As some of you may know, I was very lucky to be asked a very important question by the guy of my dreams during the summer. My crush of 17 years asked me to marry him in July and of course I said yes! Now I have been planning my wedding on Pinterest for YEARS!! Actually on my first date with Oisín I even told him about my dream outdoor wedding, but as logic and practicality would have it my dream wedding up the Wicklow mountains, down a valley, with the back drop of a waterfall just wasn’t something that was going to happen due to the 40 minute hike (1 way) it would have on our guests as well as no electricity. But you can see the vibe I was going for here. I wanted nature to be very much an element of our wedding. But after some research I realised weddings can take their toll on the environment and I decided I wanted to make sure ours caused as little damage as possible. Below are some tips for an Eco Friendly Wedding.
- Invitations and Save the Dates. There are a few ways to be eco friendly here. Lot’s actually after a bit of research. First off, obviously emailing is a great way to cut back on paper and ink, but some of your older guests may not have email and some people might view it as a little bit informal. So Email is definitely an option for those who it may suit or couples that are more than happy to just do emails. Another option is to go to a printers who use recycled paper. This can be done so well to get a rustic feel and look which is a theme many weddings have at the moment. A third option is to use seed paper (in Ireland I can only find less than a handful of places doing this) and unfortunately it doesn’t come cheap if you have a lot guests to send the invitations to. My last idea is for save the dates. You can get some wooden save the dates made which can then be recycled.
2. Choose Your Venue Wisely. If being eco friendly is something that is very important to you, choose your venue wisely. Some venues take recycling very seriously, others unfortunately do not. So make sure to let your venue know this is important to you and to ask questions when meeting with your wedding coordinator. Some places will also try to grow their own fruit, veg and herbs onsite, choose local supplies and use seasonal flowers from their own grounds or again locally sourced. So make sure to ask and if not see if local to your venue can anything be organised be organised to save on transport etc.
3. Your Dress(es). This is definitely an each to their own kind of thing, as I know some women have their dream dress in mind from their childhood princess dreams, but I URGE every Bride to be, to look at second hand bridal websites for a dress and to go to charity bridal shops where dresses can be donated by brides and also donated by the designers and shops themselves as they are no longer ‘in season’. Ladies I went to maybe 3 different bridal charity shops and I have to say the standard of dresses, shoes and accessories in these shops are top notch. Unfortunately what I am looking for which is the plainest of plain dresses was not to be found, but for other people these shops are definitely worth a visit amongst all the other bridal shops. Better yet you might even find your dream dress for a 5th of the price. Another option is to get it made using the right materials that do very little to harm the environment and the people making the dress. There is a lovely dress maker in Dublin who tries to use eco-Friendly and FairTrade materials, her name is Caoimhe and this is a link to her site, prices are upon request – Que-va
4. Your Bridesmaid Dresses. For my ladies, I want to make sure they are all happy and comfortable. They all have different body shapes and all like different styles of clothes. But I would also love for them to get more than one use from a dress as personally I think of it to be a bit of a waste. So I had 2/3 options – 1. Ask them to source their own and give them a colour scheme guideline. 2. Go for the awesome multiway dress. 3. Try and get them all together and do a trip to find some bridesmaid dresses that suit everyone and each of them like. But the best way to be eco friendly are definitely to have them in a dress they would like to wear again, if possible a dress they already own that will work for the occasion or to buy second hand – plenty of second hand bridesmaid dresses available online. Or same as point 3, get your dresses made using eco friendly materials by a trusted dress make or from a reputable company.
5. Your Confetti. I know some people might not want to organise their own confetti, but perhaps mention it to your maid of honour that you don’t want plastic confetti or glitter confetti to be used. Reasons why to opt away these are very simple – 1. An animal can come and eat them and 2. Because what ever confetti is swept up and put in a bin will just eventually end up disintegrating into nothing over a VERY long period of time (Even though it is so small). But some gorgeous alternative confetti options are A) Dried Flower petals B) Lavender C) Dried leaves E) Dried leave shapes and F) If you are having an out door ceremony where birds might fly by freely like a field or beach etc toss some bird feed into the air.
I hope these have been somewhat helpful to people aiming for a greener, more eco friendly wedding. I know with the research I done, it has definitely opened my eyes to options that to be perfectly honest, I would never of even thought of but definitely would love to go with…like seeded paper – HELLO lovely flowers that remind my family and friends of our wedding every time they look at the growing plant.
I will do a second post on this as there are actually many more alternative ideas for a more eco friendly wedding. The list is endless really.
If you have anything you can add for a more eco friendly or cruelty free wedding please let me know as I am definitely on the lookout for all things of wedding knowledge at the moment.