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!

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.  

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?

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?

Top Eco-Friendly Luxury Hotels

Planning an eco-friendly honeymoon can often be quite difficult, particularly if you do not want to compromise on luxury.  The good news is that some of the world’s top luxury hotels have taken on board their guests’ concerns about the environment and have started to make the changes needed for eco-friendly credentials.

Laguna Lodge

461_6044The jungles of Guatemala are home to the Laguna Lodge hotel.  With views of Mayan ruins, this luxury hotel is now one of the greenest in the region.  Designed using locally produced materials, this hotel generates its own electricity and has a water efficiency program. The menu in the restaurant is vegetarian and the hotel staff are hired from the local indigenous people. The design of the hotel also takes its location into account and minimizes impact of light and noise on the surroundings.

Cleaning agents and other products in the hotel are all vegan-approved, are created with the help of only natural insecticides and are biodegradable. The amount of electricity generated on-site is more than the hotel actually uses and there is a good energy management program in place, although the hotel does not have any official accreditations to show for it yet. You cannot reach the lodge by car, so when you arrive, be prepared for a hike or a boat-ride.

The Scarlet

Head over to the UK for The Scarlet Hotel, located in Cornwall, England.  The cliff-top location of the hotel offers amazing views and every aspect of the hotel has been designed to be as eco-friendly as possible. The building is energy efficient, featuring a green roof along with plenty of insulation to minimize energy consumption.

The restaurant at the hotel has a strong vegetarian menu and guests who want to feel pampered can make the most of the eco-friendly spa.  The two swimming pools are chlorine-free and solar panels are used to heat the water. All cleaning products and toiletries are environmentally friendly, with many of them sourced locally. The hotel has strong links with the local community, working with them on a number of different projects.

The hotel’s roof is made from a native plant known as ‘sea thrift’ and the outdoor pool is filtered naturally with the help of reeds. Maximization of natural light means that there is not as much need for artificial light and there are car charging points for those guests who drive eco-friendly electric cars. Even used candle wax is recycled at this hotel!

No matter which side of the world you want to honeymoon on, there is an eco-friendly hotel that will suit you.  With environmentally-friendly spas, swimming pools and even haute cuisine, there is no need to compromise on luxury at all and you have no need to worry that your honeymoon is going to add to damage being done to the planet.

Have an Eco-Friendly Honeymoon in Mexico

No matter where you want to go for your honeymoon, there are eco-friendly hotels and resorts just waiting for you!  Mexico is no different, consider one of these for your honeymoon.

Xinalani Retreat

rlWgMKEuMTS0LFV6rlWmnKcyVwc7VaqcMUEbVwb0ZmNfVzuynJqbqPV6ZwDjsK0fVaOuqTtvBvWcoJSaMKZipUWiMUIwqP9jpz9jMKW0nJImYmHkZmLip3WwYGplZwN2YGR0ZGH4ZGt4AmxhnaOaVvjvqzIlp2yiovV6VvW9If you want to head over to Banderas Bay you could spend some time at the Xinalani Retreat.  This is a tranquil and luxurious resort with the ocean on one side and a jungle on the other.  This small hotel brings you close to nature and offers a range of workshops and wellness retreats. You also get to avoid the hustle and bustle of the main tourist destinations in the region, so peace and tranquillity are yours for the taking.

Escudo Jaguar Hotel

The Escudo Jaguar Hotel can be found in the state of Chiapas, right on the Usamacinta River.  As well as the range of hotel rooms, guests can opt for camping if they prefer to be closer to nature. This resort has been designed to appeal to the ecotourist and is run by the Chole natives. The hotel’s on-site restaurant serves traditional dishes using locally-sourced produce. Activities available here include swimming, hiking and tours of local archaeological sites.

Xaloc Resort

The Xaloc Resort can be found on Holbox Island, on the edge of a white, sandy beach. The accommodation is luxury bungalows that have been designed to meet with eco-friendly standards. Guests on honeymoon here can simply relax on the beach or go swimming. Take the opportunity to pick up a few locally-made craft items to take home as souvenirs.

Hacienda Chichen Resort & Yaxin Spa

Hacienda-night-viewThis luxury resort can be found near Chicen Itza and is perfect for those interested in local history, thanks to its proximity to a number of Mayan archaeological sites. The spa offers a range of treatments that take their inspiration from the native cultures. There is also a wide variety of ecotourist activities on offer in the local area and the hotel’s staff will be happy to help you to book as needed.

Puerta Calakmul Ecovillage

This is a great honeymoon option for those who like their adventure holidays. The Puerta Calakul Ecovillage is located in Campeche, Mexico. It is located very close to the largest archaeological area in the region and the biosphere. There are so many amenities on site that it is so easy to relax and unwind, but there are also plenty of trips you can take part in to explore the surrounding area.

There are plenty more eco-friendly honeymoon destinations in Mexico so why not do a little research and find out more? Mexico is filled with hidden treasures and the examples mentioned here are ideal if you don’t want to compromise on luxury.  Simple measures such as recycling programs and energy efficiency measures mean that you can enjoy those luxurious touches without leaving a black mark on the planet.

 

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 Wedding – Sourcing Local

One of the first things you should do when planning your eco-friendly wedding is to source everything locally. The closer to home that you can find everything the smaller the impact you are going to have on the environment. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that sourcing local only means getting your food from local producers (although that is what we will focus on here!).  If you look hard enough you will be able to find every aspect of your big day within very easy reach!

Locally sourced food is obviously one of the main points to consider.  Most people don’t realize just how much food is imported from other countries, from meats to fruit, but there are always alternative supplies that you can find and food without air miles attached is so much better for the environment. Try local grocers and find out where they get their supplies – choose the items that have not travelled more than a few miles.  Some farms will sell meat direct to the public, and if the products you choose are organic then so much the better.  Organic produce means that there has been no harsh chemicals used in the production so there is no further damage to the environment.

So is there a downside to this?  Yes, but it is not one that should put you off.  The downside is that you will be limited to a menu of seasonal food.  This might sound a little restrictive but throughout the year you can create great dishes with in-season produce so there is no reason why your guests should not enjoy tasty and creative dishes no matter what the time of year.

Locally produced foods also tend to be better for you.  Food that has travelled will naturally have lost some of its freshness and therefore it will have lost some of its nutritional value too. The fresher something is when you eat it the more nutrients you get. If possible, have your caterers use products that have only been picked the day before the wedding so you can be sure that your guests are getting the full benefit.

You should also never forget that by sourcing locally you are lending your support to local businesses.  Independent farmers and growers often lose out because their share of the market is much smaller.  Go along to your local farmer’s market day and meet a few potential suppliers, talk to them about your wedding and exactly what you are looking for and they will be able to give you a few hints and tips about what to find where.

Your wedding day has the potential to vastly increase your carbon footprint but forward planning and staying within a mile or two of home for your supplies should put a stop to that. Just remember that ‘local’ is not the same as ‘compromise’!

Is a DIY Wedding Eco-Friendly?

DIY weddingBrides today are often turning to the DIY option for various aspects of their wedding, but is this really any greener than other options?  The answer is that there are various ways a DIY wedding can be much more eco-friendly than the ready-prepared options so a little careful planning could be all you need.

When you realize just how many things are ready-made for your big day, it can seem to be easier to have somebody else do it for you.  Items such as stationery, decorations, party favors and even clothes can all be made by you for the wedding and one of the advantages of doing things this way is that you can be sure you get exactly what you want, but making sure it is green is another matter!

Stationery

You can order eco-friendly stationery for your wedding online or have a local stationery supplier produce it for you, but it is just as eco-friendly for you to purchase recycled paper and other items to make your own.  If you simply buy random items to make your wedding stationery with then you cannot be sure that it is the greenest option.  However, make sure you allow plenty of time as if you want to get them just perfect it can be a very time-consuming thing to do.

Decorations

For a DIY wedding the best decorations are those that you can find in the garden!  Raid your own green space as well as that of your friends and neighbors to gather huge amounts of flowers and trailing greenery.  The only downside to this option is that it has to be done as late as possible to avoid the flowers drooping before the big day.  Aim to decorate the venue the night before.  If you opt for other types of decorations such as paper decorations or balloons, you will find that your carbon footprint rises slightly.  And when you have finished with your flowers and greenery, they can simply be added to the compost!

Party favors

When you are putting together your party favors you could just purchase these ready-made but you cannot be sure what the carbon footprint of these is.  Why not consider a party favor that helps your guests to live an eco-friendly lifestyle? Wild-flower seeds in recycled paper packets are a good choice as it can help to give guests a lasting memory of your big day.

Clothes

Okay, we will admit you need some serious skills to be able to pull this one off but you can make sure your hand-made outfits are eco-friendly.  Using eco-friendly fabrics such as organic cottons and silks are a good idea but you need to make sure that they are produced locally (or as near as you can get!) in order to be sure that their carbon footprint is low. Remember that many fabrics are mass-produced in the Far East these days so do a little research before you make this decision.  This is another one that will have to be started early to make sure that you are ready for the big day. Last but not least, don’t forget your eco-friendly wedding rings!