It happened. You’re engaged! Now what? The first thing you’ll want to think about is what kind of wedding you’re having. Will it be a formal party, a more casual affair, what about a themed wedding? What about incorporating your eco-beliefs into that theme? Today’s weddings are less about tradition than ever before. Couples are free to decide what’s right for them. I’m not suggesting you throw away all tradition but embrace your beliefs and incorporate them into the planning.
Things you’ll need to think about…
Wedding Size and Transportation
Keeping the party small helps the event feel more intimate and it’s eco-friendly too. Arrange for a shuttle service to transport your groups. Not only does it reduce your worries and need for designated drivers, it also lowers your carbon footprint.
Consider the environmental ethics of the venue you select. Why not investigate your local botanical garden? Toronto Botanical Garden has a LEED certified building and uses funds raised, including those from facility rentals, to give back to the environment through education and outreach.
When it comes to food, I recommend using a caterer and baker who uses local, organic ingredients and is conscious of the environment. Toronto Botanical Garden has a great list of eco-conscious caterers.
Today’s weddings have brides and grooms, brides and brides, grooms and grooms, and in case you haven’t heard, green is the new white. Greening your wedding can be simple. If you’re thinking about eco-friendly clothing, what about vintage? Think you’d prefer a new outfit? How about using an eco-friendly fabric like hemp or bamboo, or a vintage fabric? Following the trend of less is more, renting your wedding attire is a great option. For years men have been renting tuxedos and kilts. Did you know there are similar services for women to rent fabulous dresses? My personal favourite is Rent Frock Repeat but there are many others.
Think tree-free papers, recycled papers or omit the paper entirely and use an online invitation service such as rsvpify.com to avoid paper and mailing costs.
Flowers and Party Favours
To keep things as ecological as possible buy local, buy in season, have the ceremony outside and use nature as your backdrop. For the reception have larger tables reducing the number of floral centrepieces or consider using potted plants such as orchids as the centrepieces.
For your wedding favours think about decorated tree seedlings or seed infused papers. Your guests can give back to the environment. I was recently at a wedding and the favour was pure Canadian maple syrup. Delicious!
Think about donating 3-5% of your budget towards efforts that sustain our environment — planting of trees, saving wildlife, environmental protection, or environmental education. It’s a great way to give back and to start your life as a newly married couple.