Planning a wedding is one of the most exhilarating and stressful things you’ll likely ever do in your life. From hiring the perfect event coordinator, deciding on the venue, and choosing your favorite of all the ladies wedding rings you’ll view — it can be a lot. Nowadays, adding to the list of things many brides and grooms want as part of their wedding ensures it’s done as ethically as possible. While your wedding planner can help you nail down the details of this, there are some critical areas you want to keep in mind when making mindful choices for your big day. Let’s dive into some important aspects of your wedding that are easy to make greener decisions.
Consider the Decorations
One of many people’s favorite things to plan when it comes to their wedding day is how they’re going to decorate the venue. Some brides are just as concerned about the decorations as their dress and the perfect hairstyle. But, when considering decorations go with the more sustainable decor. You want to use either natural garlands, which can be crafted by your local florist and easy to order as they’re doing your bouquet, or you want to use items that can be reused. Think high-end ribbons that can be utilized for many purposes after the wedding. Since natural aesthetics are more popular now than ever, using literal “green” decorations is your most ethical choice by far.
What Will You Eat?
What is served at a wedding is obviously up to the people getting married, but more and more people are going plant-based when it comes to their wedding reception fare. No matter what you decide to order from your caterer, though, it’s without question that if you want an earth-conscious wedding, you want to use reusable plates, silverware, cups, and beyond. While your reception’s china can easily be rented from your caterer, you want to avoid single-serve anything. And, if you do decide to go the route of single-serve, show your guests and the planet you care about by using sustainable choices like bamboo or recycled products.
What About the Bling?
They say “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” and with good reason! Diamonds have historically been considered one of the earth’s most precious stones, but at what cost? If you decide to go the route of a naturally mined diamond, don’t beat yourself up about it. But, if you have yet to purchase your engagement ring, it’s worth considering either a diamond alternative like Morganite or Moissanite or even a lab-grown diamond. More about natural vs lab grown diamonds here. These days, there are even more options than ever for non-traditional engagement rings, including pearl and semi-precious gemstones. It’s worth considering a more ethically sourced stone for your engagement ring.
Your Reception Favors
You don’t have to be a minimalist to decide to forgo reception favors, and many people go that route — and guests hardly notice! Think about all the wedding reception souvenirs you’ve received over the years? Do you still have them, or were they likely donated? If you must go the route of giving your guests a parting gift for the party, try something consumable. A small stash of the cliche Jordan almonds is always a hit. Additionally, you could do a keepsake for each guest if it’s within the budget, and monogrammed napkins at each place setting is a great idea. The conscious decision to either give no favor, or one they’ll use is the right one.
The Farewell Fanfare
For many people attending the wedding and reception, one of the most fun parts of the evening is watching the happy couple exit the reception. Often there is rice thrown, sparklers lit, confetti tossed… and herein lies somewhat of an ethical dilemma. While the uncooked rice could be a danger to wildlife the next day, or the confetti is possibly littering, you still want to keep things clean. So, sparklers are an excellent choice as they can easily be collected and disposed of. If you don’t like to contribute waste to the landfill through used sparklers, you could have guests light candles and hold them and then take the candles home with them. Another option is throwing flower petals. You can get creative here while staying eco-friendly.
Your wedding day is one you’ll never forget, and if you’re like many people, you want to do your part to help our climate issues, even on your big day. So, utilizing the tips mentioned above will ensure you have an ethical wedding while at the same time enjoying your big day. Make sure your wedding is the wedding of your dreams, though. Remember, moderation is key to everything in life, so be mindful where you can but don’t sacrifice your dreams! Congratulations on your upcoming big day!