Our next big decisions to make were guests to invite and the caterer. Luckily Shambhala’s limit is 99 people so we were able to keep the celebration a nice intimate size with about 90 people coming in the end.
Also, Shambhala has a resident caterer, Idit Oz owner of Oz Catering, who provided us with organic food including free range chicken, and in season wild salmon.
It was our intention to introduce healthy alternatives to our guests. For desert we were able to provide an assortment of treats that were in part a healthy alternative to traditional wedding cake made by our own friends and a local raw food restaurant.
We had raw chocolates, an assortment of raw food pies, cupcakes and the groom’s mom picked her own cherries from her orchard two days before so we had fresh baked cherry pie. We provided organic, fair trade coffee from Thanksgiving Coffee from near by Fort Bragg in Mendocino County. The raw food pies came from a raw food restaurant near where we live, Café Gratitude.
Local, Organic Wine and Healthy Drinks
When we began our search for organic wine, we were fortunate to find out that Mendocino County leads the nation in organic winegrowing with 18% of the counties wineries being certified organic. The problem wasn’t finding a local, organic winery it was which one.
After a few taste tests we decided on Bonterra which is located in Ukiah, CA within a half hours drive from Shambhala. As much as we wanted to support the winery directly, it was easier for us to purchase it from our local natural food store in Fairfax, CA where we live, Good Earth. So we were able to support both the winery and our local store.
A special treat that we provided for our guests was an alternative to wine known as “Herbal Coolers” from a company in Eugene, Oregon called Herbal Junction Elixirs. The coolers are a naturally effervescent herbal beverage rich in enzymes and B vitamins which originated in Asia.
It is a probiotic drink that is consumed for its rejuvenating and tonifying effect. The coolers were such a hit that six liters of it was drank in the first hour of the reception and people were asking for more but we had run out. There was wine left over at the end of the night. We thought this was a good sign that people are really looking for healthy alternatives to alcohol.
We did not provide any soft drinks but did provide sparkling mineral water and organic fruit juice.
BioCompostable Dishes, Recycling and Compost
It was our intention over the three days to create as little waste as possible. Shambhala always has recycling and compost set up on site. For the family meals and BBQ the night before the wedding we used Biocompostables from World Centric.
World Centric is a non-profit organization working to reduce environmental degradation and economic injustice through education, community networks and sustainable enterprises.
All of the plates were made of sugar cane fiber (bagasse) which is made from the waste fiber left after juice extraction and biodegrades in 30-90 days. Our drinking cups were made from corn starch which is a renewable substitute to plastic and biodegrades in 90-365 day