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Couple's Earth-friendly nuptials support ministry

By Carla Hinton Published: June 7, 2008

/> The bride said most people have been excited about the green wedding, which will be in the church's garden. Others not familiar with the concept have been curious and intrigued. She said the wedding is a way to educate the public about ways to simplify and "green” just about anything.

She said a few people mistakenly thought they might have to wear green-color clothing to the wedding or that she would be wearing burlap or spun hemp. Benson said she quickly informed them neither was the case.

"It doesn't mean you have to have a bare-bones wedding,” she said. "It just means you have to be creative.”

Here's a breakdown of some of the measures the couple have taken to make their wedding eco-friendly:

Rings: The couple recycled old gold and gems to help pay for the new rings. The bride will be wearing one ring instead of two. The ring was made of recycled gold, fair-trade Canadian diamonds and fair-labor-mined Australian sapphire. Five percent of the cost of the ring will go to African communities. The groom's ring is titanium.

Invitations: Electronic invitations were sent, and paper invitations were mailed only to people without e-mail addresses. An account with the I Do Foundation Web site was set up to invite guests and keep them informed.

Food: Edible ornament arrangements will be used for decorations and part of reception menu. Also, compostable products will be used to serve food; the cutlery and plates are made from potato starch and corn.

Flowers: The outdoor wedding aisle will be decorated with planters made of recycled materials containing live flowers that will be planted at the church after the wedding.

Transportation: A certified high-efficiency, low-emission car is being rented for honeymoon travel.

Seating: Guests will sit on hay bales covered with white towels. The towels will be donated to a local homeless shelter after the wedding. The hay bales are being loaned by horse owners who lease property from the church and will be returned to them after the event.