The key to an eco- and style-conscious wedding is to keep it simple. By reusing materials and accents, you can save money and save resources at the same time. Work with what’s local and with what’s in season and you can feel good about your efforts – and your celebration.
When choosing your site, select a place with significance that will benefit from your event. For example: an art gallery or museum. If possible, find out how the site plans to use your fee – will it be used towards upkeep or new programs? If you’re looking for an outdoor venue, try a botanical garden, or the grounds of a historical home in your area. You may even be able to find one that is run by a non-profit organization.
When it comes to transportation, limousines don’t have to be your only option! There are a lot of other options out there. Some great ideas are: tandem bicycles, a canoe (if your ceremony is near the water) or something classic, like a horse- and-buggy carriage. Consider organizing carpools for the wedding party to and from events such as the rehearsal dinner. Enjoy!
Since flowers are a symbol of the natural world, wedding flowers provide a great opportunity to make some eco-friendly choices. Investigate the origins of flowers and think about the pesticides that might have been used. Were they grown in
an environmentally friendly way? Cut flowers result in a lot of waste. Talk to your florist about conserving flowers by reusing bouquets, or sharing your blooms with another party.
Your goal: support local nurseries by looking for locally grown, seasonal blooms. Talk to your florist to figure out what flowers fall into this category so you know what you can choose from.
GREEN WEDDINGS – YOUR MENU
Brides and grooms are looking beyond the basic chicken or filet for their menus, and there is a broad horizon of alternatives to consider. While many caterers are now specializing in organic foods, nearly any caterer can create an organic meal. So, choose one you love, and then discuss replacing ingredients.
Free-range, organically raised meat isn’t just delicious, it’s better for the farmers, the animals, and you. Organic meat and poultry has less exposure to genetically modified food because the animals eat organic feed. If you’re going to have seafood, stay away from fish that are commercially raised or high in mercury. A really great option is a white fish, like tilapia, or wild salmon, which is generally named for the region it comes from.
DON’T FORGET YOUR DRINKS!
You can think local with your alcohol choices as well. Though you may not be aware of them, there are probably fantastic microbreweries, distilleries, and wineries in your area (or region). If you’re big wine fans, don’t worry – organic wineries can offer quality and selection. Look to liquor stores and wine shops in your area or try to find a place that specializes in regional and organic selections.
At the end of the night, don’t let all those extras go into the trash. Work with your caterer to send the leftovers to a food rescue group. These organizations can
pick up the fresh and untouched food and then deliver it to local food shelters and families in need. What a better way to end the night.
EXTRA ECO TIPS
- Find a vintage or used gown, then dress it up with accessories
- Choose a dress made from organic cotton, silk or hemp – these materials are much more eco-friendly than a lot of other materials
- Rent your wedding gown
- Sell your wedding gown after the wedding (Either through eBay or a local consignment store)
- Rent the men’s’ formalwear
- Create a website to keep your guests up-to-date on all the happenings with your wedding
- Use fewer programs, menus, Print one per couple or table, instead of one per person
- Encourage your guests to use gift bags that can be re-used
- Let your guests know you are having a ‘green’ wedding and tell them how they can do their part
- Look for soy candles as they’re made from a renewable resource and are cleaner They burn longer than regular candles and available in every size, shape, colour and scent you can imagine.
- Choose earth-friendly materials like bamboo for decor, which can lower your environmental impact without compromising style.
- Consider decorating your ceremony site with items you can use again at the reception – like arrangements that decorate the program area at the ceremony, and then dress up your guest book table later on at the reception.
- While choosing organic ingredients will increase the cost of your cake, many people agree the taste is a lot Another option is to look for a baker who specializes in organic or vegan cakes.