Firstly, congratulations on making it through Christmas and Boxing Day. I feel the holiday period deserves a post in it's own right, but perhaps I will leave that one to another day...
Whilst our days have been filled with sunshine, sand and food, I managed to squeeze in a couple of episodes and David Attenborough's Blue Planet II on some lazy evenings (a gift to my ocean and nature loving future husband).
As someone who has always been a huge animal lover and fairly switched on to looking after the environment, I found the footage on plastics shocking and saddening. It has made me look into making immediate changes in our everyday life as well as in relation to our upcoming wedding.
So if you're planning your big day and wanting to reduce the waste, here are some manageable suggestions that I have come across :
Stick to only whats needed. Cut out the Save the Dates, extra bits of paper and RSVP envelopes. Use recycled paper, email or set up a website. It's perfectly ok to ask guests to RSVP via email or text or phone call too.
2. Wedding/ Bridesmaid Dresses/ Suits.
Keep to what you will wear again - and if not perhaps consider selling or purchasing your gown second hand. There are so many environmentally friendly labels out there also and I think it's always great to support local designers who make their gowns/suits by hand. Allow bridesmaids to choose their own outfits and if financially possible, swap fast fashion for pieces that will last.
Ditch the floral foam! Not only is the green foam made from (carcinogenic!!) formaldehyde and other toxins, it is a form of plastic that doesn't break down. Use glass vases, recycled glass bottles or more environmentally options instead. Choose locally grown and seasonal varieties as well as flowers from environmentally friendly producers. At the end of the night ask your guests to take some of your flowers home, rather than letting them go to waste.
Choose something edible or perhaps something your guests can plant. Also consider the packaging - if it's almost a given that guests will throw the item into the next bin, it may not be worth doing. Otherwise skip the favours all together (or give flowers at the end of the night!)
Less is more. Try not to get caught up in Pinterest or the latest celebrity wedding. Instead, keep things minimal. Hire if it makes financial sense or purchase items second hand rather than new. Always ask yourself if it is actually adding to your day, if it feels like you or if indeed you are getting sucked into the wedding vortex.
6. Gift Registry.
If you are choosing to have a registry consider the materials and longevity of the items. It may be worth swapping material items and asking for some money towards a honeymoon, a weekend away or a nice dinner. I understand that it can be extremely awkward to ask for money. However, most guests would rather give something lasting (like a memory!) than an item that will be thrown in the bin in 12 months time.
Keep travelling for guests to a minimum. if you've opted to celebrate in your hometown consider having something local to where most guests live, or if possible have your ceremony and reception in the same place. (Which also makes life easier for you, your partner and guests!). Happy days.
Think and support local. Choose produce that isn't being flown half way around the world. Whilst sipping champagne may be a must for you, considering swapping some imported produce for local to reduce the environmental footprint.
Don't keep up with the Jones'. It may be impressive to have an 8 tier cake, but if only 30 people will end up having a slice, what is the point?
10. Do what you can.
A little change goes a long way. Some suggestions may be feasible, some not - but every little effort counts.