Simpler, eco-friendly wedding fits this couple
By Jane Donahue For The Sun
The bride and groom rode into the backyard reception on a golf cart. Submitted
Did you know?
A “green wedding” is where the couple tries to decrease the impact their event has on the environment. Here are a few tips that make an impact:
Buy food locally.
Choose a caterer or restaurant that sources ingredients locally. Buying local ingredients supports your area farmers as well as decreases your carbon footprint.
Have your ceremony and reception in the same location. This means less travel for you and your guests.
Don’t use disposable dishes or flatware.
Use china dishes, flatware, cloth napkins and glasses instead of plastic cups. This saves a ton of waste and will look more elegant.
Tips from IntimateWeddings.com
Brienne Lord never dreamed of a “fairy tale wedding.” In fact, the 27-year-old Naperville resident didn’t envision a wedding at all, until she met Aaron Rohr.
“Both of us actually never planned to get married,” Lord said. “But then we met and fell madly in love, and we decided, why not?”
Rohr shared the sentiment.
“I never, ever thought I would get married, that’s for sure,” said Rohr, 33. “But when I decided to marry Brienne, it was the easiest decision I have ever made in my life because it was the right decision.”
The pair, self-described as “not-by-the-book people,” knew their wedding day would be anything but traditional. They wanted it to be a reflection of “who we are as people and as a couple.”
“Aaron and I are very low key, and we find beauty in the simpler things,” said the bride, who is a nanny and artist. “‘Going green’ has become popular over the years, but we have always been like this. We have always been resourceful and tried to not create much waste.”
They decided rather than a reception, it would be more of a “shindig.” Their choices would be eco-friendly and budget conscious. With just four months until the wedding, they started planning.
They wanted to get married in the exact spot where they first met. So on June 23, in front of their apartment building in downtown Naperville, they did just that.
“We thought it would be fitting to be married on the stoop, this funny little spot that somehow drew us together,” Lord said.
The bride wore a casual sundress in shades of blue and red and the groom wore a new pair of Levi jeans. They exchanged rings made of recycled wood. It wasn’t a typical fairy tale wedding; it was their fairy tale wedding.
“You have to enjoy it all, the planning and preparation, just as much as the day itself,” she said. “There is so much stress and pressure involved in today’s weddings, but you are supposed to be planning this memorable and happy event in your life.”
A country-themed shindig followed in the Shell Lake Estates backyard of Wendy and John Barth, the bride’s aunt and uncle. Nearly 150 gathered for a celebration that included a pig roast, corn on the cob, and the family’s “famous potato salad.” The food was served on enamel plates and bandanas were used as napkins. Instead of a wedding cake, friends and family baked a variety of cookies to share.
“Everyone said I needed a cake and I said ‘nope,’” Lord said. “The cookies feed into the waste thing. We would need more plates and little napkins. This way they can take their bandanas, grab a cookie and go.”
A next-door neighbor agreed to share their backyard for additional seating, and another neighbor provided a tent. The bride’s dad, Dan, a professional carpenter, built a staging area for the band, a bar and general scenery for the event from wood he salvaged from old barns.
“When Brienne told us she was getting married, she didn’t expect anything or want anything; that is how she is,” said her mom, Diane. “She just wanted people to come together to celebrate, and this is what happened when her family and friends found out about it. I feel so blessed that we are surrounded by these people, and with all the love and support, we can make a little dream into this huge coming- together.”