How green is your wedding?
No, we are not talking about a green colour scheme.
What sort of an impact is your wedding having on the environment?
If every couple includes one or two eco friendly options into their wedding, it will go a long way towards helping out the environment. Under the banner “eco friendly” we are including being carbon neutral, re-using, recycling, organic, supporting NZ businesses and using sustainable products.
Eco friendly wedding tips:
- Choose a venue that has a good recycling program and that sources local suppliers.
- Choose a venue that is close to home, that way you will be cutting down on the distance that you and your guests will need to travel to get to the venue and thereby reducing your carbon footprint.
- Hold all events at the the same venue.
- Choose a caterer that sources seasonal, local ingredients from local growers, that way you are supporting New Zealand producers and again reducing your carbon footprint.
- Ensure that fish and other protein is not on any endangered lists.
- Choose local and or organic wines and beers.
- Make sure waste from packaging and left over food is recycled.
- Ensure your flowers are in season and are grown locally.
- Use native UK flowers and greenery.
- Use potted plants as centrepieces and then you can use them in your garden.
- Choose a baker that supports local suppliers and uses organic ingredients.
- Encourage guests to car-pool to your wedding.
- Hire a bus to transport your guests to the wedding – this can be a great idea if your venue is out of town.
- If possible, encourage your guests to use public transport to your wedding – you could even arrive by bus! That would definitely make a statement!
- If you do hire cars to take you and your bridal party to the wedding, choose hybrid options.
- Have you considered arriving on a bike?
- Choose a photographer who uses rechargeable batteries.
- Choose a photographer who has albums printed in NZ.
- Email invitations to your guests instead of posting out invitations.
- Choose recycled paper to print your invitations and thank-you notes on.
- “Save the Date” invitations can be video’d & emailed to guests.
- Give guests a native plant which they can plant at home.
- Flower seeds are another great favour option.
- By using a hiring company you are effectively re-using – this can include tables, chairs, tablecloths, chair covers, centrepieces, etc.
Bridal gowns & bridesmaid dresses:
- Opt for a pre-loved wedding dress or bridesmaid dresses.
- If you are using a local dressmaker, check whether material can be locally sourced.
- For your jewellery, choose pieces that have been made locally, especially if they are from a community project operation.
- Search for jewellery and shoes at your local op-shop, that way you are re-using and supporting a local charity.
- The groom and groomsmen can hire their suits, this way they are being re-used.
- If you are buying a suit, source a NZ manufacturer.
- Search local op-shops for suits, waistcoats and ties, again not only are you re-using, but also supporting a local charity.
- You can nominate a charity of your choice and ask guests to make a donation to that charity, instead of giving you a wedding gift.
- Use an online registry and by experiences rather than material gifts or offer Carbon offset contributions.
Other green wedding ideas:
- Plant a tree as part of your wedding ceremony – usually during or directly after an outdoor ceremony, to symbolise the putting down of roots and the care and attention a sapling requires, just like a marriage, before it can grow and flourish. (Based loosely on the Scandinavian tradition of planting an evergreen near the front door of the bridal couple’s home as an investment in life and where the longevity of the evergreen was thought to give strength to the marriage and symbolize its own longevity).
- Donate items that are left over from your wedding to op shops (e.g. wedding dress, vases, etc).
- Tell your guests about the eco friendly initiatives you have included in your wedding to raise awareness.