Green Weddings, How to Help the Environment and Hold Your Own Environmentally Friendly Green Wedding

Background
The Philosophy of Green Weddings
Wedding Gowns and Clothing
Gold and Jewellery
Food, Drinks and Catering
Locations and Travel
Stationery and Invitations
Flowers and Decorations
Gifts
Photography
Honeymoon

Background

As the world becomes increasingly environmentally aware brides and grooms are responding by walking their wedding celebrations as green as possible. This article examines 'Green Weddings', also known as ' Natural Weddings' and looks at how you can hold your own green wedding.

The Philosophy of Green Weddings

Most weddings by their very nature use a vast array of resources and generate large amounts of waste. Green weddings are focussed on using as little resources as possible, recycling, reducing the carbon footprint of the wedding and minimising waste. The premise behind weddings tends to be that the couple are joining together for life as a prelude to having children. If that next generation of children are to inherit a healthy earth, a good place to begin environmentally sustainable practices is with the wedding itself.

Wedding Gowns and Clothing

Wedding gowns, suits and other garments worn at a wedding are typically never worn again. There are numerous ways the environmental impact of clothing can be lessened for a wedding:

  • Consider using the dress of your mother or grandmother. If the style does not suit a designer can make a new dress using the same fabric.
  • If using a new dress consider using natural fabrics like cotton, linen, silk and hemp - particularly when these fabrics come from organic and ethical sources.
  • Hiring suits and dresses is another way to lessen the enviromental impact of clothing as they will be used multiple times across the lifetime of the garment.
  • Sell your dress to another bride so she can use it.

Gold and Jewellery

The mining of gold, diamonds and other precious gems often has a large, but hidden impact on people and the environment. Gold mining is responsible for land degradation and toxic contamination. The mining of diamonds, particularly ' blood diamonds' is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, many of them children. Green alternatives for wedding jewellery include:

  • Use family heirloom or antique jewellery. Wear it 'as is' or have the item redesigned and remade using the existing gold and diamonds.
  • Source ethically mined gems for your jewellery

Food, Drinks and Catering

The food and drinks at a wedding are expensive and often excessive but there are numerous ways to reduce the environmental impact:

  • Use locally grown food
  • Reduce waste by not overcatering. Donate any excess food to a charity group.
  • Serve local beer and wine and ensure drinks are served in reusable glassware

Locations and Travel

Vehicle and jet emissions contribute heavily to air pollution and are a consideration for a green wedding. Depending on where you wedding is held a percentage of your guests are likely to be travelling considerable distances to attend.

  • Minimise travel by holding your ceremony and reception in the same place
  • Select venues that are environmentally friendly
  • Use a bus to transport guests or have them car pool
  • Choose fewer or fuel efficient wedding cars

Stationery and Invitations

Stationery, invitations and other printed material should be minimised and use recycled paper. Keep guests informed of accommodation options, etc by using websites or Facebook rather than by printing material for them.

Flowers and Decorations

Flowers and decorations at weddings are often used once only. Decorations can be hired and plants used in place of flower arrangements. Guests can be asked to take the plants home with them for planting in their garden. Use locally sourced and grown flowers for your bouquet.

Gifts

Use a gift registry to eliminate being given gifts you don't want or need. Consider asking for cash so you can buy what you like, or even request donations to a charity.

Photography

While your wedding photography might not spring to mind as an area where you could have a greener wedding, your photos could generate a great degree of waste. Processing of film and printing of images uses a cocktail of chemicals and other resouces. Reduce the environmental impact of your wedding photos by ensuring your photographer uses digital equipment with rechargeable batteries, use digital proofs and only print the images you need.

Honeymoon

Even your honeymoon can be environmentally friendly. For a green honeymoon consider:

  • Ecotourism
  • Offsetting the carbon emissions of your flights
  • An adventurous, volunteering honeymoon
  • Honeymoon close to home

Source: AZoCleantech

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