can also find used, likely for a much lower price.

Then after the big day, look at all of the items you have from your wedding and think about what can be reused. Some things might find another life within your own home--that frame you used to hold the bar menu can hold a print from your honeymoon. Other things you may be able to sell to other brides for use in their own weddings. And finally, you can always donate items, from wedding dresses to decor. Your wedding memories will be sure to find an appreciative new home.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Green Living Tip #2: Window Management

Obviously, installing energy-efficient windows that don't allow cold air (or hot air) to pass through the seams will reduce the energy required to heat an cool your home. And if you can't afford to upgrade your windows, check out these tips for weather-proofing your home.

But beyond the window itself, you can manage your energy use through these window covering tips:

  • In the colder months, leave your blinds or curtains open during the day to allow the sunlight to warm your home. At night, close them to prevent the extra cold air from seeping in.
  • In the summer, think the opposite. Drawing your blinds during the day will keep your home cooler--and white blinds do the job best, as they reflect the light.

New poll: Are you more likely to puchase a product that is labeled "environmentally friendly?"

Continuing on our "green" theme for the month of April, in our next poll let's take a look at some of our "green living" habits. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, manufacturers are following suit with more environmentally-friendly products: from cars to detergents to paper towels.

When you're making your purchasing decisions, does the product's environmental impact factor into your buying selection? If you're in the supermarket choosing between two similar products, and one is labeled as "earth friendly," which one do you buy?

Vote in the poll in the left sidebar and tell me, are you more likely to purchase a product that is labeled "environmentally friendly?"

Poll results: Is your wedding eco-friendly?

The results of our latest poll are in, and it looks like, at least among Perfect Memories Wedding Blog readers, green weddings are still just a trend that a lot of you aren't ready to embrace. But even if you don't want to plan a completely green wedding, there's a lot of simple things you can do to reduce the environmental impact of your ceremony and reception. Check out all of our posts on green weddings for ideas.

Is your wedding eco-friendly?

  • Yes! Totally green: 25 percent
  • Yes, where we can: 0 percent
  • A little bit, but not on purpose: 25 percent
  • No, not at all: 50 percent
Stay tuned for our next environmental poll, coming up shortly.

Plan an eco-friendly wedding with green wedding books from the Perfect Memories Wedding Store.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Green Wedding Tip #4: Natural lighting

A daytime wedding will require less lighting, and thus less electricity, and be much more environmentally friendly. But if you're planning an evening affair, you can still reduce your energy impact by using candles to light your event.

Besides saving on electricity for your green wedding, candles can had a romantic, intimate feel to your ceremony and reception. Choose soy candles for an eco-friendly glow.

Find more green wedding advice at the Perfect Memories Wedding Store.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Green Wedding Tip #3: Buy locally

Another way to reduce your wedding's carbon footprint is to purchase items and hire vendors locally. The closer vendors are to you and your wedding venue, the less environmental impact they will have, using less fuel to travel to your ceremony and reception. The same goes for purchased items, such as invitations, cake toppers and decorations. Buying wedding goods from a local store eliminates the need for shipping, which uses both fuel and packing materials that wouldn't otherwise be necessary.

Also, even if you hire a local florist, think about the types of flowers you are using in your bouquets, centerpieces and other decor. If the flowers aren't in season locally, they'll need to be shipped in from somewhere else.


News Roundup: A look at wedding trends

As I was browsing some online articles from the last month or so, I noticed a lot of stories dealing with trends. Whether promoting them or refuting them, these articles give a look at what's hot now in wedding ideas, as well as examine some more social trends in weddings. Here are a few stories to check out:

Get help planning your wedding with wedding planners & checklists at the Perfect Memories Wedding Store.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Green Wedding Tip #2: Skip the styrofoam

Make your wedding more green and serve dinner with real china and flatware at your reception. Plastic, paper and Styrofoam cups, plates, napkins and flatware create more waste and some of it is not biodegradable.

By using china, real flatware or silverware and linen napkins, you're using products that can be used again and again at other events. Plus, it will give your wedding a more classy, elegant feel.

Find more green wedding advice at the Perfect Memories Wedding Store.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pittsburgh flair: Capture your wedding memories with FlashBox

Ever wish you had a better way to remember all of the guests at your wedding? Something other than fuzzy photos or stammering best wishes as the videographer makes his way around the room during dinner?
Check out FlashBox Media, a new and innovative product, and an alternative to a Pittsburgh wedding videographer, that's sure to be the talk of any event. A FlashBox Video Kiosk is set up at your wedding reception, and your guests can approach it at any time to record their messages when they are ready to do so. This results in video clips that are personal, heartfelt, funny and sweet, creating a unique keepsake for years to come.

And FlashBox is something you'll find only in Pittsburgh. A team of Carnegie Mellon graduates developed the technology, and the service is currently only available to events in Western Pennsylvania. No other brides in the country can have this at their wedding receptions.

At your reception, a FlashBox director will monitor the kiosk throughout the evening, encouraging your guests to record a message and assisting them in doing so. Guests can share a favorite memory or embarrassing moment, sing a song, give marriage advice or even perform a skit.

Then, after the wedding, comes the best part! The team at FlashBox will professionally edit the video footage and can even integrate still photos from your wedding. Network-TV caliber computer graphics give your video the look of a television show produced in Hollywood. You'll receive the finished DVD with a personalized keepsake case.

Visit FlashBox's Web site to view sample videos and learn more. And be sure to click on the KDKA icon to see the kiosk featured on Pittsburgh Today Live.

Green Wedding Tip #1: Paperless Announcements

Help the environment out and save a few trees as you send out information about your wedding. You might not be ready to skip a paper wedding invitation, but some other typical wedding correspondence can certainly be done paper-free:

  • Use eCards to send important announcements. When it comes to announcing your engagement, sending save-the-dates or inviting guest to pre-wedding activities like showers and rehearsal dinners, email a card to your friends and family instead. Check out sites like Evite and The Knot (requires login) for free tools.

  • Create a Web site to organize the details. Posting everything from directions to hotel accommodations to registry information on a Web site eliminates the number of inserts needed for your wedding invitations. Wedding planning sites like The Knot and Wedding Channel (requires login) offer free templates, or you can get a custom URL and a more personalized design from sites like Nearlyweds! and Wedding Tracker for a modest fee.

    You may also be interested in:
    Plan an eco-friendly wedding with green wedding books from the Perfect Memories Wedding Store.

    Find Eco-Friendly Wedding Favors from Beau-coup.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

IDoSugar: Get addicted

I was so excited to read yesterday that my new favorite site, The Sugar Network, announced the return of IDoSugar for the height of wedding season.

The Sugar Network features 15 lifestyle and entertainment blogs for women, and is also a social networking site. What I love most about their IDoSugar (which, according to the site, they published during last year's wedding season as well) is that it features entries about weddings from the different perspectives of the Sugar editors. So SavvySugar may add a post about budgets, BellaSugar about wedding day beauty, BuzzSugar about TV weddings, PetSugar about involving your furry friends and so on (for a complete list of the Sugar sites, visit TeamSugar).

I'm excited to see all of the content and ideas they share over the next few months. In the meantime, check out the site!

Green Living Tip #1: Energy-saving Light Bulbs

As the current light bulbs in your home burn out, replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs. They use less energy, which helps the environment, and also helps save you money on your electric bill. Also, these bulbs last much longer than the regular variety, so you won't need to replace them as often. Look for bulbs labeled "Energy Star."

According to Energy Star's Web site (part of the EPA and Department of Energy):

"If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars."
Visit Energy Star for more information about these bulbs.

Bonus tip: Looking for an excuse to buy that flat screen TV? According to this article from the Scripps Howard News Service, an LCD flat panel television uses less energy than the older, bulkier varieties. But choose LCD or rear projection over a plasma, as the former two use less than half the energy as the latter.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Going "Green" for April

One of the biggest trends in weddings right now is green weddings. No, not the color--the environment. As the country becomes more and more environmentally conscious, brides and wedding planners are following suit.

For the entire month of April, Perfect Memories is going "green" too. The green text and color will appear throughout the blog as a reminder to "think green." Then, in addition to regular entries, we'll be featuring some special content:

  • Green Wedding Tips: Tune in Mondays and Fridays for quick and easy ideas on making your wedding more environmentally friendly.
  • Green Living Tips: On Wednesdays, I'll feature an idea for being more eco-conscious in your every day life.
  • Eco-themed Polls: Starting with this week's poll, you'll be able to cast your vote on green questions.
  • Special Guest Blogs: Look for entries from environmental experts and enthusiasts.
To find all of the green wedding content on the blog, just click the green weddings label.

Find more green wedding advice at the Perfect Memories Wedding Store.

New poll: Is your wedding eco-friendly?

Being "green" is a big issue today, and more and more brides and grooms are choosing to consider the environment when planning their weddings. I'm curious to see how much of an impact the environment has had on your wedding plans. Vote on the poll on the left sidebar and let me know:

Is your wedding eco-friendly?

  • Yes! Totally green.
  • Yes, where we can.
  • A little bit, but not on purpose.
  • No, not at all.

Poll results: What's your wedding budget?

In our last poll, I asked you to share your wedding budget. While the average wedding costs nearly $30,000 in the U.S., I felt that average number in the Pittsburgh region was likely substantially lower. Based on the poll results, that seems to be true:

What's your wedding budget?

  • Less than $10,000: 42 percent
  • $10,000-$19,999: 9 percent
  • $20,000-$29,999: 25 percent
  • $30,000-$39,999: 12 percent
  • $40,000 or more: 12 percent
That adds up to 76 percent of weddings for the poll with a budget under $30,000. Of course, "averages" can be greatly skewed by the extremes, and if there are a handful of people out there spending a few hundred thousand dollars on their wedding, the average may be right on. What these results show is that the "typical" Pittsburgh wedding may actually have a budget of less than $10,000.

For budget-friendly wedding ideas, browse through our posts tagged with "budget," and come back to the blog soon for more money-saving tips.