Rhoads, a 35-year-old Sparks resident, is a wedding design consultant and co-owner of Wedding Style Favors located on Plumb Lane in Reno. After planning weddings for eight years, she is now preparing for the latest in wedding fashions: eco-friendly ceremonies.
“People are becoming more environmentally consious here in the Reno/Sparks area,” Rhoads said. “The interest is definitely there, the knowledge is coming close behind.”
Rhoads, who has planned two green weddings so far, expects this trend to continue over the coming years, as more people realize how much is actually consumed during a wedding.
The biggest misconception people have about green weddings, however, is that there are not enough resources, when in reality, it is quite the opposite, Rhoads said.
“The great thing about a weddng is that it’s a celebration of a lifestyle,” Rhoads said. “If people are doing just bits and pieces, every little part counts and it will encourage others to follow that same lifestyle.”
Rhoads, while acknowledging that going entirely green for a wedding may not be possible, strongly suggests couples offer recycling at the ceremony, make their own favors, encourage guests to carpool and even donate to environmental organizations.
“The important thing to remember is to be inventive when it comes to planning for a green wedding,” Rhoads said. “Sometimes it comes down to taking your own measurements for the dress instead of using the gas to drive to the dress shop.”
As far as wedding costs go, Rhoads estimates the expenses do break even between green and regular weddings. The biggest cost concern, Rhoads said, is still the size of the wedding.
“With many green weddings, couples keep the ceremony small, cutting down on the number of people using gas to travel, which cuts down on the amount of people you have to spend and plan for,” Rhoads said. “We are all cost conscious and the nice thing about going green is that a lot of these measures are cost cutting.”
Rhoads, whose store offers a line of eco-friendly wedding decor and gifts, suggests replacing certain wedding traditions for something more environmentally friendly.
Her most popular item this year has been tree seedlings to throw at the bride and groom instead of rice.
“Even if you can’t go green for your wedding, the tree seedlings are an easy way to give back to the earth,” Rhoads said. “Trees will alleviate the carbon footprint (the impact of human activities on the environment) left by your wedding.”
And with the average wedding creating 14.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide emmision, according to the environmental agency Climate Care, the stakes are high. This is a cost that many, like Rhoads, hope to see decrease soon.
“These green efforts do make a huge difference and are definitely a great start,” Rhoads said. “People are becoming more aware and now is the time that they are changing.”
To contact Rhoads to start planning your own green wedding, call 825-8511 or visit her store located at 606 W. Plumb Lane in Reno.