Renting the Aisle

It's such an honor to be asked to be a in a bridal party. Putting aside the real reason a bridal party came to be (there's a thing with demons and tricking evil spirits and it's all just pretty archaic and honestly a little creepy), but essentially today's brides and grooms are saying that you are so important to them, that they want you to be a part of their wedding day. It's really very sweet! Of course you're gonna say yes, even if they didn't ask you with a special handcrafted box of personalized gifts. 

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Photograph by lalaconfetti

But once you give them the affirmative, then the dread sets in. How much is this going to cost? How many parties do you have to plan? How many envelopes do you have to lick and seal and how many days do you have to take out of work? It's best to be up front with your friend when you say yes. Realistically how much can you afford? No good friend wants to see you going into debt for their wedding. 

And et's be honest - no one will ever wear their bridesmaid dress again. How many people have actually "cut it down" or "paired it with flats" and allowed their dress to be reborn into another garment? Not many - IF any. We can't all be on Project Runway

But there is one brilliant way to save money and cut down on waste - Rent the Runway? It's that fabulous way to have fabulous clothes for one Cinderella night at completely affordable prices. And now your bridesmaids can have a fabulous dress for a fraction of the cost and they don't have to dedicate any precious closet space to a dress (I mean seriously how did Katherine Heigl have a closet large enough to hold 27 dresses in NYC?) they will never wear again because... Rent the Runway goes Bridal

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It's incredibly easy. Select the occasion, the dates of the wedding (you can rent for a minimum of 4 days and up to 8 with additional fees) and bam! They show up on your doorstep. A little steaming might be necessary and (only if necessary) some Hollywood Hem tape, but with their back-up size shipment and a discounted second-style, you should be good to go! And in the off-chance that your dress doesn't fit, they will do everything possible to overnight a dress to you in time for a fee of $12.95. 

It's a little more expensive than a dress from David's Bridal - I will readily admit that. But if you're bride is requesting Amsale or designer dresses it's a lot cheaper to rent for $180 than it is to buy for $400. It's a win for you, a win for your bride and a win for the environment because it's one less dress in the landfill. 

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Earth-Friendly Weddings

In our current society where everyone is striving towards being greener, leaving a smaller footprint and producing less waste, over-the-top weddings don't really seem the most eco-friendly. With lots of lights, plates of food and tons of paper menus, invitations, save-the-dates, wedding cards etc... weddings can produce a lot of excess. So what are some solutions for all those brides and grooms who are consciously trying to be greener and more eco-friendly? Here are a few tips on how to make your festive day a bit greener on Earth Day. 

1) Choose a Sperry Tent of course! Our sail cloth tents, hand-crafted center poles and flooring and custom lighting are all made from eco-friendly materials locally in Rochester, MA by Sperry Fabric Architecture. And did you know that our tent and awning production is mostly powered by solar panels? On an average day they make enough power to run the whole building! Sperry Fabric Architecture supports a recycling program re-purposing sail cloth and other materials into handbags, ice bags and even new sails! A pretty green operation all-around.

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Photograph by Mark Davidson Photography

2) Choose local vendors for your table! Summer is the perfect time of year for eating local. With bountiful greens, grass-fed meat, blooming fruit trees and delicious locally made wine and spirits, any creative bride and groom can craft an all-localvore menu. And instead of importing roses from all over the world, select a florist who has close connections with local farmers growing native flowers and succulents for the perfect centerpiece and bouquet. Filling your eco-friendly venue with gorgeous local flowers in re-purposed vintage vases and rounding out your dinner with locally-made ice cream, makes your special day that much more unique and memorable.

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3) Opt for an eco-friendly venue! Although a backyard tented wedding is ideal, sometimes a venue provides the perfect 'destination wedding' feel without the high cost (and large energy consumption) of extensive travel. Many venues are taking steps to create a smaller carbon footprint from using organic bedding, brewing locally-roasted coffee and heating and cooling rooms with more energy-efficient products. 

4) Use family heirlooms as decorations. There are so many ways to tie the past to the present and the future, such as adding an escort table filled with photos of relatives' weddings or using a favorite book as a guest book for people to write their best wishes. Instead of purchasing pricey jewelry, you can wear vintage gems from your mother or the groom's mother. Making sure your special day is rich in family history and happiness will not only cut the cost and decrease the waste, but it also provides a special touch making your wedding different and unique. For ideas on how to incorporate family heirlooms throughout your wedding, take a look at this wedding at the Willowdale Estate this past summer.

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Photograph by Gulnara Studio

5) Recycle and compost! Make sure to put recycling bins throughout your wedding for discarded wine bottles, empty beer bottles, used plastic containers, paper napkins and instead of trashing all the uneaten food, compost the waste! It's amazing to the see the amount of wasted food that is carted to a dumpster at the end of a wedding. Cut down on plastic bag usage and dump truck fuel costs by composting left over salads, cheeses and bread. And even better if you hold your wedding at a farm because you can share your leftovers with the full-time residents

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Photograph by Gulnara Studio

6) Send wedding cards to a recycling foundation! So now you've received 200 wedding cards with best wishes written on the inside. Are you really going to keep all of those cards?? Instead of tossing them into the trash or recycling bin, you can send the fronts of the cards to the St. Jude Ranch in Nevada. St. Jude's Ranch for Children recycles your used greeting cards and creates new holiday and greeting cards for any occasion. Recycled cards are sold in packs of 10 for $10 to support their programs and services. The program is an entrepreneurial venture run entirely by teens providing them with the experience and confidence to embark into the job world successfully. "The program is beneficial to everyone – customers receive fun, "green" holiday cards they can feel good sending to their friends and loved ones, and the children at St. Jude's Ranch receive payment for their work and learn about basic job skills and the importance of recycling," says the St. Jude's Ranch web site. How is that for giving back and staying green?

7) Donate your flowers! Let's be real - you probably spent thousands of dollars on your wedding flowers. Instead of carting all those blooms back home, call in an amazing org like The Reflower Project or Bouquets of Kindness. Or you can extend your wedding day bliss and donate the flowers yourself to a local nursing home or hospital. This is a great way to share the joy and love of your wedding day with those who need a little extra sunshine in their day.

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Photograph by Sarah Bastille Photography

These are just a few ways to be a little more green on your wedding day. Happy Earth Day!

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Tenting Guidelines 101

So you're engaged. And you're thinking about having a tented wedding. Can you just imagine the beauty of erecting your very own venue or ceremony space? Decorating the blank pallet however your heart desires? There is nothing more beautiful than celebrating your love in a space that you have designed yourself surrounded by your most favorite people in the world. 

To help you get started with the process and give you all some more insight as to how The Greenwich Tent Company operates to ensure that your event is everything you've dreamt it would be. Download our handy "tenting guidelines" document or contact Kate to learn more about how we can set the stage for your most precious memories. 

Tenting Guidelines
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A Custom Tent for Stamford Museum and Nature Center

Stamford Museum and Nature Center may be only one mile from the Merritt Parkway, but this former private estate turned art, history, nature, and agricultural sciences sits on 118 acres of pure bliss. The property boasts many activities sure to engage children and their guardians alike. A 10-acre working farm with a Tudor-style museum and gallery, an interactive nature center, 80 acres of outdoor trails, a  planetarium, a 4-story observatory with a research telescope, an otter pond, and a large playground designed for children to experience animals' perspective on nature can keep your family engaged for all day long. In 2019, they are excited to showcase and use their new Sugar Shack and will produce their own maple syrup. Yum!! 

In October, The Greenwich Tent Company was approached by the museum to help them out with a longterm tent rental. They needed a custom frame tent to be installed on a patio, but it also required a custom fabric. Zach Wilson and his crew rose to the task and installed a 17x50 Navitrac Lite with gable ends. It was determined that a color 502 Serge Ferrari fabric would do the trick and keep the museum's guests dry and warm in the chilly fall weather. Thanks to our friends at Anchor Tent for working with us to build and install this unique canopy. 

The next big event at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center is their maple syrup festival on March 9th and 10th of 2019. Enjoy some tasty, fluffy pancakes, an array of maple sugar infused treats and you can even take some home! If you need an escape from the craziness of fast-paced living, you are sure to find relaxing, family fun all year long at the tranquil Stamford Museum. 

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