Wedding diary: The story of an eco-friendly wedding
This Saturday, Mary Saunders will marry her sweetheart David Walker. But, their big day won’t be your usual occasion as the couple have carefully crafted an eco-friendly wedding.
Handing over the blog to the soon-to-be Mrs Walker…
The making of an eco-friendly wedding
When I started planning my wedding last year, I never would have thought of myself as an eco-warrior bride. In fact, I had visions of horse drawn carriages and gowns with enough tulle to rival a haberdashery, but after estimating how much my wedding was really going to cost, I realised I would be creating an awful lot of expensive waste on one day.
Unnecessary, to say the least, I didn’t want to spend that much on a day that would ultimately cost the earth in more ways than one. And with everywhere pushing up their prices at the mere mention of the word “wedding”, I couldn’t justify it to myself that it would really be worth it.
I know many brides who struggle to save such excessive amounts. I’ve found alternative and more ethical ways which have meant, even on a lower budget, I can have the wedding I want and sleep a little better at night knowing it hasn’t affected the world I live in. As green weddings are on the up, I thought I would share with you the ways I’m saving money and making my big day as ethical as possible.
Locations can be so hard to choose, partly because it’s so difficult to keep everyone happy about where you decide, especially when it comes to getting people there. I’ve chosen an outdoor wedding in my parent’s garden which will display the natural beauty of the environment and in a location where I can encourage my wedding party to walk rather than drive. Decorating my parent’s garden is not only a free option, but also one that feels more personal. Of course, I’m under no illusions this is going to be easy, but when the sun is shining and the fresh air is surrounding us on a glorious day, it’s going to make it feel so magical when we’re saying our vows.
Wedding rings are not the cheapest item on the list, but they are certainly the most important in my eyes. A representation of your vows to each other and the lifelong commitment you have decided to embark upon. But, this shouldn’t mean they have to cost you your life’s savings.
I’ve found many jewellers are using recycled gold and fair-labour gemstones, so if you’re really concerned about the origin of your ring you can ask them about the source. Although I found this as the best option for finding something I could create myself, we’ve ended up doing this for my partner only, as I’ve found an absolute beauty in a charity shop that I felt was overwhelming when it came to representing something lasting.
If there’s one thing I really have to get right for my big day it, of course, has to be the dress. The one thing every girl’s dreams are made of when thinking about their wedding day, it has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve made throughout my plans for a green wedding. I’ve spoken to many other brides who are in the same boat as me and they’ve decided to go down the more traditional route of altering their mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dresses.
However, as beautiful as the wedding dresses are within my family, I wanted to pick out my own that I could transform. During my epic research marathon, I stumbled across the Oxfam Bridal Shop (www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/bridal) which I never even knew existed. Of course I knew charity shops had wedding dresses, but Oxfam have an entire shop and website dedicated to bridal wear.
At a fraction of the new price, I dragged my mum along to as many charity shops as possible until I found the one. It took longer than expected, but I’m pleased to say the dress is being altered and freshened up my by local dry cleaners.
In my eyes, although the effort of an ethical and green wedding is probably double the work compared to planning a traditional wedding, I feel it’s going to be more of my own than if I had purchased everything from brand new.
Of course an eco-friendly wedding perhaps isn’t for everyone, but it’s certainly making my day feel special already.