July 11, 2013

Eco-Friendly Wedding Tips

When planning your wedding, being true to your values is important. Celebrating your union while being kind to the environment is something that more couples are conscious about. Planning an eco-friendly wedding is easier than one may think. There are many great resources available on the topic, and all you have to do is search "eco-friendly wedding" on the Internet. There are also lots of great books and magazine articles dedicated to the topic.

The desire the have an eco-friendly wedding may in part or in whole stem from your existing lifestyle. It is also a way that couples feel they can be more environmentally responsible, even if it is with a few elements. So if you want to do a little or a lot, there are many ways you can have a sustainable wedding. You do not have to be 100% eco-friendly, the idea is that every little bit counts and to find ways of honouring the principle of reduce, reuse, recycle.

Here are some ideas on how you can have an eco-friendly wedding:
  1. Check your local listings for eco-friendly vendors.
  2. Ask your jeweller about recycled gold or consider melting old rings from family members and friends and creating new meaningful pieces. You may even want to consider using a family vintage ring as is.
  3. Inquire about the stones in your jewellery, and confirm that they have been mined without conflict.
  4. Save on resources by having a small, intimate wedding ceremony and reception.
  5. Avoid disposable or one-use items.
  6. Use materials made of recycled materials, for example eco-friendly paper for your wedding invitations that are hand calligraphed.
  7. Have wedding stationary printed with vegetable-based inks.
  8. Consider having wedding attire made from organic materials or sustainable fabrics.
  9. Consider wearing a vintage gown.
  10. Select clothing for yourself and your wedding party that can be reused.
  11. Use flowers that are in season and available locally.
  12. Consider food that is organically gown and/or grown locally.
  13. Have your ceremony and/or reception in a park, botanical garden, or home garden and take advantage of the natural decor.
  14. Consider giving edible or usable wedding favours.
  15. A donation to a charitable cause is also a great alternative to favours.
  16. Create a wedding website or blog to share your wedding details and avoid the use of paper.
  17. Use a large chalkboard that creatively displays the day's events instead of printing programs.
  18. Choose a wedding venue that is close to a majority of your guest and reduce the carbon footprint.
  19. Donate your flowers to a local nursing home or charity at the end of your reception.
  20. When selecting where to go for your honeymoon, consider an "earth-friendly" destination, and find positive ways that you can add benefit to the local economy of where you are visiting.
With the average wedding costing from $20,000 to $30,000 in Canada, there are many ways to be sustainable and not go over budget. Ask bridal vendors about their environmental policy and practices and confirm if they are in-line with your own values. Ask friends and family members for their suggestions and cooperation in helping you make your wedding eco-friendly.

Do you have suggestions on how to plan an eco-friendly wedding?

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Yvette-Michelle Cottle Darby | Editor-in-Chief and Founder
Yvette-Michelle is a bridal consultant and wedding coordinator in Greater Toronto, Barrie, and surrounding areas. With over twenty years of experience, crafty know-how, and a flare for style, she provides her clients with expert advice and the help they need to transform their creative wedding dreams into reality.