climate change, greenhouse gases... We can't escape the message that we need to take care of our environment. There are many ways to do this: saving electricity, cutting down on water usage or walking where possible. For many people this is an integral part of their daily lives. So why should it stop once it's time to say those vows? Is there a way to be eco-friendly, and stylish, whilst walking down the aisle? With a little patience and creativity, anything is possible.
Let's start off with the most anticipated part of any wedding: the dress. There are a whole wealth of designers who use organic materials such as hemp or eco silk. These materials are kept well away from nasty chemicals so you can be assured that they are as eco-friendly as can be. Take a look at Morgan Boszilkov's "Natural Bride" collection to see just how beautiful eco-dresses can be. Not only does Boszilkov use sustainable fabrics, but 5% of all profits go towards environmental causes. Perfect for the fashion-conscious bride with a conscience.
As for the shoes and accessories, why not borrow instead of buying brand new? Let's face it, has your best friend ever worn that veil since her wedding three years ago? Dig around in that shoe collection of your cousin's to find a beautiful pair of heels and peek a look inside your mum's jewelry box. Sorted! Environmentally friendly and cheap as chips!
The men traditionally hire their wedding suits anyway, so that's already one problem sorted. If your husband-to-be prefers the security of his own suit to spill gravy down during dinner then pick one out that is already in the wardrobe. With a bit of scrap fabric, a new tie and pocket square could be whipped up in one afternoon.
What about the ceremony? Is there such a thing as a green wedding venue? As a matter of fact, yes. The Green Union have partnerships with wedding venues that offer eco-friendly celebrations. They are based in the UK, but there are similar trusts all over the world.
Find a licensed venue to hold the ceremony and reception which cuts down on transport needed to get between the two. As for getting to the venue in the first place, choosing one that is local reduces the fuel used to get there. Hire a horse and cart, or a rickshaw. You could even walk there in your bridal gown! Imagine all the honks you would get from passing cars; Let the attention-seeker in you run riot!
Decorate the venue with locally produced organic flowers and use candles instead of electric lights where possible. Make your own stationery using recycled paper, and be sure to pop it all in the recycling bin again after your wedding. Instead of giving guests sweets as favors, make a donation in each guests name to an environmental charity.
Then there is the climax of any wedding- the disco. How about you break away from tradition and steer clear of DJ Dave altogether? Hire performers who don't require the use of eleven plug sockets: acoustic musicians, artists to draw portraits of your guests, comedians... the list goes on and not a disco ball in sight.
Finally, there's the honeymoon. What could be more romantic than hiring a yurt in the countryside? Set in a natural environment, with no electricity and often based within walking distance of a local town whilst keeping that idyllic seclusion. No airplanes, no blaring music and no drunkards stumbling in the gutter. Just you newlyweds and the local nature. Bliss!
So there you have it. With just a few tweaks in tradition, you have had your very own head-to-toe eco-friendly, environmentally conscious and thoroughly beautiful wedding. Better yet, you have helped to change the world.