My Big Fat Green Wedding

My Big Fat Green Wedding

Pick and mix from the following expert tips and tricks to reduce your wedding’s carbon footprint, without scrimping on quality and style.

Credit: Getty Images

Green Wedding Rings

“Call your mum and grandmother, and – if you can – your soon-to-be-mother in-law, to dig out all of the gold they don’t use anymore, melt it down and make new rings ... they would all love to be a part of something so special, and it’s good for the purse too.”

Credit: istockphoto

Green Wedding Transport

A horse and cart is a very romantic and low impact option – just be sure that it hasn’t travelled far to get to you.

Credit: istockphoto

Queen B Candles Are Stylishing Sustainable

Queen B makes gorgeous patterned and plain 100 per cent Australian beeswax candles with cotton wicks that burn 10 times longer than regular candles, or try Bees Wax Creations for plainer options.

Credit: Queen B

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The reception venue

“Choose a reception venue close to your ceremony, and hold both earlier in the day to limit the need for artificial light. It may also save you money on not having to provide a full meal,” says Page.
“Ask for organic and/or local food and drinks, and, if you’re really cheeky, team up with the couple before or after you – provided you’re using a popular reception centre – and agree on a
colour scheme. Using the same can halve the costs and the eco-impact.”
Also consider a venue with solar power. The sun beams more energy in one hour than the world uses in a whole year!

Table settings

Conventional candles are made from paraffin wax, which is a non-renewable resource. Use beeswax candles instead for a romantic air – they are made of an all natural renewable resource, are non-toxic, smoke-free and non-allergenic. Queen B makes gorgeous patterned and plain 100 per cent Australian beeswax candles with cotton wicks that burn 10 times longer than regular candles, or try Bees Wax Creations for plainer options.

Select local and in-season flowers (grown organically if possible), or use cuttings from the garden (yours, or that of a friend or family member). Potted plants and flowers are a lovely alternative – whether you borrow them from the garden for the day, or buy them new and allow guests to take them home, they’ll be taken away to be nurtured, unlike cut flowers, which have such a short lifespan.

You could also consider using food as a table decoration – for example, if you’re having fruit for dessert, you can use a selection of whole seasonal fruits to decorate the table and have waiters remove them in time to prepare dessert.

More ideas

• Serve vegetarian meals and drastically cut the carbon footprint of the event
• Donate leftover food to charity, or give to your guests to take home
• Avoid disposable items such as paper decorations, serviettes and balloons
• Choose an organic wedding cake
• Use organic cotton tablecloths and napkins

Bonbonniere ideas

• Cutely presented native seeds, bulbs, seedlings or mini plants
Mokosh handmade palm-oil free soaps. Where possible, use ingredients that are either certified organic, biodynamic or sourced from fair trade suppliers.
• Beeswax candles, as used for table decorations
• Organic chocolates

Gift requests for you

• Organise a gift registry with sustainable choices, such as that offered by Melbourne’s Environment Shop
• Gifts or gift vouchers from any one of the numerous online eco-stores
• Donations to your favourite environmental charity
• Homewares made of recycled materials

The honeymoon

• Choose somewhere in Australia to limit your carbon emissions from trvaelling to and from your destination
• Find romantic eco-accommodation at www.ecofriendlyweddings.com.au
• Embark on an eco-volunteer project
• If you travel by plane, look into buying carbon offsets.

Hanky Panky

Most lingerie is made from non-renewable, non-biodegradable materials such as nylon, rayon and polyester. Opt instead for organic hemp-silk, silk chiffon, soy jersey or bamboo underthings. These fabrics are better for the environment and feel wonderfully soft on the skin.

OLIVIA RICHARDSON is an eco-journalist and editor hopelessly addicted to the latest green goss.

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