An eco-wedding does not have to be about uninspiring food, guests piling into mini vans and plastic flowers decorating the wedding venue. In fact, more and more couples are realising the benefits of making their big day environmentally friendly and the savings that can be had.
Of course, there are many elements to planning a ceremony and there may be some that the bride and groom do not want to compromise on, but even a small effort can make a difference and it is surprisingly easy to introduce a touch of eco-chic to the occasion.
Plus, with the global focus on the environment and climate change constantly increasing, plenty of wedding experts are willing to embrace the idea and do as much as they can for the cause.
Just how eco-friendly you go is your choice. Some couples may feel quite passionately about the idea and seek out boutiques that create beautiful wedding dresses made from hemp and other environmentally sound fabrics.
Similarly, USA Today points out that bouquets made from organic flowers are an easy way to have fresh blooms at a wedding without being too wasteful.
However, Mireya Navarro, a reporter for the New York Times and author of Green Wedding, states that it can be easy to get bogged down with the details.
“The whole point of looking for an environmentally friendly alternative is to cut down on pollution and carbon dioxide emissions,” she says. “It is not a checklist as much as it is a mind-set.”
Instead of going to extremes, Ms Navarro explains that having an eco-chic wedding can be as simple as borrowing a wedding dress or wearing a second-hand gown, choosing a nearby venue and serving local produce at the reception.
Likewise, keeping the guest list to a minimum will also help to reduce the carbon footprint of the occasion, without making sacrifices in other areas.
Another way to hold an eco-friendly wedding is to keep recycling in mind — and we don’t just mean putting glass and plastic bottles in the correct bin at the end of the day.
Think about how other aspects of the occasion can be reused more than once — such as the floral arrangements.
Ariana Lambert Smeraldo, owner of Los Angeles organic flower shop Lily Lodge, explains to PhillyBurbs that the blooms used to decorate the wedding venue can then be transferred to the reception room, while smaller bunches can be given as gifts.
“I personally love doing potted jasmine, azaleas and camellia trees when they are bloom,” she explains.
Another option is to consider rental — an idea that applies to everything from the bride and groom’s outfits to the furniture, cutlery and glasses used at the celebration after the ceremony. If this choice is ever available it is an easy route to eco-chic.
What is more, all this is often cheaper than buying brand new, which can help the newlyweds’ bank balance as well as the planet.