Monday, March 14, 2011

Planning a Green Wedding



What is a "green" wedding? Well, some take the word "Green" literally and have their decorators use as many green elements as possible. But for the environmentalists, it's about saving as much energy and resources as possible.

How do you this?

■Minimize the amount of driving your guests will need to do.
Cpt for a venue which has access to public transport if need be or at least central enough for them to drive to.

It would be wise to consider these factors below, which are not only green choices, but economical and logical choices too!

•Could you have your special event at a place that would minimise travel impacts, and one that would keep the ceremony and reception close to each other?
•What about providing eco-friendly transportation between them? Or encouraging your guests to carpool, which would send a message as well as allow them to mingle with each other in fun fashion!
•Or you could pick a unique or local spot that you support or is special to you? That way this could also benefit your community or favourite places.


■Donate leftover food rather than throwing it out.
Some hotels have a regulation about not permitting leftovers to be consumed but you can request for a form to free them from any consequences eg side effects

■Don't register for things you don't need: give your guests the option of giving donations in your name instead.

INVITATION CARDS
Your wedding announcement or invitation can set the tone for your environmentally friendly wedding. There are many options today for 100% recycled, partially recycled or completely tree free papers from wedding invitation suppliers. If you are interested in making your own invitations, the choices are unlimitied. Consider all these places for paper on your wedding day:

•engagement announcements
•save the date cards
•shower invitations
•shower thank you notes
•wedding invitaitons
•ceremony programs
•place cards
•menu cards
•wedding announcements
•thank you notes

Many brides today are communicating electronically to cut down on paper and waste. You may be interested in creating your own unique personal wedding website at Wedding Window. No need to know HTML!! There are lots of styles to choose from and it is fully cusomizable and reasonably priced. There is a seven day trial, so you can check it out and see if it if for you. It is a great idea to have one place to put all your information. And at the end of your wedding, they have an option to get an archived copy of the site on CD.

Things to be considered would be:

•Recycled, handmade, or plantable papers processed chlorine-free and printed with vegetable- or soy-based inks tree-free paper made out of hemp, banana stalks, bamboo, kenaf, or organic cotton.

•What about postcards, which would take away the need for envelopes? Online invitations or blogs are also popular, and minimise the trouble of sending all those cards out! (We know some invitations don’t reach the intended guests these days anyway, with the days of e-mail and SMS!)

•But however you choose to do your invitation, the important thing is to communicate your green intentions to your guests. This does not have to big, preachy & showy message, of course, little friendly & subtle notes here & there that are not too intrusive would be perfect to spread a little green education!

•But before you do all that, remember to watch the numbers for your wedding! The single biggest factor in the environmental impact of your wedding will be its size, so have the strength to draw the line at the guest list you’ll have to agonise over!


FLOWERS
Your wedding flowers can be a place where you can make conscientious decisions which can have big eco consequences. Many flowers sold are imported from developing countries where pesticide use is very high and labor conditions and wages are low.

Choosing a florist where organically grown, in-season, local flowers are used can be a much better earth friendly choice. This will remove the need for long-distance transportation.

Other options:

Buy fresh at your local farmer's market.

Grow your own or force bulbs.

Use dried or silk flowers as an eco friendly alternative.

Reuse your flowers that day by transforming ceremony flowers into table decorations at the reception-similarly, ceremony decorations can be used to dress up the dance floor. After the party, donate them to a local hospital or senior citizen center or send them home with your guests.

TABLE CENTREPIECES
A great addition to the eco-friendly favors on the tables is to pull the "green" theme into your centerpieces. Table decor can take the form of pots of plants that can be later planted by your guests. If you are looking for a vessel for the center of your table to hold sea shells or colorful rocks, consider vases made from recycled glass or a bamboo bowl, due to renewable tendencies.

WEDDING FAVORS
Creating a wedding that isn't wasteful or polluting is appealing to more couples nowadays. A number of earth-friendly products and services is growing, giving the bride and groom a range of options. It is often as simple as buying local. For instance, supporting a local artisan is much more earth friendly than having cheap trinkets shipped half way around the world.

One of the more obvious eco-friendly wedding favor ideas for couples is to give something organic. There are many options if you want to give small trees, seeds, bulbs or plants.

Some local Malaysian companies offer milk and dark chocolate bars which make an elegant earth friendly wedding favor. Each bar wrapping can be customized.

The symbolism and beauty of gifting a tree is certain to thrill your guests. The KL Convention Centre has a programme that makes it easy for eco-friendly brides (or corporate clients even) to plant trees in their name.

Some local companies offer trees that can be delivered in an easy recyclable plastic tube with your choice of customized label. Your recipients can plant their trees right away, store them in a refrigerator, or grow them indoors for months.

The Green World Project provides live evergreen tree seedling favors. Their motto: By giving trees or seeds to your guests, everlasting memories will take root and grow along with your marriage. The tree can be presented in a stylish tube with directions on how to reuse the tube as a birdfeeder. Very clever!

There are also programmes that allow you to make donations to your favorite charity in honor of your guests.

When thinking of wedding favors, try to think like a guest. Would you want to receive this gift? Can I use it again and again or will it remain in the cupboard with all my other wedding favors?

For my own wedding, our favors were customized chocolates with a "Love is..." comic print on it .
MOST OF ALL

•Have fun planning your gorgeous green wedding
•Remember, little quaint messages of eco awareness can work wonders – you don’t have to nag and turn off your guests.
•You don’t have to green everything, do what you can and take heart that all little things do end up making a difference.
•Enjoy and savour your day. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event that will be extra special for the efforts that you have made!


Other resources which could be helpful :

Portovert magazine – an online resource dedicated to green weddings.

Ethical Weddings – a one-stop searchable database of all things local, fair-trade, organic, recycled, and wedding related.

Great Green Weddings – offering helpful advice for the eco-couple, including a couple of books on the subject.

HowStuffWorks has a bevy of helpful tips, including how to plan a wedding and making Wedding Bells

And if you’re looking for books on green weddings, there are Eco-Chic Weddings by Emily Elizabeth Anderson, Green Weddings by Carol Reed-Jones, and Organic Weddings, by Michelle Kozin

About the Author

Unknown

Author & Editor

Based in Malaysia, Best Events specializes in Conferences, Seminars, Murder Mystery Dinners, Gala Dinners and Team Building events.

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