The image source is Pexels.
A small and intimate wedding can be a beautiful affair. Even better, keeping things small can reduce the carbon footprint of the whole affair. Finally, while a traditional wedding includes many once-and-done items, an environmentally-friendly wedding can be done well with borrowed, old, and recycled or repurposed items.
Reduce the Guest List
Wedding planning in the time of COVID has repeatedly forced the bride and groom to lower the number of guests invited. Additionally, a smaller wedding means that you can
- send out fewer invites
- rent a smaller venue
- provide a small, exquisite meal
- lighten the decoration load
Of course, you’ll want to take many pictures and hire a videographer who will document the day and the ceremony to share with folks who were not able to attend.
Reuse the Outfits and Reduce the Venue
When it comes to fighting the “once and done” mindset of a wedding, allow your bridesmaids to choose adress that they will enjoy for years to come. If color matters to you,
- choose a color combination that works well on the whole wedding party
- hire a dressmaker or tailor to create outfits to suit each body type
- jazz up the shoes
For example, if you love Converse sneakers, let the whole party wear Converse sneakers in a color they love. Let the men all wear black slacks and a nice white shirt that they can use again for years to come. Let the women wear black skirts or slacks as they like and put them in a colorful top to match their sneakers.
Once the wedding party is looking both sharp and comfortable, consider the venue. An outdoor wedding with a canopy will work in most any weather. Beautiful flowers, trees and plants in a botanical garden or on a nature preserve can provide you with more color and decor than almost any other location. Best of all, these plants won’t need to be cut, arranged and discarded.
Remember Your Place in the World
It’s said that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” but diamonds and the gem trade in general has not been a good friend to the earth or to the people who live where the gems are mined. If it’s important to you or your fiancé that you wear gemstones, consider using lab created diamonds in your engagement and wedding bands.
You may also take great joy in another stone or a simple band with no gem at all. Again, each couple needs to determine how to create an amazing wedding without sending a great deal of single-use trash to the dump.
Recycle the Stationary, Dinnerware and Decorations
Talk with your caterer about your desire to avoid disposable dinnerware, napkins, and glasses. If you have the time and are using a local venue, visit thrift shops and look for
- pretty wine glasses you can use as candle holders
- white vases you can use to decorate the tables
- baskets, platters and other decorative pieces you can use for breads, desserts, and other foods
When the party’s over, re-donate all the decorative items or pass them on to someone else planning a special event. Instead of streamers, consider using ribbons to create bows that can be broken down and reused. Skip the paper and plastic table cloths.
If your outdoor wedding will be a family affair, consider creating a potluck and inviting family and friends to bring both a favorite dish and the recipe to give the young couple a treat of culinary traditions from generations past.
Finally, skip the save the date cards and go digital to get folks rounded up in the first set of invites. If you email, call, and don’t hear back, your guest list is now reduced by at least one contact. Send out invites on recycled paper to the folks who’ve responded to your first digital request. If the budget allows, find an artist who makes their own paper that guests can cherish as a keepsake.
A simple wedding party made up of usable items that the participants will cherish for years to come is possible. Let nature provide the venue and don’t worry about getting everything to match. Make your day a beautiful, varied bouquet of memories.
Contribued by Rayanne Moriss