It's easy to get swept away in the euphoria of the occasion, but taking time to think of ways to help minimise social and environmental damage as a result of your wedding is a wise, and considerate thing to do. Indeed, an eco friendly wedding is all the rage these days with numerous Hollywood stars and countless non-celebrity from couples across the UK and around the world opting for a wedding that doesn't leave a huge carbon and environmental footprint.
This article takes a closer look at eco friendly weddings and provides a whole host of ideas, and theme suggestions - many of which are easier to implment than you may think.
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Colours for an Eco Friendly Wedding
For an environmentally focussed wedding, it goes without saying that the colour green is an ideal one to pick, but there's no need to go overboard. Subtle apple blossom or mint works wonders with a dark bottle green and also sits fantastically alongside the traditional ivory/white to help create a prominent, yet subtle, eco friendly wedding ambience.
Eco Friendly Wedding Stationery
Why send out invites at all when you can send an e-card or make a simple phone call? If you are set on sending out paper-based stationery, then make sure it's printed on recycled card and include a recycled RSVP slip too.
There are a whole host of additional eco friendly wedding stationery tips you can employ across the day too. For example, rather than traditional placecards, get a calligrapher to paint names on decorative pebbles. Think outside of the box and you can't go far wrong.
Eco Friendly Wedding Transport
A horse & carriage is great eco friendly wedding transport option, but a Tuc Tuc, or some form of electric vehicle, is also a good alternative. Alternatively, source a fuel efficent car to travel in, and if at all possible - walk or catch a bus!
Eco Friendly Wedding Outfits
When it comes to the wedding dress, the style isn't as important as the source. Try local charity shops as a first port of call and if you simply have to head to the high street, look for a frock that is made in your own country, or consider hiring one instead.
For the other wedding outfits, again try charity shops first, although it could prove tricky to get hold of multiple outfits in the same style. With this in mind, look for items made out of environmentally friendly material - hemp for example.
Flowers for an Eco Friendly Wedding
Try to make the most out of leaves, twigs and flowers in season. Make sure that all the flowers used are locally grown and, for true eco freindly wedding flowers, consider only sourcing organic ones.
Eco Friendly Wedding Venues
When considering the venue, try to choose a somewhere that has a good environmental policy - ask them if they are ISO 14001 acredited or have received any Eco awards for example. Also think about ease of access. An easily accessible venue, ideally on a good public transport route is ideal, but somewhere that doesn't leave the Bride, Groom, and many of the guests with too far to travel is great alternative.
Food & Drink for an Eco Friendly Wedding
Welcome Drink: Opt for something locally sourced - Cornish Cider, Scottish Whiskey or English Wine for example.
Reception/'Evening Do' Food: Go organic wherever possible. Source locally produced food or opt for fair trade produce. You could consider only serving vegetarian meals.
Decor & Favours for an Eco Friendly Wedding
Where possible, look to host as much of the proceedings outside to cut down on the decor needed and use nature as the decorative backdrop. If balloons and decor are essential, then look to use recycled or biodegradable materials in whatever you plump for.
When it comes to eco friendly wedding favours, look to go for local handmade goods or fair trade products - seek something with minimal packaging. Ask guests not to bring their own confetti, but issue each of them with some locally grown petals or leaves to throw.
With regards gifts for the happy couple, consider a charitable gift list or ask for cash to put towards renewable generation.
Eco Friendly Music & Entertainment
Look to book up local musicians to cut down on vehicle emisions - why not go for a Green Day tribute act! For entertainment, consider a range of garden games.
Eco Friendly Honeymoons
For honeymoons abroad, consider off-setting your carbon emisions, or why not holiday at home! Where possible, look for the most environmentally friendly means of transport, and you could even take part in some conservation or community work when you're away.
When it comes to eco friendly weddings, regardless of whether you plan to go the whole hog, or are just looking to play your part, you should remember that every little thing counts, and if we all do a little, it'll make a whole lot of difference.
For those of you wanting to find out more, we've a whole host of other wedding theme and colour articles on our site packed full of unique and inspirational ideas, not to mention our online wedding directory that's filled with venue decorators, balloon suppliers and more.