Weddings are important lifetime celebrations that deserve some extravaganza. Unfortunately, they really aren’t that environmentally friendly. To start with, most weddings involve a lot of frivolity – lots of paper for invitation cards, gift wrapping, excess energy usage on transportation and lighting, not to mention all the imported flowers! Wouldn’t it be nice if these events didn’t cause the environment quite so much damage? Well, here are some beautiful ideas you can use to make your wedding a little greener. Watch out – if you weren’t thinking of weddings before, you’ll sure be thinking of them now!
Eco-Friendly Wedding Invitations & Wedding Stationery
A standard invitation card has an outer envelope, the invitation card and the RSVP card. Apart from this, it may also include an inner envelope, a map or direction card, travel and accommodation cards and tissue paper. Imagine the bulk of paper that goes into making a single invitation card like this? More paper is again necessary for thank you cards, place cards and escort cards.
So what are some more environmentally friendly options? You could go totally paper free with e-invites. Understandably you may not want to go paperless, as there is something so lovely about sending invites in the post. So if you do want physical invites, definitely go for a recycled paper and encourage your guests to recycle them. Or, even better, add an extra special touch with amazing eco-friendly seed paper: After the wedding, your guests can plant the paper and it grows into flowers! A fantastic memento from your special day. You can buy seed paper from amazon, Botanical Paper Works and Flower Seed Paper or you could even make your own: Make Paper that Grows!
Decorate with Available, Natural Elements
Most of the décor elements used in weddings go into the bin after the function, and this amounts to large quantities of waste. To avoid this, opt for natural décor elements like shells, locally available flowers, seasonal fruits and vegetables or bamboo, all of which are organic and reusable. For containers, choose ones that you can donate or use later at your new home.
You could create centerpieces and décor elements from mini stalks of lucky bamboo or miniature flower pots that double up as favors, so they are not wasted. Give away wedding favours that your guests can use, like mini herbs.
Ethical Wedding Dress
Eco-friendly and ethical wedding dresses beat regular wedding dresses any day. Regular wedding dresses use yards of bleached fabrics and materials, and the creation of these dresses causes significant pollution. There are many designers who specialise in environment friendly wedding garments. Most of them use sustainable fabric like hemp or organic cotton, and zero waste pattern cutting techniques to create spectacular wedding gowns that look and feel fantastic. Visit the Ethical Bride website to take a look at their list of Top 5 eco wedding dress designers of the year.
Or if you are a keen sewer how about buying some of our gorgeous Peace Silks and making your own! What could be more special than that?
The other option to consider is renting your wedding dress. Or you could buy a used one or style your mother’s wedding gown to suit your taste and reuse it. By buying a green dress or using an heirloom, your choice helps the planet.
Think about whether you’ll wear it again too. So much money, time and effort goes into a wedding dress and it’s more often than not only worn once. Think about it’s life after your special day, pick something you can adapt by dyeing or shortening it so it doesn’t go to waste.
Choose Local and Seasonal Flowers
If you thought that your choice of wedding flowers had no significant impact on the environment, you are wrong. Popular wedding flowers are usually shipped from different parts of the globe and are actually very bad for the environment. These are grown in greenhouses with the help of pesticides and chemicals. For higher environment points, choose local flowers and those that are in season.
Trust your florist to create centerpieces and bouquets with what flowers are available right before the wedding. Use potted plants in the décor, so they can be transplanted and used after the wedding. If you are getting married outside, skip the elaborate floral arrangements and let nature take over. You can also substitute flowers with seasonal fruits, vegetables, vines and ivy for unique, but interesting decorations.
Plan A Locally Sourced Wedding Menu
Source the vegetables and meat for your wedding locally. This not only helps the community, but also allows you to have fresh and delicious items at your reception. Pick a green caterer who can arrange for organic produce, and work out a menu that uses the seasonal bounty to create fantastic dishes.
Go with natural food colouring to create a spectacular ombre wedding cake, which is a hot wedding trend now. Or go all natural and rustic without icing – Take a look at these organic wedding cakes on the Green Bride Guide for more inspiration.
Green Your Transportation
Transportation of a hundred or so guests to and from a wedding has huge environmental impact. This is more significant if there is air-travel involved. Decrease the footprint of your wedding by arranging a shuttle service for your guests. When booking their accommodation, choose a hotel that is within walking distance from the venue. As for the bride and groom, you can replace the vintage car or limo with various environment friendly options. Leave for your honeymoon in romantic style in a horse and carriage. Or if you are getting married near the water, how about using a canoe? Or cycle to your reception like the oh so stylish Solange Knowles!