Planning an Eco Wedding (Part 1)
When it comes to wedding planning, considering the environment does not have to be an arduous political choice. Remember, there are many shades of green, and the carbon footprint of your wedding can be easily reduced with some careful planning and research beforehand. Being “green” isn’t an all or nothing proposition. It is perfectly possible to have the traditional wedding you always dreamed of while also caring for the environment. Our friend Michelle over at Just The Thing guides us through the maze of eco wedding planning.
Location is a big factor for you, your guests and the environment. A fairytale castle in Bavaria may seem an idyllic setting, however the further people have to travel, the more environmental damage they do. There are many equally wonderful wedding locations closer to home. All it takes is a map and a little research. Or, you can always employ an environmentally conscious wedding planner to help you locate the perfect setting. If you ask, most wedding planners will take your environmental wishes into consideration. However, for a true eco specialist, you might like to contact Louise at www.ecomoon.co.uk.
Wedding’s use a lot of paper. When it comes to stationery, you can certainly go as green as you like. From partially recycled cards, to organic paper, or you can even go paper free. Don’t forget that at Just the Thing, you can do away with invitations altogether and send out e-vites to your wedding. However, if you’re looking for beautiful recycled wedding invitations you might like to look at Wompom cards. Not only are the cards here stunning, made from 80% recycled materials, but they also use materials from sustainable forests.
Forget placecards this year; we’ve found a fantastic alternative which combines the traditional placecard with a cute wedding favour. Handmade from recycled and reused timber, these fab tags make the perfect keepsake for your guests. Add guests names, your wedding date or a personal message, the bespoke service can be tailor made to suit your wedding. Timber Tags are the brainchild of Charlie Artingsoll and we tip these cute table embellishments to be a hit at all stylish wedding tables this year.
This is an area where you can really go green. The best place to begin is with a Just the Thing Gift List. This immediately eliminates all of the wrapping, transport and returns waste that you get with traditional wedding lists.
When selecting your gifts, you can go for wind-up radios, solar-powered garden lights or even ask guests to contribute toward an eco-makeover for your new home. The sky is the limit. Don’t forget to include ethical gifts, such as a charity contribution in your names.
When it comes to going green, perhaps the most difficult question is the wedding dress. Few little girls dream of going down the aisle in hemp, however there are many options available for a modern bride. With the current 50’s styled calf-length fashion, now is the perfect time to source a vintage dress. You never know which great aunt might have the perfect frock lurking the back of her wardrobe.
How about swapping something your already own for your wedding gear? Judy Berger, fashion expert, stylist and personal shopper, set up www.whatsmineisyours.com in 2004. You can find a range of wedding items on this site and resell/swap them once your wedding is over.
If you’re having a dress made, why not ask for an organic silk or insist that your fabric is produced ethically. Conscious Elegance specialises in ready-to-wear and made-measure dresses made from 100% organic peace silk. Lori the founder of Conscious Elegance will also recycle your dress into a christening or naming ceremony gown after the event.
Once you’ve got your venue sorted, why not consider how you and your guests can get there without damaging the environment? Why not set up a carpool page on your Just the Thing website? It will only take a few clicks and your guests will take care of the rest. Carpooling is a great way to care for the environment and a good way for guests to meet before the event. Organising mini-buses for shared travel from local train stations and hotels is another way you can reduce carbon emissions.
Food and Drink
The bridal party and guests are not the only ones who have to travel to get to your venue, don’t forget that your food and drink will cover a lot of miles to be there on the big day. Is it possible to buy local produce rather than goods that have travelled thousands of miles? Just speaking with your caterer can make a difference; most chefs will gladly source local, seasonal produce for you if you ask.
Similarly, organic options and Fair Trade products are becoming very easy to locate nowadays so why not make a few small changes in this area. If you can’t source organic everything, why not just make a few changes? Fair Trade coffee at the end of the reception is a big step in the right direction.
When it comes to confetti, it can be a bit of a mine field. Environmentalists agree that the traditional rice is hazardous for local wildlife. Finding organic, bio-degradable confetti is becoming easier, but it is always a good idea to check what your venue allows.
Flower petals are usually a safe bet and can be easily sourced. While most suppliers are very pricey, you have many alternatives. Why not asked a few of your nearest and dearest to get involved with the planning? Aunts and Grandmas with lovely gardens will be flattered to play their part in your big day. Harvesting and drying flower petals can be a lengthy process though, so give people plenty of time and consider the seasons in advance. A well planned out flower petal project can save you hundreds of pounds, however, as any bride can tell you.
While birdseed isn’t as pretty as rose petals, you certainly won’t have to worry about cleaning it up afterwards. Don’t forget to ask someone to take responsibility for confetti on the day – having wicker baskets full of petals, or organza pouches ready for guests to grab will save confusion.