My first attempt to put something together about the idea of ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ weddings was ill-fated. It disappeared into cyberspace before I managed to hit the ‘publish’ button. I will have another go at compiling some more local resources, but in the interrim, this article gives you an overview of the kinds of issues you may want to take into account when planning your wedding celebration with an eye to being kind to the planet…

A Great Green Wedding

Author: Paige Green

Dressed in white can have a green twist. There are a number of ways to make your perfect day as environmentally friendly as possible. Here are some important ideas to consider for a great green wedding:

Invitations – everyone knows that the right paper stock is one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to pre wedding day planning. But instead of going for a heavy card stock with environmentally damaging gloss or matte, consider if you need to have paper invitations at all!

Many wedding websites have sprung up to allow couples to plan their day and give guests all the information they need in paper saving electronic format. Couples can upload photos, tell their special story and direct guests to their registry on line. Many also have an RSVP feature so you can manage your list with a few clicks of the mouse. You and your mother can argue over background colours and menu patterns to your hearts ‘content!

Dress – The right dress makes the memories. That doesn’t mean you need to spend a small fortune (not to mention create a heavy environmental cost) with a tailor made piece that will just sit in your wardrobe for years to come. Consider vintage pieces or family pieces, there is nothing more sentimental to your mother, than walking down the aisle in same dress she wore back in the day. (You can tailor and amend it to suit your own taste and fashion of course!) Meanwhile, some companies create beautiful custom made pieces from sustainable fabrics , such as hemp, bamboo or organic cotton. Some even “upcycle” older gowns.

Gifts – Do you really want to face the possibility of ending up with two chip dippers or a variety of toasters that you’ll have some trouble returning? You can use your special day to promote some well deserving charities and eco causes. Ask your guests to make a donation to your favourite in lieu of presents, then you can be sure you’re getting the exact model of kettle you want!

Flowers – Consider the season when picking your flower arrangements. Out of season arrangements are often shipped from overseas adding to miles and emissions. There are also a number of issues regarding the ethics of the cut flower industry, with many sources citing cheap labour and unfair work conditions. Australia is abundant with beautiful species of wattles, banksias and colourful kangaroo paws for a truly unique look. Better yet, go organic!

Food – Organic caterers are all the rage. They provide some of the best food that you know is pesticide free and delightfully delicious. Look for a baker that uses organic eggs and flour and other sustainable ingredients.

Venue and transport – Pick a venue that’s easy to get to and encourage your guests to carpool, or better yet, provide some shuttle bus transport yourself. Having the reception in the same place as the ceremony also cuts down on travel and emissions.

Rings – Eco is a girl’s best friend. Lots of great companies “up cycle” jewellery from older pieces. Take in an old family heirloom and have it recrafted to create your own one of a kind piece.

Find more green wedding ideas from the Green Pages, Australia’s number one green directory.

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