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A green wedding menu does not mean you have to sacrifice your favorite meat dishes in place of leafy greens. An eco-chic wedding menu includes an array of local, seasonal, and organic foods served in such a way as to reduce waste. Once your meal is over, there are also ways to make use of your table scraps and make sure your guests take home lots of leftovers!

Here Are 3 Steps to a Green Wedding Menu:

1.) Using local, seasonal and organic foods means that you will receive the freshest meats and produce possible. Food from local merchants and farmers will be of the highest quality and they will not have to travel far to ensure optimal freshness. Using farms and businesses that are close by means that less fuel will be used in the shipment of your products and therefore your carbon footprint is reduced. Providing organic foods also means you are serving your guests healthy and chemical free meals!

2.) Beverages can be one of the most wasteful parts of your wedding menu. How many times have you been at a wedding and seen someone misplace their drink without even finishing it? You can make your beverages green from the types of drinks you serve to how you serve them. Use seasonal summer berries or tart lemons for berry punch or delicious lemonade. You can also use a local organic vineyard to serve wine or a neighborhood brewery to serve refreshing beer made with seasonal fruit ingredients. Serve the drinks out of glass punch bowls and drink from glass mason jars or old jam jars that you can use again. Ask your guests to reuse their cups throughout the night and write their names on the glasses so they won't be lost in the shuffle!

3.) Keep your wedding cake simple and elegant by using local edible organic flowers or organic fruits as decoration instead of plastic bride and groom toppers! Edible culinary flowers can be used for a variety of menu options such as candy making, (candied violets, sugared roses or lavender are sweet, old fashioned treats!) salad additions and decorative garnishes on your dinner plates! Edible flowers can also be saved after the wedding and added to homemade jams, vinegars or pickles. You can also incorporate your wedding cake flowers into a main dinner course to create a theme while reusing the flowers throughout the meal and eliminating waste.
For a list of edible flowers and what to pair them with, click here.

Some Ideas For After Your Green Meal:

*Place all of your fixings into reusable eco-friendly containers to avoid individually packaged condiments and other foods. You can work with your caterer to avoid less waste, and bring extra containers to the reception so guests can take home leftovers!
*Compost as much as possible! If you normally use kitchen waste from home to compost your soil, then why not ask your caterer and the kitchen staff to do this at your wedding. Common trash such as fruits and vegetables, peels, rinds, tea bags, coffee grounds and eggshells are great for composting as they are high in nitrogen. Meat, bones and other fatty food wastes should not be composted. For composting tips, click here.