Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something...green? That's right - Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a pioneer in responsible tourism practices, now offers a variety of eco-chic options for couples looking for a greener wedding day. Wedding planners from British Columbia to Sonoma to Washington, D.C. offer up surprisingly simple yet elegant and easy ways to celebrate that special day while also respecting the environment. In addition to selecting Fairmont for eco-accommodations (properties across the portfolio offer energy-efficient lighting, water-conserving showerheads, toilet and tap aerators, among other services), prospective newlyweds can choose from a host of green ideas, including:
Invitations, Menus and Place Cards: Robert Mikolitch, director of catering at Fairmont Washington DC, suggests working with a printing company that uses recycled paper and soy-based ink for invitations, menu cards and place cards.
Event Location and Time: Mikolitch also recommends choosing a site that promotes environmental awareness and scheduling the wedding during the day to use less electricity and more natural light. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has been promoting green practices longer than any other hotel group and strives to help its guests leave a lighter footprint when traveling - brides and grooms to-be can choose from 51 hotels and resorts in twelve countries for their eco-wedding or honeymoon.
Menu Composition: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa's wedding consultant, Kelly McLeskey, offers an eco-a la carte menu with the option to use any or all of the green alternatives to tailor a couple's wedding ceremony, including personalized menus that highlight local organic produce, wines and coffees. Additionally, brides and grooms to-be can serve meatless hor d'oeuvres and seafood options that are not depleted, over-fished or on the endangered list.
Transportation & Parking: California's Fairmont hotels, including The Fairmont Miramar, Santa Monica; The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa; The Fairmont Newport Beach; The Fairmont San Jose and The Fairmont San Francisco, offer complimentary overnight parking for hotel guests traveling in Hybrid vehicles, another option for transporting guests to and from the ceremony and reception.
Linens: The Fairmont Washington DC's Mikolitch says to rent linens in natural colors, tinted without toxic dyes and to rent cocktail napkins as opposed to paper napkins.
Post-Wedding & Honeymoon
Floral Arrangements: Fairmont’s eco-experts at British Columbia hotels, including The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, The Fairmont Vancouver Airport, The Fairmont Waterfront, The Fairmont Empress and The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, suggest sourcing locally grown flowers and plants and donating floral and plant arrangements to nursing homes and hospitals after the ceremony.
Eco-Activities & Buying Local:
Sign up for activities and buy souvenirs from local artisans and companies to support the local economies. Take an eco-tour or plant a tree – Bermuda's Fairmont Southampton offers Leave It Green, a program that provides newlyweds an opportunity to commemorate their vows by planting a native Bermuda Cedar seedling on-site at the golf course or at the hotel as a symbol of eternal love and devotion, ultimately contributing to the hotel's reforestation project. Additionally, The Fairmont Mayakoba, an ecologically diverse resort on Mexico’s Yucatan, works with Community Tours Sian Ka’an, a local tourism network from the nearby Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage site, to encourage guests to visit the Reserve and thereby generate revenue for the communities of Sian Ka’an.
With more than 50 distinctive hotels and 22,000 hotel rooms around the globe, Fairmont continues to lead by example with innovative environmental programs and an unwavering attitude to growing the movement of overall environmental stewardship. Under the innovative leadership of its corporate environmental affairs division and hotel-based Green Teams, 26,000 employees have taken on the role of environmental ambassadors helping to protect the habitat, resources and culture of the places where we, and our guests, work, live and play. For more information on Fairmont’s environmental initiatives, visit www.fairmont.com/environment.