So as you have probably gathered by now I like to do my bit for the environment, mostly based around buying junk and saving cake from going to waste! I’ve been this way since my teenage years so when it came to planning our wedding The Husband was not in the least bit surprised to hear the question “So how do you feel about having an eco-wedding my dear?” Needless to say he thought it was a great idea and expected nothing less!
Now if you had attended our wedding you would never have thought it was any different from any other wedding, and that’s the great thing about eco-weddings, you don’t have to scrimp on things, you just have to think a little outside the box and you can have everything you want but without the guilty conscience!
There are many ways to green up your wedding and the following are some of the things we did:
- Invitations were printed on recycled paper and card and guests were encouraged to respond via e-mail. Those that did respond by post got into the recycling spirit, one even recycled part of the invite to make a card!
- All food at the wedding was locally sourced, thereby reducing food miles and supporting the local economy
- We had a cream tea and then later a hog roast. There was no need for a full sit down meal, I find I am always over-fed at weddings and there is always a lot of food left over so we decided to scale it down and by doing so we also saved water by reducing the amount of washing up required!
- Our napkins were kindly made by my now mother-in-law (otherwise known as the Mothership or Mumatron and even sometimes Mummy2) from vintage materials. I really have a pet hate of paper napkins!
- Any left over food and scraps from preparation were composted on site and all recyclables we recycled via the venues recycling collection.
- Favours were given in the form of flower decorations from the wedding itself and all were composted once past their best.
- Guests were asked to car-share to the venue and seeing as the ceremony and reception were held at the same place there was no un-necessary movements between venues.
- The Husbands suit was just £2.50 from a Charity shop, he had to have the shoulders narrowed but we got a local tailor to do this, again supporting local business.
- The rest of the wedding party had a hand in choosing their outfits to ensure they would feel happy wearing them again, meaning they didn’t just become a once worn item banished to the depths of the wardrobe after the event.
- Instead of having a conventional guest-list we created a honeymoon gift list. This not only helped us finance our honeymoon but also reduced the number of material items bought and the packaging associated with such items. The Husband and I already had all the household items we needed and thought it would be nice to receive experiences and memories from our friends and families.
- Although we did indeed take a flight for our honeymoon we off-set our carbon emissions, donating money to a rainforest project.
Now there is one area where I still wish I could have made more of a difference. Wedding dresses are very extravagant, in cost and resources used and I really wanted to have a vintage wedding dress, not just for environmental reasons but because they are so elegant. I only got married in 2006 but back then eco-weddings and vintage wedding dresses just weren’t the thing and I found it very difficult indeed to find a vintage wedding dress. Since then it seems a huge industry has built up and there are hundreds of places to source vintage gowns now. I bought a new one in the end, it was beautiful and when I tried it on for the first time in the shop it felt like it had been made for me, even though I was pinned into a size 18! (I tell you the girl that pinned me in was tiny, she must have had the strength of 10 men to get a size 18 dress to look so good on a size 8/10 frame!)
I still have my wedding dress, I couldn’t bear to part with it, and although I am not having children, and don’t have anyone to pass it on to, I like to look at it occasionally and try it on. I am sure one day I will give it away, or sell it, or donate it, or even lend it (actually I have lent it once already, for a photo shoot, so you could say it has been re-used!) but for now it brings me happiness every time I look at it. My friend J9 has a great tradition, she wears her wedding dress on her anniversary every year, hw fantastic, not only does she get to wear her dress every year but it also helps her keep trim!
I am thinking of having a brides and grooms party on our next anniversary and inviting all our friends to wear wedding dresses and suits and anyone that isn’t married yet can wear any old bridesmaid dresses or outfits they have worn to other weddings. I can’t wait!
So there you have it, if you have reached the end I hope you have enjoyed it, and if you are getting married soon I hope it has inspired you to make even just a little difference with the choices you make.
(3am Post festivities hoody-wearing!)