Article by: Nicole Canning
With Valentine´s Day behind us, but with love still in the air, February is a perfectly suitable month for popping the question. So, if you´ve just “said yes” – congratulations! Here´s to planning a wedding day that´s fabulous in every way, and eco-friendly too…
An “eco” or “green” wedding is essentially one that takes into consideration the environmental and social impact of the occasion. It means assessing each detail of your wedding through “green goggles” and ensuring that you reduce, re-use and recycle your way to a celebration that shows your love for our earth as well as your love for each other.
Here are liveeco´s top tips for adding some eco-charm to your wedding:
Choose a spot that’s close to home, so that the majority of your guests won´t have far to travel. Consider hiring a shuttle so that they can come together, and ideally organise to have the ceremony and the reception at the same venue to cut down on emissions due to distances.
As for the venue itself, try to select one that upholds green principles, like recycling and supporting indigenous vegetation. If they have items like tables, chairs, linen and cutlery on-site, it means you have to transport less in. If you have to borrow cutlery yourself, get recyclable cutlery, which biodegrades in 48 hours.
Lastly, opt for an outdoor, day wedding. If you are set on an evening affair, use soy candles for lighting. Lanterns 4 Africa make stunning biodegradable lanterns that you and your guests can release into the night sky.
E-invites are the quickest and most convenient route to go – use a site like www.designbetty.com to download beautiful invitations to send out. If you would prefer printed out invitations, make sure that you use recycled paper that has been processed without chlorine. You can also buy paper that is embedded with wildflower seeds that can later be replanted.
Choose a caterer that uses in-season, local and organic ingredients. Organic wine is a must, as well as local beer. Other questions to ask include whether they use organic coffee and chocolate, and what is done with all the leftover food. A committed sustainable supplier will have a system in place to donate leftover food to shelters and charities. If your baker is making you an organic wedding cake, ask them what ingredients they are using in place of additives and artificial sweeteners.
There´s never been a better time to go vintage with your wedding gown. Trawl second hand stores for a beautiful used dress, or rent attire for the whole wedding party. If you would very much like a unique design made up, visit Hemporium who sell hemp and hemp & silk blend fabrics. Borrow jewellery and your veil.
Flowers & Décor
Find a florist that uses flowers from local, organic farms. Make sure that guests take the arrangements home after the wedding, or donate them to an old age home or hospital that will benefit from the cheer.
In terms of favours, give locally-made crafts or simple gifts that perform a useful role – for example little bird seed hearts with “thank-you” notes attached or potted plants. For similar ideas visit http://myecowedding.blogspot.com.
Stay away from disposable cameras on the tables – in the United States more than 24 million disposable cameras are thrown away each year! Get your photographer to stick to taking digital snaps which can be uploaded to a wedding site after the event.
Of course it´s fantastic for friends and family to show their love by giving gifts, but do you really need so much new stuff? Don’t register for things that you know you don’t need, and instead give guests the option of giving donations in your name instead.
There are many options now available for recycled and fair trade jewellery. Check out liveeco´s article on finding your perfect, conflict-free diamond.
Hosting an eco-wedding is a great way to pave the way for a sustainable marriage, and a family lifestyle that reflects love and care. We wish you all the best for a magical day and happy-ever-after.
The liveeco team