What to wear?
Deciding what to wear on your wedding day is very exciting, I bought my wedding dress almost eighteen months before our wedding day! I knew as soon as I walked out of the change room and saw the tears in my mum's eyes that this was the one; I believe that everyone needs to feel this way about what they are wearing on their wedding day.
Eco Friendly Weddings are about making a positive environmental choice, where you can. Options here in Australia for eco wedding dresses are still very limited at the present time, but materials to look out for are:
- Organic Cotton; cotton that has been grown without the use of toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers, as well as genetically modified organisms.
- Peace Silk; silk produced naturally by semi-wild silk worms living in tropical or semi-tropical rainforests as opposed to conventional silk farming which methods can result in the silk worm not surviving the process.
- Hemp; an environmentally efficient fibre to produce requiring little or no pesticides, unpalatable to insects and grows faster than weeds removing the need for herbicides.
Another option is to buy second hand (there are many beautiful vintage options around the place) or hire dresses and suits for the day, giving you a better economical solution and in turn lowering your footprint.
Whatever you decide, be comfortable, be happy. Know that when you look back on your wedding day that you felt and looked amazing and the planet thanked you for it!
Carbon Emission Offset
Offsetting carbons is a great way to minimize your wedding's impact on the environment. Sometimes when planning your wedding making earth friendly choices along the way are not always easy, particularly if you are having a destination wedding or have family and friends overseas.
Calculating and offsetting your carbon emissions gives you the freedom to go that extra mile and still be friendly to the earth.
Having organic food at your wedding is not only good for the environment, its good for you and your guests too. Often you can find caterers happy to source some if not all of their menu from organically grown resources, just ask.
Another great catering tip is to utilize your food! If having fruit for dessert consider using the whole fruit as table decorations, have the wait staff remove the fruit from the tables just in time to serve it up for dessert; a great way to save on decorations and minimize your footprint.
Food miles is also something to consider, if possible buy local. The longer the product has to travel to reach your table the higher the carbon emission.
Choosing a celebrant doesn't have to be difficult, there are many celebrants available who share your thoughts and ideas, particularly when it comes to having an eco wedding. It makes sense to choose someone locally as you will want to meet up before the wedding to discuss the ceremony, it also cuts down on yours and their travel and in turn lowers your footprint.
Be upfront about your lifestyle choices, your celebrant may even have some good tips for you.
Ceremony & Reception Venues
A spectacular rainforest or heritage listed church. Choosing the location to say "I Do" and the celebration that follows is almost as important as what to wear!
And being kinder to the earth is just as important, some great tips and ideas are:
- Choose your ceremony and reception venues within walking distance to each other, this removes the need for vehicles.
- If having your ceremony and reception within walking distance isn't an option consider providing a bus for your guests. Maybe request a gold coin donation be given to the driver as a way of helping out with cost, your guests would have more than likely paid for a taxi anyway.
- Make use of natural light and beautiful surroundings by having your ceremony outdoors to save power
Decorations / Flowers
Think outside the square! Don't be afraid to be unique:
- Depending on the season, consider picking a small bunch of native flowers for your bouquet.
- Use Beeswax or Soy Candles as centerpieces, there are so many beautiful designs to choose from and I am sure you will find a guest or two more than happy to take them home as keepsakes.
- Ask your reception venue to provide you with a blank canvas rather than supplying all of the decorations, this allows you to choose better eco options.
- Generally the materials a reception centre provides; tablecloths, chair covers, cutlery and crockery are used time and time again giving these items longer lifecycles, minimizing their negative impact. Disposable items such as; paper decorations, streamers, balloons or serviettes are high impact items and should be avoided.
Consider your options and look at the environment around you. Can you utilize some of the beauty mother nature gives us every day to beautify your special day?
If you simply cannot go without flowers please be aware that the use of chemicals during cultivation of conventional flowers creates a high negative impact on the environment. Organic Flowers are the best earth friendly option although currently here in Australia our choices are still very limited.
However there are some earth positive options available to you, some flower species are grown with less chemicals than others and if opting out of flowers for your big day doesn't suit you be sure to ask your florist which flowers are the least likely to impact negatively on the environment. A majority of florists will know how each species is cultivated and should be able to guide you in the right direction.
Gifts / Unique Ideas
So many beautiful eco and earth friendly gifts are available to you and your guests. Why limit yourself to one register, send your friends to the Eco Friendly Weddings online directory and by using the "favourites" option you can nominate which eco and earth friendly businesses you would love a wedding gift from, so many choices.
"Holiday at home" we hear it more and more these days. Why don't we? So many beautiful destinations and in some cases they are just around the corner, more time to relax on the beach or wander through the rainforest.
Eco tourism in Australia and New Zealand are becoming more and more popular. No longer do we have to camp in tents and wash in the river to minimize our impact on the environment. Now we have 5 star resorts dedicated to minimizing our impact on the environment, safari style bungalows, massage, saunas, organic foods and magnificent views.
Relax and breathe a sigh of relief and know that mother nature breathes with you.
If you have always dreamed of taking that trip overseas for your honeymoon and just cant bear the thought of giving it up, dont stress. There are many eco and earth friendly options for your overseas holiday, just remember to consider your carbon output and do your best to offsett as much as you can.