Greenheart wedding tip #2 The only wedding rule you’ll ever need

by Greener Irena
Greenhearts has come across a few brides who believe that having a sustainable wedding means not consuming AT ALL, not spending money and not having any gifts. And sure, if that’s your dream wedding go right ahead. Seems really hard to us.

We’re more from the school of ABSOLUTE ABUNDANCE. Build it and they will come kinda gals than monk-like aesthetes. We think that sometimes we all put too many rules on ourselves and make life so hard that we just don’t do anything.

Weddings in particular have a lot of expectation from both family, friends and society in general. How thin we need to be, the DRESS (I’m stilll a bit gobsmacked by the whole Say Yes to the Dress TV show phenomenon), size of the ring, ceremony, reception, sit-down, cocktail, open bar, I could (but won’t go on).

There’s SO MUCH CHOICE and that’s sometimes worse than not enough. In today’s modern Australia there are no hard and fast rules about what a wedding should be, should cost or should have in it.

So we say the best way to have an ethical and sustainable wedding is to spend more money on the things that feel right to you and less on the thing you ‘have’ to do (because after all she is your mum even if technically she’s not paying for it or getting married herself, her opinions matter dammit!)

So splurge on a locally made dress or a designer gown if that’s your thing. Don’t have bonbonniere unless you WANT to give a gift to friends (pot plants, fair trade trinkets, there are lots of green options), keep invitations simple or email where you can, diet til you’re a twig* or don’t. Put out a sumptuous spread (locally sourced and donating leftovers of giving guests doggie bags) or finger food and endless organic booze til the budget breaks. Bone china or bamboo recycled picnic ware, local band, DJ mate or iPod mix tape. Gift registry (ethical only of course) or donate it to charity.

Whatever is YOUR THING then spend your money on that and cross those other traditions off your list. That’s the ethical thing to do and will help you to happily remember your wedding.

Now that’s true love!

Share your wedding tips with me and I’ll post them on the site with a link or acknowledgement. Even a germ of an idea – I will investigate.
* Be warned, if you’re thinner than you’ve ever been on Your Big Day that’s as thin as you’re likely to EVER get and are you sure you can look at those photos FOREVER and not judge yourself for not being that thin anymore? Be healthy and fit but keep it real hey?

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Greenheart wedding tip #1 Make your destination wedding local

by Greener Irena

The Greenhearts Girls have noticed over the last few years that many couples are opting for a ‘destination wedding’. A tropical paradise where only your nearest and dearest (and rich) family and friends can attend your intimate ceremony. Let’s take a quick look at this trend from a sustainability perspective.

Makes perfect sense from your perspective:

  1. You’re going to drop about twenty grand on a big party anyway where dozens of almost-strangers will eat, dance and complain about the seating arrangements. Why not spend it and get a hot honeymoon to boot while partying with only your inner circle.
  2. You’ve lived together for years and this whole ‘princess’ thing is just not you (or him). 
  3. You’ve always wanted to visit Bali/Thailand/Mauritius*/Hawaii etc.
  4. The packages on offer for the whole thing from dress to flowers to photos and dinner at bridal fairs are just so cheap and so much less hassle!

That all sounds lovely but if you want to live your sustainable values does a tropical destination wedding really stack up?

Sure you could go all actuarial (and that’s just not me, I’ve got enough to worry about) and count up the flyer miles, hotel rooms etc. and their emissions versus the car mileage and the (most likely) dozens more guests you’d invite if you had the wedding at home. Do the sums and then decide.

But this your WEDDING – your day of proclaiming love to each other in front of your nearest and dearest (and their current blow-in partners – just kidding). If you’re an accountant then go ahead but for the rest of us I think that counting is the last thing you’d want to do.

A local ‘destination wedding’ is the red-hot green option. Here’s why

  1. Share your love around, avoid paradise envy. A local wedding means more people can come, and if you do it thoughtfully, then you can have as beautiful and intimate an experience and share the love around so everyone has a great time. Include as many people as possible and make them feel welcome – now that’s a beautiful thing and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. 
  2. Know what you’re buying. As you’re in charge of the event, not some company that may not be as generous, you can be sure of the quality and who gets your hard earned cash plus you choose how to spread it around.
  3. Support the local economy. Whether you’re having your wedding in a country town or in the city, local food, local wine and local staff cut the carbon emissions and give everyone a job. Your grand affair is still supporting local suppliers, waiters, hairdressers, florists, cleaners, drivers, wineries etc.
  4. Show people how to be green. There are so many ways you can have a sustainable wedding. Some cost lots of money and some cost none. Either way, a big wedding gives you a chance to share your views and values with people that may never consider it otherwise. Choose an eco-venue, offer sustainably produced food (or go the full vego), drink biodynamic wine or local beers, donate gifts to charity or buy pre-loved wedding clothes, make speeches count and explain your values. What you say and do could change the attitudes of guests who would NEVER consider it otherwise.
  5. Go tropical at home. Either have a tropical theme using found sea shells and tropical flavours and music or  go to FNQ and avoid all the hassles of overseas travel.

Now that’s true love!

Share your wedding tips with me and I’ll post them on the site with a link or acknowledgement. Even a germ of an idea – I will investigate.* Mauritius is the one place I’m dying to visit since my first hairdresser used to cut my 80’s mop and proclaim assuredly “et voila” despite making a mess of it each time. She just charmed me.