Photo by Vera Devera
I am following the road most people travel.
I am getting married.
However Ben and I have decided to take the road less travelled and decided against a “cookie cutter” wedding. Ben and I just can’t justify the extravagance or the expense. It’s not uncommon nowadays for couples to spend $20,000 or more on their weddings. Reception centres charge anywhere from $70 to $145 per head. A normal wedding dress retails upwards of $1000 or more. The photographer and videographer cost at least $2000. Then you have the bridal party expenses, the honeymoon, the bonbonieres and on and on it goes.
Given our penchant for a sustainable lifestyle, we have decided on a low-budget simple wedding that will allow us to showcase our green values and our commitment not just to each other, but to the environment.
So in the midst of my wedding planning, I have already decided that I would incorporate the following ideas to make the wedding more sustainable:
1. Buy second-hand or vintage.
I not only love purchasing vintage and second-hand goods, I enjoy re-using an item that would otherwise have gone to waste. As I plan to style the wedding myself, I have already purchased a few second-hand and unused wedding decorations from eBay and Etsy. I am also currently browsing websites that specialise in selling second-hand bridal gowns such as I Do Gowns and Love Me Twice. I haven’t found THE dress yet, but I have my fingers crossed. I'm also considering having Ben's mother make the wedding dress as she is talented in the dress making field and has offered to help, but I'm still working out which direction to take. Watch this space.
2. Use candles.
We intend to use slow-burning candles throughout the entire evening to reduce our reliance on electricity and to create an ambience of romance. There’s a few on my eBay watch list as we speak.
3. Keep guest list to a minimum.
We are holding the wedding in Melbourne as many of our guests reside there however we know that as many of us will be travelling from interstate for the event, a higher rate of carbon emissions will be released into the atmosphere. In keeping with a small, intimate event whilst maintaining our commitment to the environment, Ben and I are trying to keep the guest list to close friends and family. We both have largish families and I have a wide circle of good friends so we may invite 100 people, which is still a large number for us, but we also figured that if we cut down anymore, we run the risk of becoming very unpopular and ostracizing many others.
4. Create a website.
Having a website is a good way of reducing the need for paper and ink and the subsequent waste it creates. I have decided on a creating a website with our wedding details but still considering paper invitations for some of my technologically disadvantaged guests.
5. One locale.
Not only is holding the ceremony and reception in the one location more convenient for guests, but this is also environmentally friendly as there won’t be as many cars on the road. Ben and I are currently researching all-in-one wedding venues and have shortlisted a few, but haven’t made any concrete decisions yet.
I have had a few friends who’ve walked down the aisle but not many that have committed themselves to a sustainable wedding. So if you’ve planned a green wedding or have been a guest of one, feel free to share your knowledge and experience. Any advice given will be much appreciated and duly noted!