Often couples who plan an eco friendly wedding want to demonstrate to their family and friends, that they care about the environment and the impact that a large event like this creates and that this is the lifestyle they have chosen for themselves. But for any couple interested in planning a natural wedding, it's a good idea to start with a different frame of mind.
Most importantly - Don't Stress! Trying to make your wedding completely eco friendly may be overwhelming, but by choosing the important parts to “green up” can make all the difference. It’s not just about being the most eco friendly, it’s about working in the right direction to make a difference. In the end knowing that you have made an effort to protect the planet, is well worth it.
Here are a few eco friendly planning tips to help you get started:
Choosing A VenueOne of the first steps in wedding planning is choosing a venue. A truly sustainable ceremony might take place in a venue powered by solar panels and illuminated by light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, and wiped down afterwards with eco friendly cleaning products. When scouting out venues, ask how the facility handles food and drink, table settings and trash, to see if it’s done in an eco friendly way.
The best caterers for a sustainable wedding, minimise waste of resources and use locally sourced ingredients.
A list of questions to ask might be:
- Do they recycle paper, plastics, cans and glass if it can’t be done on-site.
- Do they offer local and organic food choices.
- Do they serve food on reusable dish ware that’s washed and reused after the event.
- Can you provide utensils like palm leaf plates that are biodegradable in an approved commercial composting facility.
- Do they provide condiments, beverages, sides and other items without individual packaging.
- Do they donate left-over food scraps to an agency like OzHarvest , Second Bite , FareShare , Food Bank or other organisations that support the homeless by distributing surplus food.
Virtual invitesBefore any of this can happen, you have to alert your friends and family to your upcoming nuptials with an invitation. If you’re planning a sustainable wedding, that can mean breaking with tradition.
For traditional weddings, “the invitation is really what sets the tone for the event, often employing the upcoming wedding’s colours and motif. But more and more green-minded couples are dispensing with printed save-the-date notices and formal printed wedding invitations. One eco friendly alternative is the online invitation website Evite, which offers about 50 free wedding/engagement announcement designs that can be customised with the couple’s event information and sent out to their friends and family via email and Facebook. The guest list is updated in real time; you can opt to be notified when guests RSVP or comment, and can export your guest list to an Excel spreadsheet for easy access.
The Wedding DressThese days, eco friendly wedding dresses are becoming more and more popular thanks to the popularity that is building on the importance of planning an eco friendly type of wedding. There are a number of wedding dress designers worldwide, who showcase a variety of wedding dresses to choose from whether you are tall and lean, voluptuous and short, petite and slim. Because of this, choices for environment friendly pieces have become aplenty, making it more competitive with non eco friendly dresses. An eco friendly fabric is charmeuse which combines hemp and silk to give a lovely sheen and wonderful drape. Hemp is grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers and wild peace silk are cocoons that are harvested only after the moths have emerged. You can find made to order dresses using this fabric at Threadhead Creations on Etsy.
The least expensive and best green option is considering a second hand gown or those dresses that are being passed from one generation to another. You may need to do a little cleaning or alterations, but a second hand gown is always the best way to stay sustainable on your wedding day. If you think these dresses are going to be cheap or tacky, think again. Websites like Preowned Wedding Dresses sell designer dresses like Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier (which retail at up to $15,000) for half price, and sometimes even less.