Green is the New White

When it comes to weddings, we all think of white. The bride wears white. The cake is white. Calla lilies and doves. But the hottest trend in weddings for 2008 won't be white - it'll be green, as in organic.

'Great Performances' On-Trend with “Eco-Friendly” Offerings

"Green" is the new white. Or at least figuratively speaking when it comes to recent trends in weddings. As more and more couples are seeking ways to incorporate organic, sustainable practices into their ceremonies and celebrations, white is taking a back seat to green. From “100-mile menus” to seasonal floral arrangements, wedding industry professionals are now offering engaged couples a whole host of green options. And none more so than Great Performances, one of New York’s most innovative and prominent catering / events concerns, distinguished by a singular dedication to locally grown food and sustainable agriculture.

The company, who recently inked a deal to operate all the banquet space at New York’s legendary Plaza Hotel, has seen the green trend really take off. As an Event Director for Great Performances, Porfi Figueroa has his finger on the pulse of what’s hot in the wedding industry. “Couples are now using more and more seasonal and organic products, and are coming up with creative ways to make use of what’s available. The Internet has been a huge factor in propelling the green wedding trend, as it provides an invaluable resource for researching ways to incorporate local / seasonal accents into events.” Figueroa once had a couple use banana leaves woven into plates to use for hors d’oeuvres, and in place of chargers.

Great Performances’ main wedding venue, Wave Hill, a 28-acre estate built in 1843 in the style of an English country residence with sweeping views of the Hudson River and Palisades, is an ideal location for those seeking to add an element of natural beauty to their event. The Riverdale location just outside Manhattan offers a green setting for a couple to exchange their vows, and while couples may choose the venue for its exceptional setting, they’re also able to offer their guests menus reflecting locally grown, organic produce, vegetables and meats, as Great Performances not only maintains strong relationships with local farmers, but also owns and operates Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, NY.

“Having the ability to source various ingredients from our own farm, as well as other local farms, gives couples the option of making their wedding a truly sustainable event,” says Christopher Harkness, Executive Chef of Great Performances. “Daily contact with local farmers, including our own at Katchkie Farm, ensures that we are in tune with what’s fresh and most seasonal. We offer our clients an organic experience and do our part to help support the local economy.”

And while the food and location can speak to a couples’ desire to go green on their big day, there are other aspects that can be “greened” as well. Figueroa suggests some of the following:

• Choose a signature cocktail, one that incorporates a seasonal bent and ties in with the general color scheme.

• Make your floral arrangements representative of your event locale; check if there’s a flower that’s unique to the area and incorporate it into your event.

• Simplify – look around at what’s blooming and growing and it will guide you to creating a seasonal and fresh menu.

Great Performances brings consummate culinary skill and originality to the table. The company, founded in 1979 by Liz Neumark, is an acknowledged leader in the high-profile events arena and the first caterer in the country to own and operate an organic farm as a year-round resource for locally grown produce. In addition to the company’s singular embrace of sustainable agriculture, Great Performances has carved a niche as the foodservice partner of some of the city’s most prestigious cultural institutions, including The Plaza, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Sotheby’s. Great Performances currently has seven establishments on its restaurant roster. For more information on Great Performances and its Katchkie Farm, visit www.greatperformances.com, www.katchkiefarm.com or call 212-727-2424.