As the wedding season approaches, many couples are opting for what is called a "green wedding". What does it mean to have a "green wedding?" Well, it doesn't mean that everything, including the wedding dress is green in color. The term "green" is taken from the concept of being environmentally friendly (green). From the bridal gown all the way down to the guest favors, many brides these days are choosing to "go green."
Does that mean you have to wear a wedding dress made of biodegradable paper? Not unless you want to! But brides are choosing natural materials for their wedding gown. The most popular is silk, but nowadays, you can even find gowns made of hemp.
The wedding industry in the United States, is a $70 billion a year business. The consumer is ultimately a powerful voice when it comes to being socially responsible. Money speaks! and if you believe in an eco-friendly nation, your wedding budget can create the outward display of your inner beliefs.
"Green weddings" are changing the entire wedding industry. It's about promoting the balance between the natural world and humanity. Supporting products and services that are eco-friendly for your wedding, sends a loud message to the society. By planning a "green wedding", each bride (and groom, of course) can do their part in conserving natural resources.
There are many different ways you can go "green" for your wedding. Here are a few examples of what brides are doing for their "green wedding".
Wedding Attire: Buying vintage gowns, or buying second-hand gowns and bridesmaids' dresses. Remember, these dresses were worn once! Or, you can rent tuxedos and wedding dresses. Again, you will be wearing them once. I happen to have my wedding dress boxed, sitting in my garage. I can't open it, because it's been vacuum sealed for "protection". So, basically I have an extra box in my garage that takes up about 3 feet of space. I can look at pictures of me in my wedding dress or choose to look at my box.
Rings: Shop for unique wedding bands and rings, at an antique store or vintage shop.
Gift Registry: Forget the toasters and silver platters, ask your guests to make a donation to your favorite cause. If you do choose to register, ask for practical, usable things. And no, a flat-screen TV with surround sound is not practical. Sorry guys.
The Site for Wedding/Reception: Choosing a site that is managed by a non-profit organization or at a place within protected land.
Flowers: Growing your own flowers for that special day. But you will have to plant the flowers well in advance, if you plan to use them for decoration.
Food and Drink: Choosing local food and drink suppliers helps your local economy. Ask for free-range chicken or naturally raised beef. Have a vegetarian entrée as a choice, or go all out vegetarian. Also, a new trend is buying wines without any added sulfites. These wines are actually healthier, and offer a bonus of minimal to no hangover. Lastly, arrange to have your leftover food packaged, and picked up for a local shelter or food bank.
The Cake: Request all natural, organic ingredients like whole wheat flour. Also, use fresh fruits that are in season as filling.
Guest Favors: Have a card at each place setting stating that you made a donation in their name to a charity of your choice.
Your Departure: Instead of rice, have the guests throw birdseed. The birds will love you for it!
With a little creativity, you can create a beautiful, unique wedding that exhibits your commitment to the natural world. Remember, it's YOUR day. Make it as "green" as you want. And, have yourself a Big Fat Green Wedding!