Tons of brides are opting for a green wedding these days. Guest contributor Anchal Bhatia shares her tips on how you can plan an eco-friendly wedding.
Green weddings are becoming a popular trend among modern brides. If you are already living an eco-friendly lifestyle, it’s no surprise that you want to carry it over to your big day. Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do to make your wedding green, responsible, eco-friendly, and sustainable. I'll point you to a few.
1. Eco-friendly Location
Set the theme for your event by choosing an eco-friendly venue. A beautiful botanical garden, a lush grassy hilltop, or a stunning lake view will help to save loads of electricity by letting the sun provide all the lighting. Moreover, as an added bonus, the natural beauty around you will lessen your need to decorate. If you do not prefer an outdoor ceremony and reception, choose a venue that gets a lot of sunlight and host a daytime ceremony so that you can leave the lights off. Alternatively, look for venues that recycle and use energy efficient appliances or donate your deposit to a good cause.
2. Eco-friendly Rings
It may take a little searching but there are jewelers who work with recycled gold and fair trade gems. If you are looking for something more meaningful, check with your friends and family if they have old rings that can be melted into one. Or ask your mother or grandmother if they possess a traditional ring you can use as your own. Lastly, to be sure that you are not buying a «blood diamond», check with your jeweler about the origin of the stone.
3. Source Locally
Source as many items as possible, especially food and drinks from your area vendors in order to support your local economy and keep the transportation emissions low. If you do not have wineries and breweries in your area, consider bio-dynamic or organic wine alternatives. For the food, ask your caterer to use organic items. Moreover, it’s also a great idea to source flowers locally. Instead of usual centerpieces, opt for potted plants that can double as wedding favors.
4. Reduce Travel
Transportation is a huge source of carbon emissions. To lessen the carbon footprints, reduce travel by hosting your wedding at a venue that is easily accessible by majority of your guests. You can also let them know that you would appreciate if they arrive at the ceremony by bus, train, bike, or carpool. Similarly, while your personal transport is likely to be a small part of the total footprint, it definitely sends a big message. So, make sure to arrive either by bike or in an electric car to live by the theme.
5. Eco-friendly Invitations
Invites have the power to set the mood and let your guests know what to expect at the wedding. You don’t want them to look compromised or tacky, but at the same time you want to live by your principles. While, e-invites seem to be the greenest way to go, you can always consider wedding invitations made of recycled or handmade paper. Also, request your guests to RSVP online and skip the printed directions. Create a free wedding website and provide your guests your web url for all the details.
6. Eco-friendly Wedding Dress
Selecting a gown is one of the major highlights of wedding planning. Thankfully, there are many ways to go green when deciding what to wear. First is the old tradition of wearing your mother or grandmother’s wedding dress. After all, they preserved it for a reason! Alternatively, you can check out vintage shops for pre-worn outfits. That way, there is no wastefulness as no new dresses are made and the one that you buy gets a second wear too. In case you prefer to put on a brand new gown, look for a designer or a tailor who uses sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp or silk.
7. Trim Your Guest List
One of the biggest factors that impacts your big day financially and ecologically is the size. Yes, the cold hard fact is that each person you invite means a bigger venue, more miles traveled, more food and drinks consumed, and of course more wastage when it’s over. Since it’s your special day, invite as many loved ones as you may wish, but make sure to watch the numbers.
Overall, planning an eco-friendly wedding does not mean that you have to sacrifice your vision, budget, or sanity. It only means that you are in favor of avoiding excess and waste. Who knows, you may even end up opening a few eyes in the process!