Monday, August 4, 2014

Green Weddings 101: How to Make Your Wedding Eco-Friendly (Part 3)

We’ve discussed in the second part how you can plan a green wedding including invitation, attire, reception, flowers, d├ęcors, gifts and parties. Finally, we will look into food, ceremony, jewelry, makeup, photography, favors, transportation and honeymoon. For food, the emphasis is on choosing the best catering services in Philippines. Again, here are some practicalities that will keep your sanity and creativity at the same time.

Food


Food can affect the sustainability of any green wedding. One of the common practices is having local growers as food suppliers, thereby eliminating the amount of chemicals used in producing and the amount of emissions released in transporting.

Green caterers frequently have contacts with local suppliers whom they can work with in adding organic elements on the food where possible. Some couples request their caterers to customize the menu and make it more vegan or vegetarian.

Find the wedding caterer who can pick the best seasonal fruits and ingredients for you because you might not be able to taste test them ahead of time. Local produce needs lesser fridge time and lesser packaging thereby producing lesser wastage.  

The same goes with the wedding cake wherein organic, in-season ingredients are used in reducing chemical use further. So, there is no need for the cake to travel miles to the wedding reception, reducing carbon footprint in the process. Don’t use plastic toppers. Choose fruits or flowers instead.
If there are leftovers, couples may choose to have them composted. Untouched foods are also donated to a homeless shelter locally.

Ceremony


Regardless of wedding, ceremonial paraphernalia are used. In the Philippines, weddings are not complete without rings, arrhae, candles, veils and cords. Veils and cords used can be made from organic fibers while the candles are made from beeswax.

Red carpets are usually used in local weddings although some couples may choose a personally-designed aisle runner. The runner can be made from organic cloth as well.

Jewelry


Wedding rings are a must. They are symbolically important. Blood or conflict diamonds are a big no-no. These are the diamonds mined in conflict areas. Instead, couples often consider buying from eco-conscious jewelers that use recycled metals and stones in their rings. Some jewelers strictly enforce the use of ethically sourced diamonds and other gems. These are sustainable luxuries that you cannot afford to miss on your wedding.

Other less expensive options are re-fashioned family heirlooms or antique jewels for a wedding ring or buying handcrafted rings. These are the most common choices not just for wedding rings, but also for engagement rings.

There are couples who opt to wear wooden wedding bands in place of metal bands.

Makeup


On average, a lipstick wearer absorbs 4 lbs. of lipstick over her entire lifetime. Cosmetics, like lipsticks and other makeups, have toxic chemicals in them. Instead, use all-natural beauty products for the bride and bridesmaids. Organic hair products should be also used.

Some brides seek out local green salons for her wedding day to style and makeup the female members of the entourage.

Photography


What’s a wedding without a photographer to capture the special moments? Most photographers today had already migrated to digital. Digital photography means paperless, chemical-free way to cover the event. In fact, digital photographers simply gave newlyweds choices on which photos to print.

Green photographers who use rechargeable batteries, 100% recycled photo papers, non-toxic inks and LED or CFL bulbs are a good choice.

Finally, you may also ask your families and friends to bring a digicam with them. Just make sure they will share the photos perhaps on Flickr, Snapfish or even Facebook. In this way, you don’t have to hire several photographers.

Favors


Favors are trinkets that some guests may choose to throw to the garbage bin. Instead, couples choose to make a small donation in the name of their guests to an advocacy. You may give your guest a choice of charities to donate.

Some weddings, on the other hand, opt for non-wasteful favors such as seedlings or mini potted window or table plants, echoing the values of the wedding. Couples may also choose to plant a tree and name it after a guest.

Other options are homemade jams, gourmet organic chocolates, bags of dried or fresh organic herbs, organic coffee or tea, reusable bags and organic soaps and other skin care products. Make sure the containers are reusable also.

Transportation


Transportation to and fro the church to the venue is another must for weddings. Typically, the couples arrive in cars and guests travel separately. Cars are a leading contributor of air pollution.

Some to-be-weds decide to hold their ceremony and reception at the same place or close to one another (as in walking distance) so there’s no need for frequent transports. There are couples who chose to transport their guests in batch through alternative energy buses.

There are couples who arrange carpools to travel from an agreed place to the church and then to the venue. This minimizes emission while having them acquainted with one another in a less yet fun way.

Honeymoon


About 99% of the newlyweds in the US will go to a honeymoon. The choice of honeymoon destination can also reduce the impact. For instance, newlyweds may choose ecologically sensitive areas. They may also go to eco-tourism options. They may choose green hotels or accommodations such as family-operated bed and breakfast or lodging inn that opt to help in conserving resources. Both of you are going to spend most of your time in the hotel anyway.

Couples ensure that what they are spending will go to the local economy by choosing local vacation options instead of traveling abroad. Choose a location where people and environment will benefit because of that choice.



Whether it’d be in the Philippines or elsewhere, there are various ways to have a green wedding minus the need to sacrifice style and elegance. Eco-friendly weddings are like your traditional weddings without the waste. All aspects of a wedding have sustainable options to consider during planning. Whether you want an earth-friendly element in a wedding or two or go completely green from the decors to the foods, remember going green always makes a difference.

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