Green is the chosen Pantone colour of 2017 and not only should it relate to the actual colour but should also be seen as “Going Green”. This means being kinder to our planet and being conscience of all resources, products and choices we make and buy that are better for our earth and all the animals and humans we share it with. So in celebration of being more eco-friendly and making small changes that can make a big difference to your wedding footprint on the earth – here are some Top Wedding planning tips to consider when planning your wedding:
- When selecting your menu and food choices, look carefully at the products. Ask yourself and your caterer – are they locally sourced, organic, fresh, in season and not in any way on an endangered list (i.e. certain fish). Try to avoid any foods and products that have to be flown in from abroad as the cost to the environment is great in terms of the fuel and energy required to bring them all the way to your wedding table. They need to be stored and packaged for longer too using more plastic/ wrapping and refrigeration to keep them fresh.
- Your flower choices are very similar to food. Choose flowers that are in season and locally sourced. (Will save on your pocket too).
- Choose to “go Green” with your wedding and select leaves rather than flowers as the base of your décor and flowers. Green leaves cost less than flowers and are more abundant locally than many flowers. (A delicious monster single leaf can make a beautiful statement in a glass vase or in a hanging feature). Green leaves are currently on trend 🙂
- Confetti – choose biodegradable flower petals or leaf options that can be recycled and broken down by the environment should they fly into the air – Never opt for paper, plastic or non-biodegradable confetti options.
- Lanterns and balloons are lovely ideas in theory to release at weddings but very bad for the environment and should not be released. A wedding No No. They can get hooked on birds and animals when they when they fall back to the earth, trees or sea. Rather choose to hang/ tie these items down if you must use them. A lovely releasing option is to choose butterflies that can be released into the wild and in turn you support butterfly farms that help the species grow and thrive.
- Gifts for your guests – choose gifts that have an eco-friendly purpose and will contribute to the overall health of the world – i.e. Linen shopping bag, pot of honey in a recycled glass bottle, bio-degradable seeds for guests to plant their own trees or potted plants, herbs or succulents that guests can enjoy and plant at home (Should they not be flying).
- Stationery – look at good quality recycled paper options to print food labels, seating charts and invites on should you wish to go the paper route. You can even place seeds in your paper invite that guests can actually plant after the wedding. Minimise the information on the paper and rather send guests to a link or website with the full wedding details. Or better still, choose to send out an E- Save the date and E- Invite – beautifully designed that can be emailed or whatsapp’ed directly to your guests.
- Table names – You can use clear recycled glass water bottles and mark each one with a table number in white paint. This can serve a dual purpose as both a water jug and table number. It will also greatly reduce the use of plastic bottled water required at your wedding.
- Furniture – check with your chosen venue what furniture they offer and what you can use for your wedding. There is a lot of work, labor, transport and fuel required to get heavy pieces of furniture from venue A to B. Identifying current venue furniture can cut down enormously on overall fuel emissions and cost to get additional furniture to your venue.
- Wedding Dress – Support local dress designers – we have amazing SA talent and if you source your dress and bridesmaid’s dresses locally you will save on flights/travel/ fuel in order to fit your dress and have it sent to you. Another green idea would be to have your mom’s wedding dress reworked and redesigned to fit you if you liked the idea of going down the traditional route and having something “borrowed.”
- Your venue – Consider where the majority of your guests are coming from and choose a venue and destination that makes the most sense for you and your guests in terms of travel and how far people need to travel and pay to reach your chosen venue. The further away and more remote your venue is – the more it will cost your guests and the environment to reach your destination.
- Your venue – choose an established venue that operates ethically and uses energy in an efficient way. Check they have a very good recycle programmed in place where paper, plastic, glass bottles can be recycled and re-used. Check on their electricity, water and heating policies and how they manage these precious resources. Renewable energy is the way of the future. If they are not thinking of this then you should rethink your venue and choose one that is more eco-friendly and seriously considers their impact on the environment.
- Check with your venue what their policy is on leftover food. Check if some of the leftover food can be distributed to staff members, the community or charity so it does not go to waste. (Provided it meets health and safety regulations).
- If you have a private wedding or party you may be able to take leftover food to food/soup kitchens that belong to churches and distribute to the homeless or old age homes. (Again provided it meets health and safety regulations).
- Cakes – check if your venue is able to make your cake for you and obviously can make a decent one. Transporting cakes to venues can be a costly business and can cost more than the cake itself as often wedding venues can be far out of town.
- Ceremony Flowers – can be re-used for the wedding reception décor in certain areas to brighten up a blank space and be effectively recycled for a second duty.
- Reception Flowers – could be given to your guests to take home with them after the wedding or specially delivered to an old age home.
- Encourage your guests to carpool and share ubers or other transport to and from your wedding. Perhaps you can arrange group transport for your guests based on your venue.
- Should you decide to opt for a luxury destination bush wedding (Tickled Pink specialises in these). Yes getting there is longer and more expensive for your guests. Many of the top safari lodges support their local communities, schools and major conservation efforts in that area to protect the land and animals in it. By opting for an exclusive bush lodge wedding experience – you are providing work for the local community and your hard earned wedding money is being given back into the community and conservation in that area. Support lodges that give back and are global leaders in the fight against poaching and preserving wildlife and sacred conservation areas.
- A wedding planner (believe it or not) is also an eco-friendly way to approach your wedding. It is a one stop shop and point of reference. As they have knowledge of the most reputable suppliers in the industry they can save on many hours of wasted energy trying to source various quotes, suppliers, ideas etc. They have great relationships with the most professional and sought after suppliers in the business and know which ones strive to be “ Green” and work in an energy efficient way by using less electricity, packaging, fuel and always trying to find the best solution for the client and the environment. You can Skype your wedding planner if you live far away or overseas and plan an entire wedding remotely if you need to, still knowing you are in professional and eco-friendly hands.
- The less key suppliers you can use for your wedding, often assists your overall budget and your overall impact on the environment. Wedding planners know that some of their key suppliers may be able to double up on certain areas/ jobs that will assist with transport/ fuel/ staff and your wedding will have less impact on the earth and your budget in the long run.
- Wedding gifts – if you are a couple who have everything already set up– consider asking your guests to contribute to a worthy and important Environmental cause of your choice as a wedding gift – One that supports wildlife, conservation, protection of species, renewable energy projects, deforestation and climate change. This is a very generous gesture from the bridal couple to give back to the earth and make a difference where it is desperately needed. Or if your budget does not stretch that far – ask guests to possibly consider contributing towards a honeymoon fund. Less paper, wrapping and packaging of bulky and heavy gifts that need to be transported and unwrapped back at home.
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