Weddings are meant to be one of the happiest days of your life because it heralds the start of a new chapter together. However, many brides find the build-up to their big day incredibly stressful. In today's modern world, thepressure put upon the happy couple can have an effect that taints what should be an exciting time! Tight budgets, unwelcome advice or expectations – even the happy couple can find themselves knocking heads and disagreeing over what is usually a minor detail.
Then there is you, the environmentally conscious bride or groom. And you are faced with another thought that creeps into your mind: what kind of impact will our wedding have on the environment? If you’re already environmentally conscious in your day-to-day life, then why should your wedding day be any different? Weddings have the potential to have a significant environmental impact, and so thinking of ways to have an environmentally friendly affair is definitely worth considering. You may already have made certain decisions, either as a couple or on your own which may affect this. For example, many brides are now purchasing their jewelry in more ethical ways, such as vintage engagement rings or choosing sustainably sourced stones from reputable sellers.
Many couples are also looking for more sustainable and compostable dinnerware options and have caught the eye of the aesthetically pleasing palm leaf plates.
Other couples are also choosing to scale back on their guest list to help reduce travel emissions (as well as costs!). Whether it’s international or domestic, there’s usually some form of travel involved which will soon start to rack up those miles.
Making even one ethical decision will reduce the CO2 footprint of your special day, however today we’re looking at how you can green your wedding from start to finish. So before you say ‘I Do’, have a read through our top 3 tips and get planning that planet-friendly wedding!
Figuring out all the items you need to buy for your special day can be a daunting task. From figuring out which eco-friendly dinnerware such as palm leaf plates to purchase to the types of flowers and decor you will use, the list of items that need to be purchased for your wedding can be overwhelming. When you think of your wedding party, there will inevitably be a lot of new clothing, many with high price tags! For some it stops at the Bride and Groom, for others, it can include Bridesmaids, Maid of Honor, Best Man, Flower Boys/Girls, Ring Bearer, Mother/Father of Bride / Groom...the list goes on and on! Although this can be a bit overwhelming, we have a few hints and tips to not just reduce this highly polluting industry but to also keep it wallet friendly!
Fear not, we’re not going to suggest you walk down the aisle in a hessian sack (it would make a brilliant statement!) but simply opting for organic natural fabrics, knowing where it was produced and if they pay their workers a living wage is a good starting point.
Eco-conscious brides are now hunting for their sustainable wedding outfits from Vintage shops and thrift stores or the new favorite – rental stores! All of which can be found in your local towns and cities – or online! If you’re based in Los Angeles, you can shop online and pick up the rental dress of your dreams at the Dress Outlet. Las Vegas shoppers can get both gowns and tuxedos from Creative Bridal Wear.
Instead of purchasing those 6 identical lilac bridesmaid dresses that will inevitably end up at the back of the closet, or worse still...a landfill, why don’t you give Team Bride just one rule instead? For example, ask that they only buy (or better yet, re-wear) dresses in your favorite shade of blue. This gives them free rein to choose something that they truly love, meaning it will get more than one wear as they reach for it time and time again. They’ll love the freedom of choosing something themselves, which flatters their shape and suits their own budget. This really is a win/win for everyone concerned.
With ‘rent a dress’ becoming a popular way to freshen up your wardrobe for a fraction of the price and renting suits becoming just as popular, the wave of sustainable clothing options is only going to grow larger – especially for those who live in large cities and are NOT Carrie Bradshaw. We can dream - who evenhasroom to store voluminous wedding dresses?!
At least you have your ‘something borrowed’ sorted!
When it comes to weddings and tableware, it can be hard to find a sustainable tableware solution that strikes that perfect balance between ethical and well...nice. Between bamboo plates, bagasse, biodegradable paper plates and palm leaf plates something the choice can be overwhelming. Not to be too blunt, but many of the options out there just aren’t suitable for weddings. Whilst we applaud them for bringing something to the eco-friendly table (pun intended), when it comes to your wedding, you want something that looks stylish and has a relaxed aesthetic. Especially when the photographer takes photos of the dining area. Yes, the candles were beautiful and the seasonal flowers looked stunning but the plates left something to be desired.
When you want something beautiful but also blends nicely with the décor, Chic Leaf’s palm leaf plates are perfect for weddings and any celebration whether low key or upmarket. Their rustic charm appeals to those who especially love the natural wood grain finish that these leaves naturally develop.
No trees are destroyed and not even the palm leaves pulled or harvested from the trees. Instead a collection method uses only leaves dropped naturally from the Areca Palm Trees thus providing a true sustainable product even without harming local eco-systems. The trees are left to grow which creates a continuous supply of leaves.
Where non-disposable plates create extra landfill and clog up waste-sites, Chic Leaf’s range of plates, bowls and trays are completely biodegradable and can be composted along with your garden and kitchen produce waste. It is the perfect tableware solution for your eco-conscious wedding.
Wedding invitations are a big business. You only need to turn to high-end stationers and to online marketplaces like Etsy to see how business is booming. That’s great, but what about the effect that this has on the environment? It’s so important for today’s couples to think about the carbon footprint of their special day. Especially when there are so many greener alternatives. Instead of traditional paper invitations, why not send an evite such as Paperless Post? With hundreds of designs to choose from, you’ll be able to kick off your wedding immediately without waiting for samples or hoping someone understands your bridal color palette! Can we also talk about how much you’ll save on printing and postage costs! Designing something together is a lot of fun (and extra special!) and much more personal than having a stranger organize a key element of your day.
On the day itself, instead of having individual paper menus, why not use a chalkboard so guests know what will be served...the same goes for programs. If you really need something printed, consider having just one menu or order of service per table. Paper stock is also important. Paper with a glossy finish can be non-recyclable and can contain harmful elements to the environment.
If you’re set on sending paper invitations, another unique and environmentally friendly solution is to use the increasingly popular seeded paper. There is a limitation on how many times paper can be recycled but seeded paper will compost away to nothing and leave zero traces behind (apart from those beautiful flowers for your pollinators). You can even find herb and vegetable seed paper – you never know, your own wedding invitation may very well kick start that hobby or passion for gardening for some of your guests!
Paper usage also extends to single use party favors, bunting, napkins and tablecloths. You can even request that any items bought for you on your gift list not be wrapped. There are many ways to cut back on paper or eliminate it completely so we hope we have inspired you to carry on the trend. Combining all of these ideas with your palm leaf dinnerware, you are already three steps ahead in planning your sustainable wedding day.
Whilst weddings can indeed be a beautiful event, the aftermath and the impact of our decisions and choices can have a not-so-pretty side that becomes more transparent as time goes on. Like most brides, if you’re watching your spending and have a strict budget, you’re probably already thinking about ways to reduce your waste aligning your planning with a greener event. It can be as simple as asking your caterer to put a non-waste clause into their contract and checking they only use eco-friendly cleaning products on sustainable dinnerware options, such as palm leaf plates. Insist on leftover food given to a local food bank or have it used for compost.
Inviting others to share in your eco-friendly wedding can also have a knock on effect with other couples in attendance. You never know who you’ve just inspired to plan their greener nuptials next. Spread the eco-friendly message about the importance of sustainability and encourage others to do the same. You could even give your guests an option to donate in your new name to an environmental charity that’s close to your hearts.
So we hope these three tips have inspired you to have a more eco conscious wedding and have left you with the thought that instead of your ‘something blue’, how about your wedding being your ‘something green’.