Find your Eco-Friendly Wedding at a Bridal Show

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.

Track Down that Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress

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?

Sustainable designers

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.

Conventional boutiques

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.

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!

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.

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.  

Your wedding – be green after the event!

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.

Décor

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.

Clothes

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.

Tips on Eco-Friendly Wedding Jewelry

ecourabridalGetting eco-friendly wedding jewelry is not as difficult as you might think.  Industry leading eco-friendly jewelry manufacturer Ecoura utilizes renewed gold and other materials to produce beautiful pieces of jewelry that you will be happy to wear forever. There are a few ways to make sure that you get something that is truly ethical and eco-friendly.

Stones

Vintage stones are one option for those who do not want to wear unethical items. Retro jewelry is considered to be very on-trend at the moment and is a great alternative to buying new items.

There are also certification programs that you can check to make sure that the stones that your jeweler is using come from an ethical source. Your jeweler should also be happy to discuss the source of your stones with you too, so if you have any doubts make sure you ask!

Gold

The melting and refining process of renewed gold means that it offers the same quality as new gold. As many gold mines have an open-pit design the damage to the environment can be far more destructive than you think. Not many people realize that up to 30 tons of rock can be destroyed to find enough gold to make one ring.  Ecoura’s renewed gold jewelry is a great option if you prefer to leave the rock where nature intended!

Go a little off-beat

Did you consider wood for your wedding jewelry? Not many people do, but this is a real eco-friendly option. There are designs out there that include strands of braided silver and some eco-friendly diamonds so you do not have to give up on the idea of wearing jewelry that will make an impact on your big day.

Finding your eco-friendly jeweler is actually much easier than you might think.  A few minutes spent with Google will bring you many alternatives in your local area.  Make sure you ask them what they can offer you that is eco-friendly and ask as many questions as you can about their material sources.

Remember that your wedding day jewelry and in particular your wedding ring should last a lifetime. Why compromise with a cheap alternative when you can get quality statement pieces. like those from Ecoura, that are guilt-free and designed to last for years?

Your Wedding: Vintage or New?

When you’re planning your big day, you want to leave a lasting impression on your guests, not on the ozone layer! But does this mean that you have to have everything second hand? The answer is no.

Vintage style is something that is very much on-trend at the moment and if you want to organize a vintage wedding then you can be reassured that you are dramatically reducing your carbon footprint. Being willing to re-use something that has already been created and used means that you are not paying for new things to be manufactured. However, there are plenty of brand new things that you can have on your wedding day that will not damage the environment.

The dress – vintage or new?

Any dress you choose for your day is one that you want to be eye-catching. Vintage gowns are all the rage at the moment and by shopping online or in specialist vintage stores you can pick up a bargain. Just remember that there are some eco-friendly dress labels that can create you a new gown using organic and eco-friendly materials so that your dress will not have the carbon footprint of a standard new gown.

The cars – vintage or new?

This is probably the one instance where a vintage car is not necessarily more eco-friendly than a new car. The energy efficiency of new cars means that they do not use as much fuel as vintage vehicles, so you are not adding to the destruction of the planet. You also don’t have the worry of the impact of getting a new item – the cars have already been built. You are not creating more demand for new cars, you are simply hiring the car that you like on the day. You are not causing a new car to be built, so the environmental impact of the manufacturing process is only a small consideration here.

The venue – vintage or new?

Older buildings tend not to have the energy efficiency of newer built properties. Country house hotels that date back 150 years or more are beautiful to look at and are wonderful backdrops for your photos but they are not built to modern-day green construction standards, even if they have included some energy efficient measures such as solar panels and recycling programs. On the other hand, most modern hotels have been built to comply with standards on eco-friendly building and include many more eco-friendly features that might include wind turbines, water recycling systems and a focus on the use of local suppliers.

These are just a few of the aspects of your green day that you might want to consider. Vintage implies a certain amount of eco-friendliness and a vintage wedding can be a beautiful event.  However, vintage does not suit everybody. If you prefer to have a modern wedding it is good to know that you can opt for new on almost everything and still do your bit for the planet.

Your Green Wedding – How a Car Pool Can Help!

For any event, but particularly a wedding, travel to and from the venue can be responsible for seriously increasing your carbon footprint.  Everyone tends to travel in their own cars unless the wedding is a long distance from home, but car travel can be very damaging for the environment. So what is the solution?  A car pool!

Organizing a car pool

This is going to seem like a mammoth task but there are a few things that you can do to make it go smoothly. First of all you need to ask people how they are going to get to and from the wedding. You could send out a mass email or just ask people to note it on their RSVP when they get their invitation.  The next step is a little boring but it will help! Create a spreadsheet with all list of guests on it and note where they live and if they are planning to drive or not.

This spreadsheet will help you to work out if there are guests that live close enough together to share a vehicle.  You will also need to know if the guests are planning to stay overnight at the wedding location – some will prefer to return to their own home and this will affect the way that you match people up.

Talk to everyone first before you go making arrangements for them.  Some will be happy to car pool and some will not.  Explain to everyone why you are doing it – some will want to help you to reduce your wedding day’s impact on the environment but there will also be people who do not understand why it is important.  How much time you want to spend convincing them is up to you!

Car pool benefits

The reduction in fuel usage will be important for the environment but remember that it will also save your guests some money.  The cost of gas can be split between everyone in the car, which would be much more if they had all arrived in individual cars. It also means that some of your guests can get to know each other before they arrive at the wedding, so you will have far fewer of those guests that do not know anyone and find it hard to talk to strangers. And there are also fewer parking issues – there are so many venues that only seem to have enough parking facilities for half the number of guests that you have invited!

Alternatives to car pools include hiring coaches to ferry guests from the church to the reception and then back to hotels or even home.  When planning your wedding, consider not only the travelling that you are going to be doing but that of your guests too – the environmental impact soon adds up but with a little (or a lot) of careful planning, you can change that.