October 20, 2010
Many high-end weddings like to set off fireworks after their wedding dinner and before or while cutting the cake. Earlier this week I was introduced to a green alternative to fireworks that engaged your guests, left many bystanders in awe, and was a stunning and memorable spectacle. Wish Lanterns. “What is that?”, you may be asking. Wish Lanterns are small biodegradable hot air balloons made with bamboo frames instead of wire, and rice paper that you can hold in your hands. I know, at first when I heard about them, I thought it was a fire hazard too and I scoffed at the very idea. However, upon watching them launch I found my gaze glued to the sky, as they raised to heights of 2000 feet or more and traveled on the wind a mile before burning out and disappearing on the horizon.
So how does this work? WishLantern.com makes large bio-degradable eco-friendly bags made of rice paper lanterns that have a woolen non-flammable fuel cell attached to the open end. You light the fuel cell and hold the lantern from the top. The heat rises and soon it begins to float upwards just like a hot air balloon. It’s a good idea to first test one to figure out where the wind is moving. They rise fast but you wouldn’t want them to rise into the hotel you’re staying at. You let them lift, and go, and before you know it there are tons of lights way up in the sky moving to and fro on the winds. When the fire burns out in 5-10 minutes, the paper lanterns plummet to the earth and bio-degrade in the next few days.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some planes passing by report UFOs gathering in the sky. It’s quite a sight to see for the wedding party, those staying at the hotel, and people living around the area. The activity of igniting and launching the lanterns engages your guests, and it doesn’t hurt the ozone like fireworks. Plus, it saves you money. A ten minute firework display costs $8-10K on average. Wish Lantern out of Irving, Texas sells these Eco Wish Lanterns at $134.99 for fifty. Let’s say that you have two hundred guests at your wedding. You can buy one for each person for $540, which is a lot less than any fireworks display, and it’s entirely eco-friendly. Use Wish Lanterns at your wedding for an experience that you, your family, and your friends will remember for a life time.
Check back often to my “My Green Wedding” blog for new and exciting ways to make your wedding a little more green; and help me save the world, one wedding at a time.