Did you ever consider going along to a bridal show to help plan your wedding? Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time to make sure that their big day goes smoothly and one way to do that is to go along to a wedding fair.
Is a wedding fair eco-friendly?
It could definitely be considered that there are some eco-friendly elements to a wedding fair. After all, you are not going to be spending days driving round visiting bridal gown stores, caterers and stationers – they are all under one roof. You make one journey and all of the suppliers are there for you to meet, assess their products and services and book for your wedding if you want to. You can also save a lot of time doing it this way.
A good tip is to go to a wedding fair in the area where you want to get married. Most people will get married close to where they live but there are plenty of people who want to get married in their partner’s home town, or want to return to their own home town. If you want to make sure you are using local suppliers because they are a more eco-friendly option then this is the best way to do it all in a short space of time.
What eco-friendly services can I expect to find?
Most suppliers going to a wedding fair will be able to explain to you which are the most eco-friendly options. For example, a bridal gown designer or supplier will know if they are able to supply you with a vintage gown or if any of the gowns they supply have been made with eco-friendly fabric. Stationers will be able to tell you about recycled paper options for invitations. Caterers will be able to explain to you where they source their produce and how much of it they have to bring in from other areas.
You may not find suppliers that claim to be completely eco-friendly, but all you have to do is ask and they will do their best to get you exactly what you need, from the transport to the church to the entertainment for your evening reception.
For some wedding fairs you may need to buy a ticket in advance. This could be true of the smaller events where they already know that a lot of people intend to go along, but larger events you may just have to pay an entrance fee when you arrive. There are others where you might not have to pay a fee. All fairs are slightly different but the aim is always the same, to gather a large number of suppliers in one place and promote services that you need for your big day. Wedding fairs are held regularly in most towns, look online to find one in your area.
It is very easy to say you want an eco-friendly wedding dress, but sometimes they are not that easy to find. So where do you start looking?
You don’t always have to visit a bridal boutique to get a great dress. You can go direct to some designers, particularly those that work to sustainable principles. You can rent or buy samples from them and some will ship samples out if you cannot get to their own boutique, which makes it easier to buy from a greener designer based further away from your home. Consider a designer such as Magnolia, an eco-friendly designer based in Vancouver that uses fabrics such as organic cotton and Indian silk. Alternatively, take a look at the gowns made by Celia Grace, a Cambodian label that uses fair trade locally-produced silk that is pesticide and antibiotic-free.
There are some conventional shops that sell eco-friendly wedding gowns but you will need to ask and be specific. Not all sales people are going to know all about the gowns they are selling. Find out where they are made, what materials are used and if they are organic or fair trade. However, this could be a costlier option so you will need to factor this in.
Go used / vintage
You can easily rent or buy a ‘preloved’ dress. Vintage dresses are some of the most beautiful gowns around and there is nothing in wedding etiquette that says your dress has to be brand new. How many people have worn the same dress that their mother or grandmother wore? Vintage is not just a modern trend, people have been doing this for decades without realizing that they were helping the environment a little. You can even try to find a gown at a thrift store – some now have whole wedding sections that have developed as a result of more and more people turning to pre-owned outfits for their special day. Nobody thinks twice about the groom renting a suit for the day, so why shouldn’t the bride get her outfit the same way?
Let the internet guide the way!
The first place anybody turns to for information these days is the internet and it will only take a few minutes to carry out a search for an eco-friendly wedding dress. Sites such as Etsy are filled with vintage items but the downside is that some sellers will not offer a return policy, so you are taking a chance with the fit and style – you may not like it as much when it arrives! However, there are some great bargains to be found and there is no reason why you cannot find your dream dress this way.
No matter what style of gown you like, there is an eco-friendly option out there that will suit you and you can enjoy your wedding day knowing that you haven’t done any damage to the planet.
India is such a beautiful country that already has a number of eco-friendly resorts, so if you want a greener honeymoon you’ve probably already considered it as a potential destination. Something you might not have been aware of is the luxury eco-friendly houseboats that take you along the beautiful waterways of the Kerala region and Kashmir Lakes and which are perfect for a unique honeymoon.
Your honeymoon is not a time when you should be thinking about cooking and cleaning so it makes sense to opt for a luxury houseboat where there is a crew to look after you. The Rudra houseboats in the Kerala region are generally manned by a Captain, a cook and an oarsman so you don’t have to think about how the boat works or runs – you just relax and enjoy the amazing views.
Staff on the boat can prepare candlelit dinners each day for you to enjoy and you can book this five day houseboat stay as part of a longer trip to the Kerala region. The boat trip will take you to various places in the region to give you the opportunity to do a little sightseeing. The boat features luxury bedrooms and bathrooms as well as a kitchenette for you to use if you need to.
Kerala is known for its green spaces and there is even a nature reserve nearby where you might get to see a tiger or two if you are lucky. There are also beaches where you can relax and you could visit a tea plantation or two as part of your trip.
Boats can also be rented on the lakes in the Kashmir region of India. This is relatively inexpensive when it is compared to other luxury accommodations in the region and while most boats are designed to take multiple guests, it is possible to rent the entire vessel. Try the Royal Houseboats, which are moored overlooking a lotus field on Dal Lake and are close to the region’s popular floating market.
The historic Butt’s Clermont Houseboats are also within relatively easy reach of the floating market and you would be following in the footsteps of celebrities like George Harrison. If you prefer something a little different, head to Gurkha Houseboats on Nagin Lake. Again, the accommodation is luxurious but this destination used to be popular with hippie travellers in the 1970s and 1980s so it has a very laid-back feel to it.
Many of the houseboats use solar power to generate electricity and there are recycling and water conservation measures in place. You can also choose to book your trip through one of the eco-friendly tour operators in the region so they can make sure that every aspect of your stay is a green one!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
Going green is not something that people do simply for their wedding day – it can be something that you apply to every aspect of your life, depending upon how dedicated you want to be and how much of a difference you want to make. You could find yourself making just a few changes or major alterations to your lifestyle!
If you don’t want your lifestyle to have a damaging effect on the planet then you need to look at how you might be able to reduce your carbon footprint. Do you always use your car for short journeys when you could easily walk or use public transport? Do you buy a lot of things that have been imported from other countries? Using your car less and buying locally-produced goods are just two easy changes that you can make to your lifestyle that will lessen your impact on the planet.
From there you will find it easier to make other changes. Your home’s energy consumption, for example. Do you find that you pay a lot for electricity usage? Chances are it is just because you are not vigilant about minor points like switching off appliances when they are not being used. Not only is this going to be better for your bank balance, the environment will thank you for it too!
Reduce, re-use, recycle
There are three words that can help you to become a much more environmentally-friendly person.
- Reduce – cut back on the things that you use that are not absolutely essential. When you go to the store, for example, buy loose fruits and vegetables rather than pre-packed and you don’t have to worry about excess packaging that is definitely less than eco-friendly!
- Re-use – If you can keep something and use it over and over again rather than throw it away after one use you will help to reduce your carbon footprint
- Recycle – this is very important. Recycling items means that less energy is used to make completely new items. Plastic, paper, glass and cardboard can all be easily recycled and now most towns offer collections for recyclables – take advantage of this and make a difference.
Once you make small changes it is so much easier to plan for the greener aspects of special occasions like your wedding day. Invitations from recycled paper, a menu of local and organic produce, green transport for you and your guests and sustainable materials used for the dress and other outfits and you should have the makings of a day that is not going to leave you feeling guilty about climate change.
For every person, having a greener way of life is going to be different. The important thing is to take that first step and then all the others that follow will be so much easier. Learn more about how Ecoura is committed to protecting the planet.
So your big day has come and gone and you are starting to think about the impact of it all. Maybe you did not consider green issues while you were planning your wedding but that does not mean that you can’t make a difference afterwards. Not many people think about the big clean-up because they are so excited about the day itself, but a little careful thought means that you can offset your wedding’s carbon footprint.
Did you arrange things like floral centerpieces and room decorations yourself? If you hired a company to deal with decorations for you then they will usually be responsible for taking them away and they will be reused at another wedding, making them less damaging to the environment than you might think. If you have purchased decorative items such as cake stands then it is easy enough to give or sell them on to someone else so that they can be used again.
Floral decorations obviously have a fairly short lifespan so you cannot simply expect them to be used by another bride, unless you have opted for silk flowers and you can pass them on. However, most people prefer to have real flowers at a wedding. You can give these to people as they are leaving. Most bridesmaids and members of the bridal party are happy to take home a floral decoration or two. Remember that real flowers are biodegradable so even with their short lifespan they are unlikely to have a major impact on the environment.
There are many ways of recycling your wedding outfits. The bridal gown and bridesmaids dresses can be sold on or given away so that they can be used again. There are charity organizations that will use the fabric from the dresses to make other items, including gowns for stillborn babies, so why not consider putting the dresses to good use? The same applies to shoes. The shoes are generally bought just for that one day so they have very little wear and tear on them. Sell them online or pass them on to a nearby thrift store. The groom, best man and ushers’ outfits are usually on hire so they can just be returned to the store.
General waste disposal
Often it is too late the next day to make sure that things like empty bottles are recycled but most wedding venues have different trash containers so that people will know where everything should go, but if you are faced with a reception venue that you have to return to the next morning to do the cleaning you can make sure that anything that is recyclable is separated from the rest of the trash.
Making your wedding day green is definitely much easier to do when you are in the planning stages, but that does not mean all is lost if you wait until afterwards – take a greener approach to the clean-up and you can still make a difference.
When you want a romantic honeymoon then there are few destinations which conjure up the image of romance more than France. Home to what is widely considered to be the world’s most romantic city, Paris, France offers the chilled-out and laid-back way of life that you need when enjoying your first few days of married life. However, for an eco-friendly honeymoon, there are plenty of options available to you outside of the capital city.
Woodland life in the Dordogne
Why not enjoy the peaceful life in a Woodsman’s Cabin in one of the most beautiful areas of the country? The remote setting ensures you will not be disturbed and it has everything that you need for your stay. The wood-burning stove heats the water and the cabin is lit by oil light or candle. When on your honeymoon champagne and flowers are part of the package and transport is provided in the form of a tandem. Breakfasts are provided and you can enjoy activities such as canoeing or touring the vineyards. For those who want total seclusion this option is perfect.
Auvergne guest house
Head to central France to the region of Auvergne where you will find an eco-friendly guest house or two. Try Les Liards, where you can hike in the beautiful countryside. The guest house itself has been carefully constructed using traditional building methods and eco-friendly materials. Located in the Livradois-Forez regional park, it is perfect for those who love the outdoors life.
The most romantic city in the world!
Paris is a must for those wanting a romantic break but you can also find an eco-friendly option here. The Hotel Gavarni is close to main attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysées and uses only renewable energy sources, is now carbon neutral and only eco-friendly products are used throughout the hotel. The food is organic and fair trade and as a result of all its efforts to be greener, the hotel has become the first independent hotel in the city to achieve the European Ecolabel, a quality standard for eco-friendly businesses.
A Normandy valley
La Maison du Vert is located in Ticheville in Lower Normandy and is ideal for those who like the great outdoors. The restaurant is vegetarian and vegan, with many ingredients grown in the hotel’s own gardens. Organic drinks are served in the bar and the grounds are a mix of landscaped and wild areas. Cycling is a popular activity in the area and the hotel has two bicycles that can be used by guests at no extra charge.
For honeymoons France might seem like a long way to travel but the rewards are clear when you get there. The chance to relax in beautiful surroundings that will not make much (if any!) impact on your carbon footprint should not be missed.