A wedding is a one-time celebration, and whether you choose to host a grand affair or a muted gathering, extravagance in various degrees cannot be avoided. But as dwellers of a planet that’s fast falling to ruin, we have a responsibility to shoulder and we must ensure that our merrymaking doesn’t leave wastefulness and damage in its wake.
While most people understand the importance of a green wedding, they’re reluctant to consider it, believing that it will dampen the mood and put a lid on celebrations. That’s not true. An eco-conscious wedding doesn’t mean you’ll be cutting corners or saying goodbye to fun altogether. It just entails making better choices and letting your conscience guide the way.
Go In For a Green Venue
The venue is at the center of any social celebration, especially weddings, and the very first thing you need to do is pick a place that’s self-sustaining. With a little effort, you’re bound to find a beautiful venue that’s not dependent on fossil fuel to run in.
Weather permitting, go for an outdoor venue. A farm, a vineyard, or even a nice garden in your locality is perfect for day-time functions. These can also double as lovely evening venues if they’re equipped with solar electricity grids. And don’t worry about the battery running out and leaving you in the dark. In a country like ours, there’s enough sun to generate and store solar energy to light up your venue well into the wee hours of the morning.
Flowers are one of the biggest decorative elements used at a wedding. And while they do look stunning, they leave behind a long trail of fuel emissions thanks to the transportation and refrigeration involved in getting them to you. For a greener spin to the decorations (literally!), reduce the use of cut-flowers and bouquets. Replace urns of exotic flowers with large verdant potted greens and flowering plants. Smaller greens in terracotta or ceramic containers can be used for tabletop beautification.
This alternative is eco-conscious in two ways. First, since potted plants are locally sourced, they come with a very low carbon footprint. Secondly, they also last longer and make your venue look fresher throughout the evening, unlike flowers that begin to droop after a few hours. You’d call that a win-win, wouldn’t you?
Every bride dreams of looking their stunning best on the day of their wedding, and a great deal of thought goes into selecting the clothes and jewelry for the occasion. But, instead of buying something brand new, how about your repurpose your mother’s wedding trousseau? The antique fabric is enjoying a new high right now, and vintage is in. Your designer can easily alter an old lehenga or saree to make it into a fashionable and trendy piece for you to flaunt at the wedding.
Buy your jewelry with care. Make certain that the diamonds and gems in your ornaments are ethically sourced. You don’t want blood diamonds to mark this special event. Better still, wear a family heirloom. Your grandmother’s necklace and bangles or your grandfather’s gold-plated pocket watch and chain have memories and stories in them, making them invaluable. Not only will they complete your vintage-inspired ensemble, but they will also make the day really, really special thanks to the sentimental value attached to them.
Food and drinks are the life of any wedding celebration, and you certainly don’t want to scrimp on catering on this special day. However, there are ways to be mindful when planning the menu.
Select dishes that are centered around local produce that is organically grown. While organic produce may have a higher price tag, it is more cost-effective as there are lower overheads, like transport and preservation.
Order your beverages to be brought to the dining area in large kegs and dispensers. This will bring down plastic waste. Arrange for food waste to be donated to local food banks. And don’t order a spread of 35 dishes when you can comfortably do with 20 or 25 items. With some careful planning and the right caterer by your side, you will be able to pull this off without a glitch.
Last, but not the least, comes the all-important task of keeping a watchful eye on waste generation. An average wedding produces at least five pieces of plastic or non-biodegradable items of rubbish per person. That is an alarming amount of waste, and ignoring it is criminal.
Plan waste generation from the get-go. Invites are essential, but switch to digital invites, if you can. WhatsApp and email invite go a long way towards reducing the usage of paper. Where it’s simply unavoidable, opt for seed paper. Your guests can plant your invitation and find joy when it sprouts flowers in time.
Avoid single-use plates and glasses. There are many firms that have non-disposable tableware which you can rent for the occasion. Encourage people to reuse their plates and glasses. If your guests truly care about you, they will respect your vision and happily comply.
We admit that planning an eco-conscious wedding isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it has gotten easier over the years. All you need is a little extra vigilance to make your wedding day special in a truly meaningful manner. The earth will definitely bless such a union. Happy planning!
Picture Credits: Wed Luxe, Mandy Evans, Decoraiso, Martha Stewart, Vanraj Zaveri