Sustainable Micro Wedding: YGK Edition 2020

As the pandemic drags on, would be wedded couples have gone back to the drawing board, and then gone back to the drawing board again on how to plan their big day. There are many reasons why folks might not wish to wait any longer to tie the knot, so we’ve put together some of Kingston’s best wedding professionals to show you why now is the perfect time to get married.

The fly crew pictured here: Knifey Spooney (Christina L + Rad, far right), Julia of Wild Woods Floral Design, Jenni of Jennico Calligraphy, Heather from Bowtie Services, our couple Mel and Angel, Stephanie and Crystal of Maiden Voyage Mobile Bar, Viara of Quirky Love Photography

While micro weddings are the trend of the moment, they have numerous upsides that go beyond our current pandemic realities . Weddings can have a huge impact on the environment, from the miriad of single use items (like entire outfits for the bride and groom and all their people), to the typicially elaborate nature of the food (who’s envoronmental impact gets multiplied by how many folks you’re feeding), to the travel of all those guests to get to your location-there are some serious environmental downsides that can be kicking around even past your own lifetimes. So how does one craft a special day that treads lightly, without feeling like you’re missing out? Kingston’s best have put on a grand wedding to show you how to macro-mize your micro wedding, while showing as much love to the planet as you show each other. So, how did we do it?

1, Have the right people. As soon as you start to look beyond the beaten path, it’s best to call in the experts. Actually, regardless of what type of wedding you’re having-a wedding planner is an incredibly good investment. From dealing with vendors, to making arrangements, to sourcing products, to doing research, to organizing rehersals, to making sure everything is where it needs to be, to helping with set up and take down, to picking up all the slack when you get overwhelmed-a great wedding planner is worth their weight in (ethically sourced, responsibly mined) gold. When we were arranging our eco shoot, we were keen to capture the colours of the end of fall-leaving less than two weeks to plan a “wedding”. This would have been impossible without Heather of Bowtie Services.

She knew the vendors to call, had everything perfectly arranged , and as always-did so much of the behind the scenes stuff to make it look effortless. Specifically with a strict theme, she was great at making sure we checked all the right boxes.

2. Location location location. In the new world of tiny weddings, it’s easy to look beyond the hall or hotel for fun, unique and exclusive locations that wouldn’t be available to larger groups. We choose the charming back patio of BSE Skate and Coffee Shop on Princess street, for it’s convenient downtown location and secret garden feel. The brick walls create a beautiful backdrop and the existing trees add character and ease in decorating.

3. Capture the moment perfectly. There is no point going through all the effort for such a special day, if the photos don’t reflect it. For our event, we called in Viara from Quirky Love Photography-who is one of our favorite photographers (and we’re not alone-she’s been voted one of Ontario’s top three wedding photogs-no big deal). She’s known for shooting Quirky couples as the name suggests in photojournalistic style, and is an incredible ally to the LGBTQA+ community.

4. Save the trees. To accomplish our eco invites and stationary, we enlisted the help of Jennifer Jennico Calligraphy. Special attention was given to each part of these delicious invites. The envelopes were created out of recycled magazines, and the luscious paper was from Montreal Papetier using recycled cotton cut offs from clothing manufacturing. The ink was created with authentic Black Walnut. She also created seating charts out of repurposed vases that can be reused again and again post wedding.

5. A blooming good time. Setting the mood is almost as important as choosing the right locale. We chose Wild Woods Floral Design, who, full disclosure also helped with our own wedding. Julia is known for larger than life, incredibly unique floral masterpieces that you won’t find anywhere else.

Using locally foraged and organic materials, she creates eco friendly florals that not only come from right where you are-but are completely chemical free, so feel free to compost however you like.

Many of the floral designs are also delightful dried, like these beutiful wreaths-which look as lovely months later as they did in full bloom. Being able to use and enjoy something beyond your wedding day is ideal for an eco friendly wedding day.

Dripping in flowers

6. Cheers are in order. There is something special about Maiden Voyage Mobile Bar Company. Not only do Crystal and Stephanie have a super instgram worthy fleet of mobile bars (like their converted horse trailer or their Drinkey Dee cart-literally the cutest) but having a smaller wedding means being able to splurge on the best.

They create the tastiest cocktails and mocktails with all the bells and whistles. Open bars aren’t an option for everyone, but with a mirco group-bottoms up!

For our eco wedding, we choose organic and/or locally sourced incredients mindfull of seasonality to minimize environmental impact. Smaller weddings also mean that you can ditch the single use cups in favour of classy af vintage wear and statement pieces.

Paper straws, for the turtles and stuff.
Pro tip: Aquafaba (chickpea water) is a great subsitute for egg whites in traditional cocktails

7. Yum. No bias here, but if you want the tastiest, eco friendliest food at your wedding-Knifey Spooney are your guys. Switching up a beef tenderloin for a plant based meal can save huge amounts of water, land use and CO2 from the environment, which gets compounded by focusing on local and organic ingredients.

You can use heirloom pieces from your family for maximum beauty and sentiment-these vintage Wedgewood plates were the perfect something borrowed *and* blue.

Serving plant based food doesn’t mean skipping opulance or taste, instead, it means feeding your body nutrient dense food, full of all the good things-while also supporting your local economy and ecosystem if you can swing local/seasonal/organic.

On our menu for the event, we started with local carrot “Smoked Salmon” with lemon caper cream & beet tartare with horseradish aoili (fresh from our pals at Main Street Market Urban Farm).

Our main was an Acorn Squash from Memorial Center Farmer’s Market with pecan cranberry sourdough stuffing and sauteed shitakes from The Fungi Connection. Plated with maple brussels with coconut bacon.

The only thing melting was our hearts.

The cool fall weather allowed for a summer time no no-whipped cream frosting for our decadent Black Forrest wedding cake. It was garnished with organic cherry compote, organic fair trade chocolate and dried flowers from Real Food Micro Farm (it’s right in the name that it’s perfect for your micro wedding. They are also responsible for the beautiful edible flowers on our main dishes).

8. What to wear. Our bride and groom chose their wedding attire by borrowing (as per the groom) and thrifting (as per the bride) from Value Village. Great for the environment, great for your budget and truly one of a kind. Accessories were borrowed from friends to complete their wedding looks.

9. Other sustainable touches. To shower our bride and groom with love, we choose dehydrated local flowers from Real Food in recycled paper cones.

Other ways to boost the luxe feel of your day is to bring in opulent seating. You can borrow, thrift, or as we did-collect your treasure for free from the side of the road.

A pandemic has turned our whole world upside down, and caused a major shift in how we’ve always done things. Perhaps it’s time we find the silver lining in the now, and reflect on our part in building a better, and more sustainable new world. May we all move forward in love and hope, and do our own personal best to create a place that values above all things community, connection and each other.

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