What Does it Mean to Have a Locally Sourced Wedding?

Think globally, eat locally.

These words have become part of a movement. Not only have people been scaling back on the size of their weddings, they’ve also been considering the impact of their event on the environment.

With so many brides and grooms concerned about environmental impact, many have turned to local food sourcing in order to have a more eco-friendly big day.

But what does local sourcing mean?

Local sourcing quite literally means getting your meat and produce from local sources including neighborhood farms, farmers’ markets, and growers’ co-ops. And fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), it also means that whatever menu you plan is limited by what is available during that particular local growing season.

Is there any special reason I should source local food?

A limited menu may sound a little daunting, but there are actually some pretty great reasons to source food locally.

Farm Fresh Local Foods for Your Wedding
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1. Local food tends to be better for you.

The longer food takes to get to your table, the more potential there is for nutritional loss. Think of all the time the food spent sitting in a truck, then in a refrigerated warehouse, then on the grocery store shelf – all before it ever made it into your own fridge or pantry at home. That’s weeks’ worth of food losing vital nutrients and an increased risk that it could pick up food-borne illnesses in transit. When you purchase produce directly from a grower at a farmer’s market, you know exactly where it came from and when it was harvested.

2. Local food supports farming families.

Buying directly from a farmer or a growers’ co-op puts money directly into the hands of the people who work so hard to grow and produce that food. It gives them the money they need to keep operating local farms, which allows them to hire workers and in general helps build a stronger local economy.

3. Local food just plain looks and tastes better.

Instead of picking produce just before it’s ripe so that it can ripen in transit, local farmers harvest their crops at the peak of freshness. Local artisans can craft one-of-a-kind cheeses and fruit dishes, and local meat is less likely to have been treated at a large industrial plant. It was just produced and comes from just down the street, giving all that food a freshness you can really taste.

4. Local food gives you a chance to show off your town.

Because the kinds of foods available are limited by the local growing season, you have a chance to really show off your region’s flavors by putting together dishes that highlight in-season produce. See how creative you can get featuring one particular fruit or veggie, or try combining all the local in-season produce into one phenomenal menu that will have your guests raving.

OK, So How Do I Source Local Food?

  • Stop by a local farmer’s market or co-op.
  • If your wedding is a year or two off, consider trying out your own patio garden.
  • See if there is a local fruit farm or orchard where you can pick your own fruit. As a bonus, fruit picking makes a fun activity you can do with the girls or guys of the wedding party in the days leading up to the wedding.
  • Visit local butchers to find out where to get the freshest beef, preferably grass fed.

Would you source food locally for your wedding? Have you attended a wedding that served locally sourced food? Share your story in the comments below, or click “Like” to get the conversation started on Facebook!