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Planning an Eco-Friendly Wedding

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Blog Post and Photos by Leah Deitz & David’s Bridal

Weddings are a symbolic time to celebrate a couple’s union. However, this celebration does not need to be at the expense of the environment. Today’s modern couples are making strides and designing weddings that suit their lifestyle—and their values. As the eco-friendly wedding increases in popularity, so do the options. SCGH covers some key planning considerations, so couples can feel good about entering marital bliss with a beautiful, memorable, and environmentally responsible celebration.

The Location
First things first: Location, location, location. This commonly used expression holds true for eco-friendly weddings as well as real estate. When it comes to planning your big day, location is a key consideration.

According to The Green Guide, the main focus of an eco-friendly wedding is to conserve both electricity and water; large hotels and resorts often use a considerable amount of both. Therefore, choose either an outside location or an indoor facility that donates a portion of the deposit towards a charity—like many art museums and theatres.

Another consideration is driving—or even flying—distance for your guests. Extended travel ups the eco-impact through the burning of fossil fuels. Try to choose a location that’s close to the vast majority of guests, and you’ll be saving the environment by saving fuel!

The Rings
Rings are the ultimate symbol of commitment, and it goes without saying that your choice of bling has a major environmental impact. There is no denying that the diamond trade is riddled with controversy. This commonly used symbol of marital bliss has also come to represent revolution and bloodshed as the market grows more and more competitive. For this reason, websites such as Inhabit.com suggest that couples should reflect on the possibility of seeking out a “conflict free” diamond or going with another gem altogether.

Increasing numbers of modern brides are opting for alternative stones, as well as utilizing recycled jewelry to create their own rings. Using pieces from the couple’s family allows for the most eco-friendly option (as well as perhaps the most sentimental). If the design isn’t quite what is desired, couples can have metals melted to create new wedding bands.

“Custom pieces are a great way to incorporate personality and heritage into your wedding,” says Daniel Eaves, Master Jeweler for Dansfield Jewelers in Richmond, Virginia. Many small jewelers can utilize old jewelry to create something entirely unique for both the bride and groom. This saves on new resources while allowing the couple to have more traditional wedding rings.

The Dress
No matter how eco-conscious you are, every bride wants and deserves a beautiful dress. And that dress need not come at the expense of the earth. National Geographic explains that many retailers now offer dresses made from sustainable materials such as silk, organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo. However, if a crisp white dress is what you are truly after, shop around for the vintage dress of your dreams. Other ways to green your dress includes opting for a dress that can be worn more than once, or donate it after your big day.

The Invitations
One of the biggest ways a couple sets the tone for their upcoming wedding is through the invitations. The paper, style, font, and theme tell the guest what kind of wedding to expect. Therefore, a green wedding must have environmentally conscious invitations.

This doesn’t mean that you have to make your own invites from grass and pressed flowers. Well known retailers such as David’s Bridal offer wedding invitations made from recycled and eco-friendly materials. If you want to be rid of paper entirely, Paperless Post enables you to craft and send email-based invitations to guests.

The Flowers
When it comes to flower arrangements for the eco-friendly wedding, the possibilities are endless.  Today’s modern bride can choose from local wildflowers that don’t have to be shipped overseas, or opt to feature organically raised blooms. Other options include fruit and fruit blossoms, as well as even more unique paper or recycled art bouquets. Florists can even fashion the bouquet with cuttings that can be rooted after the ceremony and grown into houseplants for the new couple to enjoy for years to come.

The Honeymoon
Finally, once all the festivities are over, the happy couple embarks on their honeymoon! While there are plenty of green resorts in exotic locations, newlyweds can lessen their carbon footprint by vacationing close to home.

Wherever you decide to stay, always inquire about what specific practices your hotel is taking to limit their impact on the environment. Asking these questions lets businesses know that protecting the natural world is important to their customers, and that any additional measures they take will be rewarded.

To a life of love, happiness, and natural beauty—happy wedding planning!

For related articles, see:
Green Wedding Guide
Send the Write Message
The Natural Beauty

© 2013 SCGH, LLC.



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