These days, a wedding that is completely eco-friendly is becoming increasingly popular, with El Nigno, and the ozone layer depleting, and just Mother Nature really being angry at everyone. Some brides take this opportunity to give a little bit back to the earth; that said, what if you are a bride that is not really into the "nature" look of eco-friendly weddings, but still wanted to do your part for the universe?
In honour of Earth Day that just passed, here are a couple ways that you can help out, without having to change your colour palette to a forest green and tree bark brown.
1. Be conscious of your food waste. This one is a little tricky, given that banquet halls are generally pretty strict about being able to take your leftover food home. Food waste is a huge concern in large scale venues. But if you were hosting your reception at a restaurant, see if you can arrange an agreement with the owner so that any leftover food is up for grabs by the guests or yourselves. This way, all those desserts that were remained untouched as guests danced the night away will be saved and consumed eventually.
2. Skip the RSVP card, or the multicard invitation. If you have lots of information to communicate to your guests, consider designing a website that has all the information in one place, rather than printing multiple cards for your invites. Having a page also for an online RSVP is both space saving, eco-friendly and convenient for when you have to tally up your confirmed guests.
3. Consider seed paper or recycled paper for invitations. A large trend with invitations now is to print the invites on "seed" paper, or paper that you can plant later which will turn into a beautiful bed of flowers or a tree. Or if you're not a tree hugger, then look into using recycled paper instead.
4. If you are crafting your own bar, rent glassware. This may sound silly and should go without saying, but glassware is far classier than beer cups or paper cups at your reception, and your bartender/rental company can just wash them and reuse them. And it reduces that amount of plastic and paper that is being thrown away at the end of the evening. Sure, it might be more expensive to rent all your glassware, but it beats hauling away hundreds of disposable cups at the end of the night, some of which only held water and then tossed.
5. Only plan to serve wedding cake to 50% of your guests. Let's face it. Cakes are beautiful to look at, and those with a sweet tooth will gladly welcome it. But generally, a good chunk of your guests will be more focused on the poutine station or the open bar than the cake (reduce the servings to 40% if it's fondant - an acquired taste - or 30% if you already have a large late night table with sweet and savoury items). Unless you are planning to take all the remaining servings home (and we advise that you do!), lots of the cake will be wasted.
6. Use locally grown florals and greens. Having centerpieces and bouquets using fresh local florals will not only support your local growers, but it will give a beautiful, English garden feel to your wedding. Plus, they are generally cheaper, and they will save on freight from being flown in from all over the world. Particularly in Ontario, lots of flowers are shipped in from Ecuador, Holland and California. Consider also using local composte (i.e. coffee grinds!) and putting fresh plants in them as an alternative centerpiece.
Even though you may feel like you are only one in the universe, only one person needs to start to make a difference!