Most wedding dresses get worn only once so buying a pre-loved dress will reduce the impact of the people who made your dress and also keep both financial and environmental costs down. Alternatively you could buy a locally produced gown that would reduce carbon footprint and ensure that you know exactly where it came from, who made it and under what conditions. It is totally possible to follow this idea for your rings, bridesmaid gowns, groom and grooms men outfits too. Why not even make a point of asking your guests to join in and to re-wear an outfit or wear local. Make “pre-loved chic” a theme on the day.
Choose a venue with a great attitude towards sustainability. Many venues engage in minimal or eco-friendly energy consumption and responsible waste management solutions. To minimise transport costs and your carbon footprint further, consider holding both the ceremony and the reception at the same venue. This has another bonus in that it makes it easier for your guests as it limits the amount of transportation needed!
Set the tone for your special day, by using recycled natural materials and soy and vegetable based inks from a local company or make it fun & diy with your bridal party in. This will make it much more personal and meaningful. Another option to keep costs down further, why not just send online invites and ask you guest to RSVP via email, which costs us, them or the environment less impact.
As well as being cheaper and kinder on the environment, seasonal flowers will last longer. To make it even more ethical buy your flowers locally from an organic flower farm or florist. This cuts down on transportation and to keep money and business in the local community. Another great idea is to give your wedding flowers as gifts to your bridesmaids as another ethical way of up-cycling and keeping costs down.
5. The Gifts
If you are feeling really generous you could ask people to make a donation on your behalf to a charity or good cause close to your heart. Or just limit the spending amount and insist on gifts from the local area and businesses only.
6. The Food
If you’re passionate about animal rights and reducing carbon footprint, why not go for a meat-free menu? Many catering companies can organise a vegetarian/vegan menu.
Fresh seasonal produce, which has greater health benefits and no footprint.
If you do hire a caterer, ensure they are local which allows you to support local industries and to increase your guests’ awareness as to where your food comes from.
Check with your local catering companies to see about their ethical & enviromentally safe packaging.
7. The Leftovers
There is always leftover food at a wedding, and many caterers will just throw it out at the end of the day, why not donate it to a local food bank or homeless shelter to help others? Alternatively, to go with your ethical theme why not ask guests to bring Tupperware and feel free to take food home to avoid wastage!
8. The Favours
Give your guests, seeds or plants that they can keep and grow in memory of your day and are a much more ethical, low packaging, choice than the usual glitzy favours that are sometimes of no practical use.
Check out your local businesses that create & supply ethically made gifts and favours.
9. The aftermath
Sell, recycle or upcycle your styled décor, dress and other outfits, it’s a waste to keep them and never use them again so pass it on to someone else, sell on, donate to a charity, a local theatre or make a new item out of your materials that you can use again.
Staying at a beautiful destination can have effects on the carbon footprint with your air travel but you can gain extra points in the environmental department, by sourcing everything locally through ethical businesses.
We have an array of local suppliers that can help you create your dream ethical wedding or event.
Lennox Head & the Northern Rivers have many options to combine your wedding & honeymoon.
We can create a magical destination wedding or event to fit in with your idea of ethical responsibility, and ensure your money goes straight to our local communities by sourcing from our independent local businesses via our directory.
So there you have it, 10 easy ideas to have a more ethically responsible sustainable wedding or event. Probably one of the most important things you can do however is to share your ideas and experiences with others and try and encourage them to hold a more ethical wedding or event to.
*images courtesy of Ben Wyeth Photography