A Note From the Founder:
Clay Hill Farm’s Green Wedding Giveaway® is about celebrating real people making a difference in the world. Stripping away the layers of stress and decision by including all the necessary wedding ceremony & Reception essentials; Location, caterer, coordinator, date, florist, photographer, videographer, DJ, honeymoon location, wedding accommodations, transportation, menu, cake, music, rehearsal luncheon and formal wear, the true beauty of a wedding emerges…the couple’s relationship! Weddings are really a celebration of two people making a commitment to a future that is better together than alone. Isn’t that the real reason people get married?
Considering this ‘real reason’ can lead to an understanding of the emerging parallel between a commitment to each other and a commitment to the Earth, as both are about compromise and collaboration. This is one of the fundamental messages in Clay Hill Farm’s annual wedding challenge: the Green Wedding Giveaway.
Year four in CHF’s wedding giveaway is the year the full message of this project and contest will be revealed, as the green themes of supporting the community, of giving-back and of collective collaboration, will supersede the ‘contest’ aspect of the challenge. Clay Hill Farm’s Green Wedding Giveaway contest has always been about giving back and celebrating the beauty of relationships that are stronger together, than apart. This year’s contest truly reinforces the commitment to giving back and rewarding couples making a difference by opening up the contest to nominations. Couples that may not have entered a wedding ‘contest’ will now have a chance to win the wedding of their dreams as a reward for the difference they are already making in the world.
You don’t have to sacrifice your dream to make a difference in the world, is the Green Wedding Giveaway call to action for couples who never considered themselves green in some way, this theme can encourage a connectedness to green living that can become universal when broken down in shades. How do you create a green lifestyle? We answer… maybe you already have.
That a green wedding can be a traditional dream wedding with all the trimmings, is a concept that we, at Clay Hill Farm, want to shout to the world! It’s not about the extremes. With only slight shifts in priorities and a faith in quality, every couple can make a difference in the world. What makes a green wedding, green? The bride and groom! Clay Hill Farm can give a green start to every wedding with our commitment to natural beauty and environmental responsibility, but the personal decisions, the vendor choices made and the philosophies embraced, will determine a unique shade of green for each couple. Every shade is worthy of celebration! The celebration of natural beauty will always have a place at the wedding table.
So how does this contest change lives? By spreading a message of green connectedness. By empowering, encouraging and celebrating real people making a difference. By sharing, learning and teaching the ways that small collective steps can lead to a bigger impact in our communities. One commitment can inspire the world!
In 2008, Clay Hill Farm became one of the first businesses in Southern Maine to be certified as a state Environmental Leader, and from there a green-thinking influence has helped shape our community outreach and given our traditional path, a higher purpose. The first restaurant in the country to be certified as a natural wildlife habitat and bird sanctuary in 1991, preserving and nurturing the natural beauty of Maine has always been a part of Clay Hill Farm. Woven through the restaurant, our kids programs and through our FREE community events. The launch of the inaugural Green Wedding Giveaway in 2008 brought us the first winners, Jonathan Blakeslee and Joelle Guerard-Blakeslee, who opened our Clay Hill Farm eyes to local food resources and farmer’s markets. They helped teach us the importance of food origin, they became a part of our Clay Hill Farm community, and had their dream wedding at Clay Hill Farm on the summer solstice in June of 2009. The Green Wedding Giveaway 2010 winners, Sean Patch and Debi Pian-Patch, helped us sponsor 23 ninth graders from NYC, who had never left the city, to celebrate Earth Day in Maine. They planted veggies in Clay Hill’s newly expanded garden, they learned about sustainable living from an eclectic group of local purveyors and businesses at Clay Hill Unplugged, and they camped under the stars at the Youth Enrichment Center at Hilton Winn Farm. (To watch the NECN clip about the trip: click here) The students went back to NYC and started community programs of their own to change lives and raise awareness of green living in all shades. Debi & Sean’s dream wedding was at Clay Hill Farm on July 10, 2010, and some of the veggies Sean’s students planted, were featured in their wedding salad.
Year three of the Green Wedding Giveaway brought us three winners; Luke Fuller & Cassi Madison of Portland, ME, (married June 26, 2011) Samantha Smith & Jeffrey Court of Worcester, MA, (married August 28, 2011), and Grand Prize winners Amy Watson and Douglas Figueiredo of Wiscasset, ME and Rio de Janeiro, respectively. Amy & Douglas’s journey brought international recognition to the Green Wedding Giveaway, with votes for the couple tracked from over 63 countries. Their bi-cultural wedding on July 10, 2011 brought two worlds together to enjoy the green beauty of destination Maine.
Taking the best of all three years of the contest and showcasing the true message of why we started this project, Clay Hill Farm’s Green Wedding Giveaway 2012 focuses on the inspirational ripple effects of green awakening, engaging the community and rewarding couples who make a difference every day. Empower, awaken, explore, inspire! In 2012, you can nominate AND vote for the next Green Wedding Giveaway winners who’ll inspire the world.
Clay Hill Farm
One Commitment Can Inspire the World! ______________________________________ Celebrating real people making a difference in the world is at the heart of Clay Hill Farm’s annual Green Wedding Giveaway ® and the soul of EcoReach; a humanitarian brand that symbolizes a respect for the people promotes people respecting the planet. In everyday life, it would be hard to not do something green. Bringing a travel mug to the store, turning off your lights at night, putting on a sweater in the winter or opening a window instead of turning on the a/c. Stopping at a local farm stand or supporting a business that gives back. These are all green initiatives that we tend to think of as routine, everyday practices, even common sense. Broken down, many things that we do regularly can be considered green initiatives. But in an ever-greening world, the question still on many of our minds is, what does being green mean? Where do I fit in?
Because so much of our everyday routine can be considered green, we at Clay Hill Farm choose to focus on what we can do and are doing. So much about green living can be overwhelming and intimidating. Choosing to celebrate each other and learn and grow and share…can lead to inspiration and empowerment. We are all green in some way, so pick your shade and shout it to the world. TM The Green Wedding Giveaway 2012 is a contest that celebrates, and rewards, real people making a difference. Couples that are already considering their social impact as individuals and their combined footprint on the planet can be rewarded with the wedding of their dreams. The Green Wedding Giveaway is all about giving back. Giving back to the individuals and couples that inspire us, and giving back to the communities and businesses that support us. This is a project with positive energy all around. When you celebrate the Earth, everybody wins!
Much like marriage, green living is a process; a commitment to compromise. A celebration of balance and an exercise in prioritizing important practices, there is an ever emerging parallel between a commitment to marriage and a commitment to the Earth. While we think of green living in shades at Clay Hill Farm, we believe every green shade is unique and fluid, darkening with each positive initiative. But what makes a wedding green? The couple. Their commitment, their philosophy and their choices, define their green wedding ‘shade’. Our commitment to the environment, our philosophy and our choices at Clay Hill Farm give all weddings a green start. You don’t have to sacrifice a single dream to make a difference in the world! The winners of the Green Wedding Giveaway 2012 will become the ambassadors of Clay Hill Farm’s message of green connectedness, sharing their unique style of green living with their communities and beyond. One commitment, can inspire the world!