Thinking green weddings
It’s true that humanism goes hand in hand with loving the great outdoors, nature and animals, as well as (of course) humans.
Many of us celebrants find ourselves sourcing and sharing ideas on how to have a more environmentally-friendly wedding, as many of our couples’ weddings are outdoors. We also all make efforts, however small, like avoiding the printing of scripts until the final stage (I like g:drive for sharing, or tracking suggestions/changes on word) and using public transport whenever possible.
Outdoor weddings are eco-friendly.
Having an outdoor wedding is definitely one step towards being more eco-friendly, as both the Knot and Boho Weddings agree.
Sustainability and restaurants/hotels
However, not all couples choose this option; if you are having a city wedding, and a reception in a hotel or restaurant, you could check to see if they’re a member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, who set the standards in terms of sustainability, or how seriously they meet those same standards. Do they recycle? Is their produce seasonal? From where is it sourced?
Meat or Veg? Bottles or Cans?
Vegetarian food takes less energy to produce so that might be one step that you take.If you are having an outdoor wedding, what kind of cutlery, cups and plates will you use? There are disposable options that are much more eco-friendly than the ever-evil plastic. There is much debate around whether glass bottles or aluminium cans are more eco-friendly, but general agreement is that the best option is to have your alcohol by tap. So, beer barrels from a local brewery would be the best of all!
In fact, local is the way to go for an eco-friendly wedding. Local florists (seasonal flowers), local suppliers (who won’t have to travel so far) for stationery or food, local anything.
The dress, the rings and things
There is a lot of great information about this already. Clearly, vintage is best of all. Vintage rings, or vintage dresses. Anything that can be re-used is better than anything recycled.
An eco-conscious wedding dress
Brides Do Good is an incredible company is helping to stop forced marriage and slavery. You can donate your dress, or choose a beautiful wedding dress from their online shop. However, realistically, a lot of women do want a brand new wedding dress that’s eco-friendly; in that case, head to this article to take a look eco-friendly designer.
Put a ring on it
Vintage/second-hand rings are always the best. But not everyone is lucky enough to be able to source a family ring, or find an antique that will suit them. There are some great companies who are trying to make a difference. Like Brilliant Earth You can look for conflict-free diamonds. Or commission a ring from a company like London Victoria Ring The great thing is that there is clearly a good market for more ethical rings.
And other things
As we know, weddings aren’t just about the dress, the ring or the venues. There are lots of other eco-friendly ideas on this fantastic site The Natural Wedding Site
Decorations are often disposable and the most energy efficient is recycled paper. Papel picardo, which is hand-crafted, personalised, intricate paper garlands, is a good way to decorate your venue and you could keep some pieces afterwards in frames. This company, Art Mexico, looks after the artisans who make the papel picardo, making sure they are fair-trade and the finest quality.
As celebrants, we are often asked about confetti, and we check with venues/locations. I always recommend natural, biodegradable dried petals if possible. I was delighted when our Humanist Ceremonies stand at the National Wedding Show, Olympia, was right next to Shropshire Petals, and I was able to chat to the staff who were there, who explained all the elements that were considered in producing the petals.
At some other ceremonies, the guests have been given bubbles to blow, which looks lovely on camera too.
There are plenty of other ways in which we can be sustainable. Please feel free to add your ideas!