In celebration of Earth Day, here are a few simple, practical tips to help you make your wedding a little bit more environmentally friendly. I shared a few of these tips in a previous blog, but thought it's a topic well worth revisiting.
Stick to only whats needed. Leave out the Save the Dates, extra pieces 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, text or a 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. Aim to select brands that are known for being ethically made.
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 used to style your venue as your favours, 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 or if you want to go all out - donate or gift styling items after the event, rather than throwing things out. Hire, if it makes financial sense or purchase items second hand rather than new. Always ask yourself : Is this really adding to our day? Does it feel like us?
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, it is most likely to just end up in the bin. Also, some cake designers use a styrofoam base - have that conversation in advance if you would prefer not to have styrofoam at your wedding.
Make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of plastics used at your wedding. This can extend to your gift registry also.
11. Do what you can.
A little change goes a long way. Some suggestions may be feasible, some not - but every little bit counts.