5 Tips For An Eco-Friendly Wedding
In all the excitement of planning your once-in-a-lifetime experience, we tend to overlook the impact a wedding has on the environment. Whether it be a destination wedding or saying ‘I DO” in your home garden, now more than ever is being sustainable and environmental conscious important. It’s going to take all of us, making those small, changes to preserve the world as we know it.
Planning an eco-friendly wedding seems difficult, but it can be an incredibly creative and a purposeful process. Fine Art Curation member By Bhavika Photography is here to help! Whether you are nature lover like Bhavika or want to ensure that future generations have a planet to call home, these are some tips to help you plan your eco-friendly wedding as you say, ‘I Do”.
Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or staying local, the carbon footprint of the journey is a concern. Encouraging group travel can help lessen the carbon footprint. Arranging transportation, such as hiring a vehicle to take guests from one location to another at your destination or recommend your guests carpool on the day, will also help eliminate individual trips and decrease the number of vehicles being used.
PICK AN ECO-FRIENDLY AND SUSTAINABLE VENUE AND LET NATURE DO THE DECORATING
Seek out venues that prioritise sustainability; whether you choose a destination or local venue, there are many beautiful venues that offer-eco-luxury lodging and experiences. From a farm-to-table approach or off-grid power usage, or e-cruiser safaris and e-boat rides, eco-friendly wedding venues can help create a positive environmental impact and deliver a luxury experience. Even in Africa, can you find luxury lodges who take their sustainability efforts further by protecting wildlife and preserving the land is a core component of why lodges and reserves exist.
To take it a step further, find a beautiful venue that requires little to no décor to be turned into your ideal location to celebrate, like an Art Museum or a venue with a beautiful natural scenic backdrop filled with lush greenery and florals like a vineyard to set the tone for an eco-friendly outdoor wedding. This way you can minimize the amount of décor items that need to be transported or even wasted and a bonus of saving cost. There is no doubt that fresh florals always look amazing. But consider having potted flowers such as orchids, spray roses, or plants, or even herbs and trees that can be reused at home, on the patio or transplanted into the garden after the event. After sunset, to help save on electricity, you can add candles to bring in ambient lighting and if I might say so myself, they make for amazing photographs!
RESEARCH, RENT AND RECYCLE
Source vendors with the Earth in mind. Be it stationery, flowers, bridal fashion, jewellery...the smallest details can have the biggest impact. From wedding planners, to caterers, stationers and even photographers, there are many wedding vendors that are working together to stay green. To suggest a few ideas:
Find a stationer that can uses recycled paper or can create a plantable invitation suit for your outdoor wedding and can be planted by your guests after the festivities are over.
If you opt for cut flowers, choose seasonal blooms that are grown locally. There are many sustainable local florists who work with small farms or grow flowers themselves, reducing the need to transport flowers. Once the event is over, some florist will even compost the greens. Be sure to ask about the options. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
When it comes to a grand exit, think local, seasonal floral petals, like lavender instead of confetti. Flowers are biodegradable and can add a wonderful splash of colour to any event.
Look for organic and biodynamic bottling to support environmentally conscious producers who focus on being earth-friendly in vineyards and winery. The single-serve packaging creates more waste, so consider pouring from bigger glass bottles like magnums that you can be easily recycled.
Rent where you can - The simple elegance of beautiful stemware, China plates, linen or stainless- steel straw drinks can simply elevate the elegance of an event. And an added bonus is that it reduces landfill wastes with such things as paper plates or plastic glasses.
Find a photographer that provides you with albums that are sustainably sourced. As photographers, we continue to help counteract the carbon footprint by supporting and donating to organisations that are at the forefront of environmental change by planting trees for every wedding we photograph in places that need it the most though my passion project The Wild Legacy by Bhavika.
IT’S THOUGHT THAT COUNTS! GIFT WITH THE EARTH IN MIND
Register for items that support your mission and keep sustainability top of mind. (Stainless steel straws to silicone cupcake liners or even metal teabags for example are great reusable gift for your new home). If you already have a home together, opted for donating to a charity that has environmental sustainability at heart.
Gift guests a glass water bottle over a plastic water bottle and for snacks, fill glass jars with nibbles such as nuts etc. that guests can take home in a fabric tote (instead of a plastic or paper bag). Snacks can be sourced locally from farmer’s markets to help sustain local regions.
Another creative idea is donating to non-profit organizations that encourage positive environmental impact such as planting trees or creating renewable energy. In lieu of favours, you may host your own fundraiser to plant trees through non-profit organizations or ask your guests to donate to earth charities such as One Tree Planted or 1% for the Planet. You could even ask guests to donate to the conservation efforts of your chosen eco-lodge wedding venue!
ACCESSORIZE IN VOGUE/ VINTAGE
Shop at stores that support environmental initiatives. Or consider proposing with estate jewellery that can form part of your legacy or even shop at a jeweller who may fit your ring with a new sustainably sourced diamond or stone.
For your attire, consider recycling a vintage gown or suit or even items that has been passed down as heirlooms. Alternatively, source a bridal designer who can custom make your dream wedding gown or suit with a zero-waste ethos in mind.
As Margaret Mead so wisely said, “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”