Westminster Abbey Goes 'Green' for Royal Wedding (Almost)

westminster abbeyI didn't think it was possible for Westminster Abbey to look even more impressive than it already does. But Kate Middleton has found a way to do it. The bride is hellbent on transforming the already gorgeous 700-year-old Gothic church into a fairytale forest for the royal wedding, which is why she reportedly spent £50,000 (more than $80,000) on four tons of foliage, including seasonal, organic British flowers and eight 20-foot-high trees.

Middleton's floral designer, Shane Connolly, is calling the grandiose arrangements "natural" and "ethical." And, in fact, many aspects of the royal wedding have been spun by the media as being environmentally friendly. (After all, Prince Charles himself is a very vocal advocate for environmental protection and sustainability.) But how "green" is the wedding really? Let's take a look ...


Obviously, Middleton bucked the green tradition of utilizing the natural beauty of a location and instead chose to spend lots of money on decorations and flowers and 20-foot trees. But here's the silver lining: The trees -- each weighing half a ton -- are seasonal, have been grown in planters (versus being dug up), and will be re-planted after the ceremony.

Moreover, the flowers she has chosen for the event -- including gardenias, lily of the valley, delphinium, daffodils, crepe myrtle, and roses -- are seasonal and locally sourced. Given the fact that many brides have become accustomed to getting any out-of-season flower they want whenever they want it, this is notable.

The media has also been enthusiastic at pointing out another green aspect of the royal wedding -- the fact that Prince William proposed to Middleton while on vacation at an safari reserve in Kenya. If you're one of those people who thinks that "eco tours" to places like Antarctica or Tasmania are great for the environment and native populations, then no doubt this will impress you, too.

More eco-friendly wedding details include: The cake will be made from locally sourced, organic ingredients. The guests are being asked to donate to charity instead of buying wedding gifts. All paper is recycled or FSC-certified.

And, of course, who can forget the recycled engagement ring, the same diamond-and-sapphire engagement ring worn by Princess Diana?

Maybe William and Kate's wedding isn't totally green. But with all the publicity it's receiving, at the very least it may inspire others to make green choices in their lives. And who can complain about that?


Image via gadgetdude/Flickr

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