As we continue to see the serious consequences of global warming and rapid arctic ice melt, people realize that responsibility and action are needed in all aspects of our lives. This should include our joyful moments as well so we can preserve the things we celebrate for the long run. An eco-friendly wedding can thus be not merely just as elegant as any other, but all the more meaningful.
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An eco-friendly wedding can be elegant
When planning bigger events, such as weddings, there are several things you can do to keep the day exquisite and elegant without damaging the planet. This includes everything from location and food, to decòr and the way drinks are presented. The best part is that guests love nature-themed parties with a touch of guilt-free elegance. Wedding planner Natalia Langsdale, founder of MyRivieraWeddings revealed how to succeed with a sustainable, yet luxurious, dream wedding.
Some believe that a responsible wedding has to be plain and boring, but Natalia assures that “when it comes to scenic wedding backdrops and stunning outdoor venues...one of the best ways to make your wedding day stand out is by providing an eco-friendly and earth-first experience."
Team up with eco-friendly partners
A wedding planner can help your dream wedding become more sustainable while keeping the luxurious touch. My Riviera Weddings is a brilliant example of an environmentally-conscious company who seeks out natural, environmentally-friendly solutions for their clients, ensuring a reduced environmental footprint and sustainability is at the forefront. They have many simple, but meaningful ideas that add up such as:
- Confetti punched out of leaves.
- Handmade recycled cotton art de la table.
- Use potted plants and succulents instead of cut flowers.
- Glass instead of plastic bottles for beverages to accompany the meal.
- Donate leftover food and flowers after the wedding.
Founder of My Riviera Wedding, Natalia Landsdale, focuses on sustainable weddings
All is catered to be respectful of the environment with Natalia saying that they "turn to vendors who share the same ethos as us and wish to carry it through in all that we do to ensure our planet continues to remain beautiful for generations to come." The overall environmental footprint of the event is largely dependent on working with other sustainability-minded partners, so when you contact potential vendors, ask them about their green practices.
A sustainable wedding can still be exclusive. Photo from My Riviera Wedding
Natalia recommends particular scrutiny of the venue provider. It may seem hard enough to pick the perfect location, let alone finding one that promotes eco-friendly weddings. But if you struggle to find a green venue provider, contact the one you like the most and ask if they are open to doing some changes.
The best thing you can do is communicate directly to them that sustainability is important for you, and as their client, you expect it to be equally important to them. The wedding planner should also be chosen wisely, as a conscious planner can help you do proper research and locate the truly responsible venue providers. Natalia explains that she only works with venues who offer clients environmentally-friendly alternatives when it comes to the overall wedding offering. This mindfulness from industry professionals as well as clients is helping the venue providers become more green with time.
Sustainable food and beverage for weddings
Food and drinks are essential in any wedding, and can quickly turn into the biggest element of the day’s carbon footprint. But a few simple steps can make a large difference and often help support local businesses:
- Order organic food from local farmers.
- Focus on plant based ingredients.
- Sit down with the chef to develop a wedding menu with seasonal vegetables from fair trade farms.
Sourcing beverages locally can often be trickier, especially if you plan to have a luxury wedding where quality is a top priority. So if local isn’t an option, you can still search for sustainable brands that put the environment first. Go for a carbon-neutral or even better, a carbon-negative brand, with eco-friendly packaging and content.
Svalbarði is a great example of an eco-friendly beverage that also brings that luxurious and elegant touch to your wedding
Natalia uses Svalbarði Polar Iceberg Water as their preferred water for eco-friendly luxury weddings. She explains that "Svalbarði water is at the top of our favourite list due to the attractive bottle made out of glass, which guests have often asked if they can take home with them at the end of the wedding to re-use as a carafe for their own ends. A circular brand means not only good for the environment, but for you too."
Svalbarði Polar Iceberg Water is one of the world's most exclusive waters, and with good reason. The luxury water is carbon-negative, meaning that each bottle sold saves 100kg of the North Pole ice cap from melting. The wooden cap is made only from certified sustainable forests and the glass bottle is entirely reusable and fully recyclable.
Eco-friendly wedding decor
Cut the crap - and the plastic. Small adjustments in how the table is set and how the drinks are served can have an outsized positive environmental impact while helping your big day stand out as unique.In just one day, weddings and all the activities surrounding them can generate an enormous amount of waste, especially if you rely on plastic decorations, straws and water bottles. “But weddings don't have to be wasteful or harmful to our planet" Natalia claims.
Handcrafted wedding cutlery made by Natalia - eco-friendly and chic
Something old, something borrowed
The option of using borrowed wedding decorations is a great way to cut down on both waste and costs. There are plenty of stores who rent out wedding decorations and many happy couples sell their items at large discounts after their own big celebration. Renting the wedding dress is also a great way to spare the environment and your wallet, as the dress often eats up a big chunk of the wedding budget and you will (hopefully) never use it more than once.
Homemade is well made
A second alternative is making decorations yourself with biodegradable materials or items you already have at home, such as homemade beeswax candles or invitations with individual designs made out of leftover paper. Your guests will love handcrafted and personalized invitations, knowing you really made a personal effort for them and no one else received the same. Done well, it is much more compelling than a stack of standardized mass-printed invitations made out of glossy paper with plastic coating.
Recycled cotton is a fantastic material that is both sustainable and romantic
Buy new - buy responsibly
If you decide to buy brand new decòr, look for handcrafted design made from organic or recycled materials such as wood, wheat fiber or bamboo to keep plastic out of our oceans. You can also use long lasting materials such as stainless steel. Check out local artists, designers and decorators near the wedding location to discover unique pieces of fine craftsmanship that have only travelled a short distance.
To achieve a natural, back to basics elegance, use recyclable cotton placemats and coasters, or biodegradable cutlery made by artisans like Made With Love by Natalia. Remember to pass your decor onto the next bride and groom for their own dream wedding to prevent more waste even after your big day.
Summary: Go for a green wedding
The key takeaway is that it is very possible to reduce the environmental footprint of your wedding while keeping the romantic and luxurious vibe. Use eco-minded companies that genuinely care for the environment, buy organic food locally and be creative with the decor materials. Using recycled, organic or left-over materials will go a long way.
And while planning and during the wedding, stay hydrated with elegance with Svalbarði Polar Iceberg Water - a carbon negative taste of Svalbard. Beyond that, we can just say congratulations on your wedding and thank you for caring about the planet during your most important moment.