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’!