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How to celebrate your big day while minimizing your impact on the planet

With growing awareness of the environmental effects of excess waste and pollution, it’s no wonder that many of us are pursuing a more sustainable way of living. Naturally, this lifestyle transformation has begun to carry over to weddings as well, and many eco-conscious couples are looking for new and unique ways to make their celebration of love a little more green.

As an added bonus, going green helps you stick to your budget by trimming out excessive waste, which we think is good karma for keeping the earth clean. Here are a few ideas on how to save both the earth and your pocketbook from succumbing to the real cost of weddings.

Stationery

Let us be the first to say it: E-invites are not shameful. Protecting the earth we all share is a noble cause! E-invites save couples an expense and keep excess paper out of landfills, especially those pretty glossy/pearly invitations that can’t be recycled easily. If paper invitations are a must-have for you, many vendors now offer wood as well as kraft and recycled paper invitations, RSVPs and thank-you cards.

Jewellery

As we all know, mining ores and precious stones such as gold and diamonds often results in major environmental devastation. Conscious couples are choosing to opt out altogether, hiring local artisans to design one-of-a-kind pieces using metals and gems recycled from old jewellery. These include hair pieces, necklaces, bracelets and, of course, wedding bands. Not only does this help solve the issue of unnecessary suffering caused by mining, but it also helps to support the local art community and economy.

Favours

Trinkets like wine stoppers or personalized candle holders are made in factories overseas and carry a massive carbon footprint, often only to be left behind by many guests. Instead, couples who wish to give a little something to their guests are opting for sustainable gifts such as homemade honeys, teas and jams, tree saplings, flower seeds or charitable donations (plus, who doesn’t love a tax write-off?).

Dress

While most brides agree spending thousands of dollars and a multitude of resources on a dress that is only worn once is the epitome of wastefulness, many also struggle with the idea of wearing a pre-loved dress. We offer this ethical solution: consider hiring a local seamstress to create a one-of-a-kind dress for you instead. Natural materials such as silk, cotton, linen and bamboo all breathe beautifully on a hot summer day. Meaningful recycled materials (such as lace from grandma’s gown) can also be worked into the design.

Eco-conscious Vendors

More and more couples are asking their vendors what they do to minimize the environmental impact their businesses have on the earth. Choosing to work with eco-friendly vendors can be a simple way to ensure your wedding is as green and clean as it can be. Here are a few resources to get you started:

Sustainable Wedding Stationery: Jukebox Print

Ethical Jewellery Designer: Alicia Agarrabeitia

Local Sustainable Favours: Hives for Humanity

Eco-friendly Dress Designers: Pure Magnolia

Conscious Wedding Photography: Love Tree Photography