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 Organic and  Sustainable Weddings

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Laura Hunt

Elegant - Organic - Delicious
Avant Guard in 2000
Text: Johanna Kaestner
Todd Rafaloviitch

Michael can't say when he started to be more environmentally conscious. One incident, however, made a big impression on him. It was on the watch of Governor Wilson that the California Department of Pesticide Regulation issued new rules on methyl bromide, a strong pesticide found to cause skin cancer. The regulations did not adequately restrict methyl bromide use near schools, did not give neighbors enough warning about impending fumigation, nor provide protection from long-term exposure to farm workers. After Michael read about this, one thing led to another. He became a regular customer of the neighborhood health food stores and began reading product descriptions before buying groceries.

When time came for Michael and his fianc├ęe, Ann, to plan their wedding, they wanted to demonstrate that even in celebrating an elegant wedding they did not have to give up principles related to protecting the environment.

At the same time Michael wanted to show his guests that food prepared with organic ingredients actually tastes so much better. In 2000, green or sustainable weddings were not yet in fashion, but with the help of the event coordinator, Tosca of Tosca's Productions, Michael and Ann found other vendors who were willing to help achieve their goal.

They picked the elegant Kohl Mansion for their celebration. It was large enough for the 170 guests and offered additional space for the magician and the face-painting fun that were planned as entertainment for the kids.

In Teri of La Bocca Fina, the couple found an enthusiastic collaborator. She created a menu from ocean fresh seafood, and organic vegetables, fruits, breads, and cheeses. The attractive food presentation served on ivory china with gold trim was enhanced by the beautiful Dior Candlelight linen and silver-plated flatware.

Michael ordered the champagnes form
The Organic Wine Company
and the wine from the Lolonis Winery, which grow their grapes organically; the coffee came from
The Organic Coffee Company

Susan, of Elegant Cheese Cakes, made the wedding cake using easily obtained organic eggs and flour. She tested the organic cream cheese in a trial cake recipe so she could be sure the cheese would bake similarly to the type she regularly used. The only non-organic ingredient was the molded chocolate covering the cake. The final cake resembled a stack of brightly wrapped packages and looked so authentic, that Ann's sister dropped her wedding present on the cake table, right next to it.

Teri told me another funny story. For the tables, Susan also made chocolate place cards, color-coded to indicate the guests' entree choices. Who would have thought that most guests ate their chocolate before their salads? The color code was gone and the waiters had to ask most guests what they had requested as entrees.


At the time of Michael and Ann's wedding, organically grown flowers were hard to obtain, even though, Karen of Plan Decor tried hard to find them.

Even now, they are just beginning to be used for weddings, and choices may be limited.


The event professionals:

Tosca, Tosca's Productions
Teri, La Bocca Fina
Susan, Elegant Cheesecakes
Karen, Plan Decor
Kohl Mansion
Todd Rafalovitch, Photography

Michael has retained his passion for the wellbeing of the environment. He is founder and owner of the environmentally responsible website Part of the business is web-hosting and long distance telephone service. A portion of their proceeds support environmental groups.


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