I am excited to announce that I will be a vendor at the only Green Wedding Fair in Vancouver ~ the Grassroots Wedding Fair ~ held at Heritage Hall on Main St. on February 12th, 2011!
This will be my first wedding fair and even though itâ€™s still 2 and something months away, Iâ€™m already getting a little nervous for it. Iâ€™m already thinking and planning away for it and I know itâ€™s going to be a really great event! There have been a lot of really neat vendors in the past (and I believe that this is only the second year for the fair) so itâ€™s still quite new but with the green movement, will likely gain momentum rather quickly.
The organizer, Shona Dion of sweet earth photographics, put together the event in response to a void in the green wedding side of things. I met up with Shona for a guest spot on todayâ€™s Green Wedding Wednesdayâ€™s focus ~ Green Wedding Fairs!
Simply Rose: How did Grassroots start?
Shona Dion: The Grassroots Wedding Fair started for a few reasons. To grow my photography business, I needed to have access to couples-to-be. I started searching out wedding fairs to participate in. As an earth-conscious individual and as a photographer, I had a hard time coming to terms with what I saw at the large wedding fair venues. I could not imagine myself as one of so many vendors vying for the attention of so many brides (because at those events, it is about the brides).
I wanted to reach a certain target audience. I wanted to find those couples who share the same values as myself. I also could not find vendors who shared the same values as myself. The idea struck me. It I wanted to find those eco-friendly and off-the-beaten-path brides, I would have to start my own wedding fair! If I wanted to feature local and sustainable businesses and artisans, I would have to start my own wedding fair. It was very exciting and a little overwhelming. Could I begin a wedding fair that was so transparent in its eco-friendlieness that we could even imagine a zero carbon footprint? When I think back to those initial meetings with other green businesses, taking the risk with me on this adventure, we would part with hugs. I remember thinking what good karma we are creating. (I do not believe most sale meetings end in hugs.)
Simply Rose: What can we expect to see at the 2011 show?
Shona Dion: The 2011 show will have many favourites from last year but also many new exhibitors. We will have a fashion show with exquisite bridal style on display,Â gourmet vegetarian catering throughout the day and music to keep us in the mood. As it is Valentineâ€™s Day weekend, our vendors will have many products to walk away with from jewelry, chocolates, soaps, candlesÂ and other goodies.
Simply Rose: What is the future for green weddings looking like?
Shona Dion: Green weddings are becoming more common as people realize that many small decisions can have a large impact on the community around them. Whether this is choosing conflict-free diamonds, locally desinged wedding gowns instead of overseas mass produced ones, recycled wedding invitations, or consumable wedding favours, so many options do exist, especially in B.C. One the West Coast we have a strong connection to the environment. We are reminded every time we look out at our beautiful mountains. We are also a hotbed for talented artisans and craftors. We have many eco-friendly businesses to choose from with a wide ranging services. It is so easy to put on a green wedding.
One thing I noticed from our first event was how many couples came together. Unlike many other wedding fairs that see brides-to-be with their mothers or maid of honourâ€™s, so many of our guests were paired with their future partner. I see this as a very healthy trend for green weddings. Both are engaged in making decisions about their wedding day and this can only be a good thing.
Simply Rose: Where can tickets be bought?
Shona Dion: Tickets can be purchased online at a savings at: http://thegrassrootsweddingfair-efbevent.eventbrite.com/or at the door on the day of the event for $15.00. $2.50 from every paid entrant goes to Western Canada Wilderness Committee.
If you live in other parts of North America, however, there are other Green Wedding events and some of these websites even have some helpful info. Here are a few that I know of….
EPIC ~ May 13-15, 2011
EPIC is all things green. Itâ€™s not a wedding show perse but there is a Green Wedding showcase displaying catering, local gown designers, florists, photographers, jewelers and more.
The Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase ~ February 27th, 2011
College Park, MD
Elegantly Green Wedding Showcase ~ February 14th, 2011
Indie Wed Chicago ~ January 29th, 2011
There also used to be a Green Wedding fair in Toronto called Eco Wedding & Lifestyle Show, but the account is suspended at the moment and I could not find any current info about it.
And Iâ€™ll leave you with a lovely video taken of a past Grassroots Wedding Fair to give you an idea of what the event looks like. I hope to see some of you there next year!