Today’s blog post is by Melissa Latter of Eco Chic Affairs. Melissa is based in Victoria, British Columbia, and she specializes in planning eco-friendly weddings across Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. The environment is something I care deeply about and I would love to challenge couples planning their weddings to make at least two or three choices for their big day that helps lessen their impact on our big beautiful earth!
(Photo: The Apartment Photography)
In this day and age, being eco-friendly has become more accessible and is slowly becoming a reality for most people. With that in mind, how does one make their dream day a sustainable one and what does it really mean to have an ethical and eco-friendly wedding?
A sustainable wedding means reducing the carbon footprint of your wedding. A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from the use of fossil fuels by a group of people, in this case your wedding. You can reduce your carbon footprint by following any of these 3 easy tips.
It may sound daunting but in reality, just making a few simple choices can help you have a more eco-friendly wedding.
1 – Choose a naturally beautiful VENUE for the ceremony AND reception location.
With a naturally beautiful space, you will not need to do a ton of decorating to dress it up and if the ceremony and reception are in the same space, there will be less driving for your guests and less pollution from their vehicles…win/win!
If you do have to decorate, buy second hand or rent from a rental company to ensure items are getting re-used multiple times. Choose clean burning candles and reduce the use of plastics, whether it’s decor, straws or glassware. Offer your guests a water station as an alternative to bottled water.
(Photo: Brent Calis Photography)
(Photo: Eternal Reflections)
(Photo: The Apartment Photography) *don’t forget to throw dried flowers instead of confetti or rice
2 – Source Locally
We hear it all the time, but we are so lucky to live where we do and have an abundance of amazing local and ethical vendors at our finger tips.
For food, try including locally grown organic produce and vegetarian or ethically raised meat options. Here in British Columbia we are very lucky to have so many amazing wineries, breweries and distilleries that you can even include a local alcoholic drink to your menu. Your caterer will be happy to help make menu suggestions as they know what is available in various seasons.
(Photo: Eternal Reflections Photography)
As for clothing, think about where it’s coming from and the fabric being used. There are many designers who would love to make you look amazing on your wedding day and who use ethical or sustainable fabrics. If cost is a concern, there are many amazing second hand boutiques that offer affordable options. For hair and make up try to source vendors who use sustainable and cruelty free hair and make up products for your day. Elate Cosmetics is a local Victoria beauty company who prides themselves on sustainability and being cruelty free.
(Photo: Georgie Wilson Photography) * you would never know this was a used Vera Wang dress!!
(Photo: Kelly Brown Photographer) *Groom’s shirt made by Oxford in Victoria,BC
3 – Hire an Eco Conscious Florist
We all love flowers, they brighten any space and allow you to bring the outdoors in, but how do you make them sustainable?
Use locally grown, seasonal and pesticide free florals of course! Talk to your florist and see if this is a service they can provide.
Forgo the foam! Foam used to hold florals in place is not typically biodegradable and can contain carcinogens. There are some eco friendly flower foams out there however not many florists are using them due to cost. There are alternatives to foam, like chicken wire, which some florists do use, so be sure to mention to your florist of you want a foam free wedding.
Most wedding flowers are at their peak on the wedding day and not made to last much longer, but be sure to offer your guests flowers at the end of the night as it’s a nice gift and helps with the clean up. And be sure to mention to the clean up crew at the venue that the flowers should be composted and not tossed into big black garbage bags!
(Photo: Kelly Brown Photographer)
(Photo: The Apartment Photography)
Enjoy the planning process and anything you can do to reduce the size of your wedding’s carbon footprint is a win. Be creative, have fun with it and remember you can always hire a planner if you are feeling over whelmed! And please feel free to share your eco friendly wedding tips in the comments below.
By: Melissa Latter of Eco Chic Affairs