New Trends for Eco-Friendly Weddings

There are new trends every year for eco-friendly weddings as people find new ways to keep the environmental cost down and still have a spectacular wedding ceremony and reception. Why not consider a few of these ideas?

Reduce, reuse, recycle!

And we are just talking about your ceremony flowers here! Your ceremony flowers can easily be used to decorate your reception room as well. You will save money because you are not having separate flower arrangements for both parts of your big day and as most brides will opt for the same color scheme for both, it makes sense to simply move the flowers. Consider using the smaller bridesmaids bouquets as centerpieces for the tables.

Hire the outfits

Despite the obvious environmental benefits some people are still reluctant to embrace the trend to rent wedding dresses, although it is considered acceptable for the groom and groomsmen to hire tuxes for the day. This year there will be an emphasis on the benefits of renting the perfect outfit and it is a good idea to consider this for the bridesmaids, even if the bride prefers to buy a dress for herself. Bridesmaid dresses are hardly ever worn again, so why not just pay a small amount to use them for the day and then return them when it is all over?

Keep printing to a minimum

These days nobody expects to get to the wedding and find things like printed menus and order of service. Keep the cost of printing (and help the environment) by using decorative chalk boards around the room to inform people about the culinary delights that await them, and have something similar explaining the order of events too. These can then be reused and you may be able to find a party rental company that you can rent them from for the day.

Opt for potted plants

If the idea of floral arrangements is not appealing why not consider using potted plants to decorate your tables?  More and more brides are using potted plants instead for eco-friendly reasons. The plant remains in the pot and when it is removed later it is still living and will keep growing, unlike flowers which start to die off when they are cut. This is something that the bride can sort out herself, growing plants of her choice before the day and simply making sure that they are in suitably decorative pots. The plans will become a permanent reminder of the wedding afterwards as they can be taken home and will last for a long time if cared for properly.

Small potted plants can also be given as wedding favors, so your guests can watch them grow for years after the day.  Opt for terracotta pots to give the tables a rustic look.

These are just a few of the trends that are becoming popular with planners of eco-friendly weddings this year. Adapt to your own style and enjoy a wonderful day!

Could eco-friendly weddings soon be the norm?

While at the moment only a small percentage of people make their wedding as eco-friendly as possible, in some parts of the world steps are being taken to encourage greener and more environmentally-friendly ceremonies.

India is one of those countries where – for many people – a lack of materialism makes it easier to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle. It has now been revealed that the government in the Kerala region wants to work with religious and social groups to encourage people to plan their day with the environment in mind.

The government there has already successfully implemented green strategies when planning major events including the Malayatoor Perunal and the National Games and this has given the authorities the boost they need to promote green strategies for weddings. Some of the district administrations have already launched strategies on planning eco-friendly weddings. The plans have been well-received so far and it is expected that a full green strategy will be in place soon.

What about other countries?

While there may not be an official policy in other countries about planning a green wedding, there are the facilities, products and services in countries all over the world for you to ensure that your own special day is as environmentally-friendly as possible. Most countries do have laws and regulations on the reduction of carbon emissions and programs that encourage eco-friendly practices.

How easy is it to achieve an eco-friendly wedding?

The truth is that it is easier than you might think. All you have to do is think about the factors that can add to your carbon footprint and change them. Consider a few simple changes such as:

  • Use decorations from biodegradable and recycled materials
  • Opt for vintage and recycled outfits for the bride and bridesmaids
  • Use local suppliers
  • Arrange car pools to reduce the number of vehicles being used

There are plenty of other ways that you can make your day eco-friendly and with a little imagination it will be a very memorable occasion.

Think about barn weddings, which will give your day a rustic feel or opt for one of the modern hotels that have been built with all the latest eco-friendly features that you could wish for, from solar panels for energy production to greener housekeeping policies. Head for one of the eco-friendly lodges that are appearing in resorts, towns and villages in many countries and opt for a honeymoon where there are plenty of environmentally-friendly features.

Finally, don’t forget that it is just as easy to keep your jewelry eco-friendly. At Ecoura we produce wedding rings from renewed gold and for every engagement ring purchased we plant a tree, helping to give back to the environment. Visit one of our jewelers today and choose from our range of elegant and stylish designs for the finishing touch for your wedding!

Eco-Friendly Honeymoons in Africa and Mauritius

Trying to find an eco-friendly honeymoon destination is actually far easier than it used to be. Many hotels and resorts are working hard these days to achieve green accreditations and many have already put eco-friendly measures into place. Destinations in places such as South Africa and Mauritius may be far away from home but the green measures they have put into place will help to counteract any damage done to the environment by your travel there.

Mauritius?

Mauritius is a very romantic and exotic destination which is why it is very popular for honeymoons. The soft white sands and the wonderful weather are just two of the reasons why people visit along with the luxury touches such as a private island for your honeymoon suite. A number of resorts here have already earned green certification. There are two Club Med resorts here that have been Green Globe certified and are already dealing with basic eco-friendly requirements such as recycling and reducing energy consumption. The Mon Choix eco-lodge at Port Louis offers everything you need from solar powered energy production to reduced use of chemical-based cleaning products and the location is ideal for those who want to be within easy reach of all the main attractions.

Mauritius has so much to offer. The lifestyle here is far less hectic than most people are used to. The buses here date back to the 1970s and there are plenty of excursions that you can go on. Spend a little time at the market in Port-Louis or spend some time hiking or cycling.

Africa?

If you want to get closer to nature on your eco-friendly honeymoon, then Africa could be the best destination. South Africa in particular has much to offer, thanks to its numerous safari and wildlife parks. Many of the safari holiday operators offer accommodation in eco-lodges now, where energy consumption is reduced with the help of solar power and other energy-saving measures. They have features such as organic gardens where they grow produce for the kitchens and some will even take part in community projects such as the building of schools.

Your safari honeymoon will bring you into close contact with lions, zebras and other creatures before you return to your eco-friendly accommodation. You could also spend a little time on South Africa’s coastline snorkeling, scuba diving or just doing a little beach-combing. Fishing trips are available for those who like the idea of catching their own supper. Many of these trips are run by eco-friendly operators.

Both?

If you are having a little difficulty making up your mind why not visit both places? If you can get a few extra days for your honeymoon then a two-part trip will be worth it. Talk to your travel agent about arranging accommodation and excursions that meet your eco-friendly principles.  

Eco-friendly Wedding Gifts

Planning your eco-wedding will mean more than considering the day. It could be that you truly want to apply eco-friendly principles to all aspects of your life and this means that you should consider your wedding gifts too. It is just as easy to register for eco-friendly gifts as it is to register for the usual gifts. Consider a few of these when you are putting your gift list together.

Plants

There are a few different plants that can be given as a gift that will live for many years and serve as a lasting reminder of your big day. The fortune plant is popular in Chinese culture and they consider it to be a symbol of abundance. The jade plant is another option and is ideal for the couple that does not have a lot of time to care for plants. It is part of the cactus family and therefore does not need to be watered very often. Bonsai trees could be an elegant plant for the home and when properly cared for they can last for decades.

Wood

Bamboo is an eco-friendly material and a bamboo box knife holder is a gift that is practical, chic and environmentally friendly. It is a strong but light wood and it is made from a renewable source. Alternatively, a set of wood placemats add an eco-friendly touch to a home. They have a vintage look and will last for years. Wood clocks are also a great gift. Don’t worry that you have to opt for plain wood either, find one that has a unique or bright design painted on it. Wood photo frames could also be a useful gift. Most guests opting for a photo frame for a wedding gift will opt for silver or another metal, but wood is homely and warming, as well as being sustainable.

Bamboo Towels

Many newly-married couples will be opening their wedding gifts to find a towel bale, but you could ask for towels with a difference. Bamboo towels blend organic cotton fibers with bamboo fibers, which means that the towel will absorb moisture easily.

Eco-friendly kitchen gadgets

There are many people who have already discovered the merits of a slow cooker but you can also pick up an energy saving version. Find one that uses less than 300 watts, which will help to keep energy consumption low. Slow cookers are a great gift for a busy couple – meals can be cooking slowly all day while you are at work and you come home to a wonderful meal that took very little effort.

The possibilities for your eco-friendly wedding gift list are endless. You might want to focus instead on changing the way that you consume energy and ask for solar chargers or you might consider that ethical gifts – the donation of goods or services to third world countries – might be more appropriate. Consider your options and put together a wedding list with an eco-friendly twist!

Find an Eco-Friendly City for Your Wedding

If you are planning an eco-friendly wedding outside your home town then you might be interested to know just how eco-friendly your chosen destination is.  Here at Ecoura we did a little research and discovered the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index report.  This covers the USA and Canada and looks at a variety of factors to determine just how eco-friendly each city is, including energy use, green spaces, transportation and sanitation.

In the top 10 there are 7 cities in the USA and 3 from Canada.  New York was the highest ranked city on the list, coming only second to Vancouver.  Next was Boston in 5th place, followed by San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Denver and Los Angeles. Here are just a few of the venues that you could consider.

New York

Finding a great eco-friendly wedding venue in New York is easy.  Take a look at Mohonk Mountain House. The building itself has been designed to offer a range of environmentally-friendly measures and there is a great spa where you and the wedding party can relax either before or after the big day. For the wedding you can opt for organic and locally-produced food and even arrange your wedding flowers from the venue’s own greenhouse.

Boston

Just north of the city of Boston is Ferncroft Country Club, which has recently added a rooftop deck ideal for a wedding reception.  The grounds are ideal for the wedding photos and the venue has implemented a number of eco-friendly measures including an initiative to reduce food waste to zero.

San Francisco

Head over to W San Francisco where you can take part in the ‘Make a Green Choice’ program. The hotel offers a rewards program where you can refuse to have daily housekeeping in your room and earn points that you can use at other hotels in the future.  Fewer housekeeping visits will save water and energy and you will also get a green welcome amenity when you arrive. The hotel also offers discounts on a bike share scheme, making it easier to explore the city without adding to your carbon footprint.

Denver

The Warwick Denver hotel is rapidly becoming a very popular wedding venue in the city. One of the main attractions of the hotel is the great views of the city’s skyline. The hotel offers a complimentary bike hire service to guests, providing an eco-friendly option for exploring the city. Alternatively the city is also home to the Castle Marne venue, where you can choose from indoor or outdoor weddings and where there is a solid sustainability plan in place. Every section of the venue plays its part in creating a much more eco-friendly environment.  To date the hotel is actively aiming to reduce energy consumption, has introduced a number of recycling initiatives, grows a large amount of the food used in the restaurant, rents out bicycles and trains staff on the various sustainability programs.

Wedding Jewelry Trends for 2017

As trends for wedding dresses, themes and gifts come and go, so do those for wedding jewelry, so which trends are set to be big this year?

Vintage

Here at Ecoura we love everything vintage because not only is it eco-friendly, it helps you to connect with the elegant charm of eras such as the 1920s and 1950s. This type of glamour is easy to achieve if you opt for vintage pearls. They suit almost everyone and will not overpower the overall look. If you want to achieve a 1950s style go for a traditional pearl necklace – one strand is perfect for an understated yet polished look.  For the 1920s think Art Deco.  Jewelry in this style will feature silver and platinum much more than gold.  Art Deco costume jewelry features imitation emeralds, sapphires and rubies. You can also check out our line of Modern Vintage engagement rings at Ecoura.

Bohemian

Intricate floral motifs are a feature of the bohemian jewelry look. If you have opted for one of this year’s feminine and flowing wedding gowns then a floral motif will add to the bohemian style. There is a current trend for diamonds and sapphires in jewelry such as cuff bracelets but if the budget doesn’t stretch that far consider costume jewelry. There is a tendency to see bohemian style as simply hippy or ethnic but there is so much more to the trend than that. Having said that, jewelry that features crystals such as rose quartz or amethyst can help to add to the bohemian look.  Again, silver is favored much more than gold.

Go minimal

Simple lines in jewelry are becoming a popular choice with brides all over the world. This is because it is much more important to show off the dress and the event rather than have the jewelry take center stage. However, that does not mean that jewelry can’t make a statement. Rose gold is growing in popularity and it has a very warming feel to it. Try a classic knot pendant, which will go well with column dress styles or strapless gowns. White gold is another option for a statement pendant – choose a dramatic stone for the center. For brides who prefer a more simple look, our Classic line of engagement rings are sure to please.

Renewed jewelry

The most important piece of jewelry you can have on your wedding day is your wedding ring and Ecoura should be your first port of call for renewed gold rings.  Why pay out for a new gold ring when our renewed pieces are just as beautiful and will not leave a stain on the environment?  There is so much jewelry that isn’t worn and it is a shame when it goes to waste.  Ecoura’s eco-friendly outlook includes natural diamonds, so there is no need to worry that you will be compromising on glamour. Take a look at our range to find out more. Join us in our commitment to preserving and protecting the environment. Visit www.ecoura.com for more information.

A Treehouse Honeymoon in India

There are many ways you can get closer to nature on your eco-friendly honeymoon but you may not have considered spending some time at a tree house resort in India. India is a great place for a honeymoon, particularly if you want to avoid the busier cities. There are many tranquil resorts where you can stay in eco-friendly accommodations that are a lot more unusual than a standard hotel room!

Vythiri Resort, Wayanad

This resort is in Kerala and is very eco-friendly. Located in the heart of a rainforest, the views from the rooms are amazing. The location also means that you are well placed to find out more about the local wildlife and the conservation work that has been carried out here. Don’t be fooled into thinking that staying in a tree house means that you have to compromise on luxury. The accommodation here includes features such as Jacuzzis and plunge pools.

The Machan, Lonavala

This region is already a hit with those from Mumbai and Pune as a destination for a short break. The Machan resort is a luxury destination where you can enjoy comfort and style 40 feet above the ground. The resort is 100% off-grid and only sustainable materials were used to build it.

Tree House Hideaway, Bandhavgarh

The accommodation here has every modern convenience that you could want. In the heart of a tiger reserve, this is a great place to observe the local wildlife.  Local materials and craftsmen were used to create the resort, which offers air conditioned rooms and other amenities. The resort has been named as one of the top 100 in India.

Tree House Cottages, Manali

This is a family-run resort that offers you many different options for your stay. There is a vegetarian menu served by the resort or you can make use of your own kitchen to prepare your own meals. The resort can also arrange for you to go on one of several day trips to nearby attractions. Most of the accommodation is cottages but you can also choose to stay in a Swiss tent.

Vanya Tree House, Thekkady

With electricity generated by solar power and wind turbines, this eco-friendly resort is located in the Periyar Forest on a 12 acre site.  Guests can enjoy the local Kerala cuisine that is cooked on traditional wood burning stoves.  The water for the site is taken from a well and guests need to be careful with the amount of electricity that they use because the only supply is that which is generated on-site. This is a great place, not only if you want to get back to nature, but if you want to make sure you are conserving the Earth’s natural resources.

These are just a few of the treehouse resorts that are available in India. No matter which one you choose you can rest assured that your stay has not had a great impact on the environment.

 

Eco-friendly Wedding Details for 2017

So you want to plan your eco-friendly wedding this year?  With environmentally friendly products and services becoming much more popular, you might think that it would be easy to do this, but if you want to stay on trend there are a few things to take into consideration that will not damage the planet any further.

Wedding décor

Using recycled materials and locally produced items, you can dramatically reduce the environmental impact of your wedding. Try fresh flowers for decoration – these are biodegradable and can be taken home by guests at the end of the day.  The one thing you really need to avoid are balloons. While most people favor them because they are cheap, cheerful and easy to use, they are not the environment’s best friend. The actual rubber material used to make them is harmful for the environment and can easily end up in the water system where they can be consumed by fish and birds.  You could as an alternative, decorate the room with rented items such as parasols or create your own from recycled paper.

Eco-friendly confetti

While many people still use the less-than green variety of confetti, they love the idea of an environmentally-friendly version. Flower petals are the best choice here – they are biodegradable and let’s face it, they look much better in the wedding photos than tiny pieces of colored and coated paper. The paper version can actually be around much longer than you might think and it is so easy for it to be picked up by birds too.  You could make your own confetti. Why not get your own flower petals, dry them and then crush them so they are in fairly small pieces?  They retain the color and will still look great in the photos. You can mix it with birdseed too if you prefer – the birds will be attracted to the seed so it doesn’t just hang around on the pavements.  Don’t mix the petals with rice – this can be damaging if the birds pick it up.

A bird’s eye view

Up until a couple of years ago if you wanted aerial views of your wedding, you had to hire a helicopter.  Needless to say not many couples chose to go down this route, mainly because of the cost but some people were also mindful of the environmental considerations. However, this year aerial photos are going to be big news at all weddings and this is due mainly to the rise in popularity of the humble drone!  You can get aerial photos of your big day without seeing a spike in your carbon footprint – why not ask one of your guests?  There are a lot of people who own drones these days and the cost should also be fairly low.

Finally – don’t forget that recycled gold and jewelry are big news at the moment.  Ecoura can supply you with renewed gold rings that have not had a dramatic environmental or social impact.  

Eco-friendly Wedding Venues in Montana

The amazing scenery in the beautiful state of Montana lends itself very well to the perfect wedding photographs, so why not consider one of the eco-friendly hotels or resorts where you can not only hold your wedding, but enjoy a tranquil honeymoon too?

Mt Hood Organic Farms

Located just at the base of Mt Hood, this is a family run business in a very picturesque rural area. The farm has been hosting weddings for more than a decade. You can book a weekend wedding here between Memorial Day weekend and the start of October. There are both indoor and outdoor options at the farm for the ceremony and reception.  Catering can be provided by the farm and most of the ingredients used are seasonal and organic. The farm’s own event coordinator will work with the bride and groom to ensure that the big day goes smoothly, arranging every detail to meet with your expectations.

Element Bozeman

One of the most eco-friendly hotels in the city, Element Bozeman has been working hard to ensure that as many aspects of its day to day running are environmentally friendly. The hotel has been LEED certified because of its efforts in recycling and other green practices.  Waste reduction is an important part of this and there are energy efficient faucets and other fixtures that reduce the hotel’s energy consumption. The hotel’s kitchen has energy-efficient appliances and the hotel only uses eco-friendly cleaning products.

The hotel is ideal for the smaller wedding and has enough accommodation to ensure that every guest has somewhere comfortable to stay. All rooms include a kitchenette and breakfasts are complimentary.

The Resort at Paws Up

This Greenough venue is a very beautiful, rural venue. The Resort at Paws Up is one of the state’s most eco-friendly resorts with practices such as energy efficient appliances and lights, eco-friendly cleaning products, organic toiletries for the guests and sustainable farming of the surrounding land. Some of the guest accommodations are provided in safari-type tents – comfortable and almost carbon neutral at the same time.  Guests are provided with reusable water bottles to save on the use of plastics.

The staff at The Resort at Paws Up can help you to plan the perfect day, whether you want a rustic ceremony or a black tie event. The resort can also cater for weddings of all sizes, with The Great Angus Hall able to accommodate 200 people, but the venue also has the facilities to host weddings for as little as 30 people. The resort can also provide transportation to and from the nearest airport, reducing the need for guests to hire cars, therefore reducing the carbon footprint of your big day.

Whatever you are expecting for your big day, there is an eco-friendly resort or hotel in Montana that will suit your needs.  Why not talk to one of the event coordinators today and start making plans for the happiest day of your life?   

Green Wedding Trends for 2017

As you plan your 2017 wedding you may already have definite plans in mind for theme and how your big day can stay on the right side of eco-friendly. However, there are those who might just want a few hints and tips on what to expect in 2017 for the latest wedding trends and how to stay as green as possible.

Vintage style

The trend for vintage-style weddings has been around for a while and the good news is that this trend shows no sign of going anywhere anytime soon. Next year vintage style will ooze glamour, so if you want to stay fashionable make it big and bold.  If you opt for true vintage rather than reproduction you will be helping to keep your carbon footprint low.

Location with a twist

The choice of venue is very important if you want your wedding to be an event that your guests never forget and the trend for 2017 is to find a place with a beautiful outdoor setting or a very unique building.  Outdoor weddings can also help you to stay green as you will be making use of natural light, saving on energy consumption.

Get crafty!

One of the trends for the coming year is handcrafted invitations and calligraphy.  This is something that you can easily learn to do yourself and you can then make sure that the materials you use are recycled or at the very least recyclable. In fact, many wedding planners are encouraging couples to incorporate paper into the decorations and theme of the wedding, so paper flowers, for example, could be just one feature to consider.  It is low-cost and eco-friendly, so why not?

Local flavor

Look to your local area to find the flavors and trends for your wedding.  For example, couples in Vermont could be opting for maple syrup flavoring in some of the dishes for their menu, or for weddings in Utah you could feature buffalo on the menu. Staying local for your supplies is one of the easiest ways to stay eco-friendly.

Traditional cake

Recent trends for displays of cupcakes rather than traditional cakes are on the wane a little and now it seems that the traditional, tall, tiered cake is making its way back into fashion. Couples like the traditional style of the tall cake and it is great for making a feature out of your dessert table.  The cake often follows the color scheme of the wedding so consider this when planning how your cake is going to be decorated. Having it made locally will help you to stay as eco-friendly as possible.

These are just a few of the trends that you could consider when planning your 2017 wedding, although there are plenty of others too. Why not talk to a local wedding planner and find out which trends are proving to be most popular in your area?