Ephemeral and ecological? Some ideas for an eco-friendly wedding

Eco-friendly wedding. Outdoor ceremony set up.
Credit: Micheal Jurick Photography

Ephemeral and ecological?

Some ideas for an eco-friendly wedding

 

By Odile Joron
Translated from French to English by À la folie! Events

 

I am an interior designer, and I became uncomfortable buying materials and supplies that are thrown away in a few days, or even a few hours, after an event. Being new to the wedding industry, I noticed that an increasing number of young couples had this environmental awareness and wished to unite and celebrate in an environmentally friendly way.

Here is a list of some environmental considerations that you could integrate into your wedding planning.

Number of guests: it all starts with the number of guests. Reducing your guest count also reduces the amount of resources you’ll require. Opt for an intimate wedding!

Invitations: by email, and take time to call your family who do not have Internet access, they’ll appreciate it! Another nice touch would be to provide some invitations in the form of handwritten letters (yes, your hand!) for older people who are dear to you.

Ceremony and reception locations: try to combine the ceremony and reception in one place, or within a reasonable walking distance in high heels, which will reduce transportation in cars. You may also have your wedding celebration outdoors in a beautiful park.

Time of day/year: an outdoor, summer wedding minimizes electricity and costs. Also, evening receptions often cost more and require more energy (dance hall, lighting, DJ). A morning
ceremony followed by a picnic in a park or a brunch in your favorite local restaurant could be
more charming!

Menus: they can be printed on recycled paper, which will give them a slightly vintage look.

The food: Avoid buffets that cause considerable losses. Instead, offer your guests a choice of two or three dishes. Emphasize fruits and local vegetables that are in season.

Decoration: minimize! It is better for both the environment and your wallet, take the time to find a charming location that will require minimum decorations. However, if you plan to transform and unflattering space into a heavenly one, consider selling your set pieces in the classifieds instead of throwing them away. Your centerpieces will surely delight other couples!

The dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses: Head to the thrift stores with your bridesmaids! Instead of each of you purchasing a new dress that will spend the rest of its days in a bag in the bottom of your closet, unearth lovely second-hand dresses that you’ll love to wear again: it will remind you of beautiful memories.

Rings: The mining industry is one of the most harmful to the environment, so opt for a pretty vintage ring with a rich past instead of a new one.

Flowers: an ecological alternative to cut flowers: purchase potted flowers for your centerpieces that you can offer your guests at the end of the day. Or better still, you can grow them yourself in your garden!

Destination wedding: celebrating your wedding abroad can have a detrimental impact on the environment as it causes many people to travel by plane. By choosing a local wedding, you can support local businesses and artists in your area while reducing the cost for your guests.

And that’s it! I hope these ideas will help you make eco-responsible choices as you plan your wedding. For more ideas, I invite you to visit the many websites that talk about eco-friendly weddings such as:

Eco Chic Weddings
Eco Beautiful Weddings
Green Bride Guide

 

References

Alive
Elle Québec
Equiterre
Dream Wedding

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