Monthly Archive for March, 2011

how to plan a green wedding in paris: eco-beautiful weddings

eco-beautiful weddings, spring 2011

Over the past few years, Green Weddings have quickly gone from quirky trend to established norm, as today’s couples realize that it is possible to have a chic, trendy wedding that’s both affordable and eco- and socially responsible. Books, blogs and magazines have popped up all over the globe with information and inspiration on planning Green Celebrations. And leading the pack is the fabulous e-mag Eco-Beautiful Weddings, who,  in a short time, have established themselves as the “go-to” guide for stylish eco-friendly weddings. So you can imagine how excited I was to be asked to contribute to their Spring 2011 issue’s Green City Wedding Guide. From organic wedding cakes to ethically mined wedding bands, I share some of my favorite picks for planning the perfect green wedding in Paris. Whether a Parisian wedding is on your horizon or if you’re simply planning a home-grown celebration, just be sure to check out Eco-Beautiful Weddings for all of your “greening” inspirations.

how to be the perfect destination wedding guest

how to be a "gallant" destination wedding guest

how to be a "gallant" destination wedding guest

When I was little, my brother and I had a subscription to a kids magazine called “Highlights“. One of the cartoons that I loved in that mag was called “Goofus and Gallant” about 2 brothers who were presented with different social dilemmas in each issue.  Goofus always took the low road (”Goofus doesn’t share his treats” - with a drawing of Goofus shoving a Twinky in his mouth in front of a crying toddler) and Gallant, the high road (”Gallant gives half to his sister” - picture Gallant and Sissy happily sharing a Ho-ho).  I’d like to take this moment to revive Goofus and Gallant to illustrate some social situations that you might find yourself in as a Destination Wedding Guest. Which road will you take?

Situation 1. One day you receive a mysterious package in the mail. Opening it, you find a miniature chocolate Eiffel Tower, and a “Save-the-date” card. Oh, yippee- your cousin Suzie is getting married next September- in Paris! What do you do next?

save-the-date, hello lucky

save-the-date, hello lucky

Goofus gobbles down the chocolate, tosses the Save-the-Date in the trash, and immediately forgets about it until her boyfriend starts talking about going to Cabo the next summer…

Gallant immediately SMS’s her guy with the great news, then puts in an early request for the time-off from work. That night she and boyfriend share the chocolate while curled up on the couch watching “2 days in Paris”.

Situation 2: It’s 6 months before the wedding, and Cousin Suzie has generously created a Wedding Website to help her friends and family plan their trip.  She’s added pages with the wedding itinerary, links to 6 different hotels with English-language, online reservation systems, a calendar of events in and around Paris, maps of the Paris metro, yapta.com and a 10-day weather widget, PLUS links to online French language lessons, and a forum page for her guests to communicate with each other in order to keep track of what everyone else has planned. What do you do next?

Goofus clicks through a couple of the hotel links, but stops when they take too long to load. She makes a mental note to book a room later, but then forgets to physically write down the note because she gets sidetracked on Sephora.fr . She also doesn’t bother to look for reduced airfare because “everyone knows that you always get the best deals at the last minute (duh!)“, and doesn’t look at the calendar because she doesn’t want to “ruin the spontaneity of her European experience“, OR the weather because “Uggs go with everything“, OR the French lessons because she “took Spanish in high-school, and that’s almost French, right?

Gallant uses the forum to find out where the rest of the gang from university are staying, then books a room as soon as she can (she knows that she can cancel up to 48 hours before check-in without being charged).  When she finds an awesome fare on yapta, not only does she book it immediately, she also posts it on the forum so that others in the group can get in on the deal and travel over to Paris together. Gallant also downloads a French language app on her iphone- she’s heard that a lot of Parisians speak English, but she feels that it’s only right to at least make an effort to speak French while she’s in Paris…

ugg!

ugg!

Situation 3. It’s 3 weeks until the wedding and Cousin Suzie phones you trying to get a final headcount for the shuttle bus, the Moulin Rouge rehearsal dinner AND the number of vegetarian meals for the reception. What do you do next?

Goofus promises Suzie that she’ll log onto the website to book a hotel room, look at the Moulin Rouge link and pick her meal for the reception dinner just as soon as she hangs up the phone. Once she’s online, though, she can’t find the Wedding Website password and gets frustrated, so she logs off without bothering to confirm her Moulin Rouge ticket or select her meal. These things always work themselves out in the end, anyway, right…?

Gallant confirmed her activities weeks ago when she sent in her RSVP- she has even gotten a group together to go out on the town after the Moulin Rouge (to give Cousin Suzie some time to relax before the wedding). She also takes an hour to phone all of Suzie’s guests who haven’t yet confirmed. Even though she lives pretty far from Suzie, she knows that this type of task can be done online or by telephone, and will lighten Suzie’s load, even by just a little bit…

As the costs of local weddings rise, more and more couples are choosing to have smaller weddings away from home. If you have plans to attend an upcoming Destination Wedding, now is the time to decide:  Will you be a Goofus, or a Gallant?

paris amour

paris amour

… first posted may 23rd, 2008 - © parisian party