How to have an eco-friendly wedding

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It seems that there’s more to this generation than selfies. According to a poll commissioned by the Clinton Global Initiative and Microsoft in 2014, millennials are 76% more likely than their parents to be aware of environmental issues. Interestingly though, in the same study, only a little more than half of them feel empowered to positively impact the environment and close to 60% think they’ll actually make things worse.

And this is where Greener Weddings comes in. Millennial or not, engaged or simply looking for greener ways to live, we will help you transform your eco-consciousness to action, particularly in the billion-dollar wedding industry that is all too commonly known for its excess and waste. We’ll walk you through the different eco-friendly wedding options available, and perhaps, discover new ones in the process, too. Harnessing the power of the internet and the community, we hope to be your traveling companions as you chart your own green wedding route.

To start off, as in every endeavor, let us know our whys.

The Cost

Anyone who has attended a wedding can say hosting one is no walk in the park, especially on the pockets. Recent statistics show that American couples spend an average of $35,329 on a traditional wedding; Australian partners, $29,645; and UK newlyweds, £36,127. To say that weddings are a billion-dollar industry might actually be an understatement, considering millions of couples tie the knot every year.

According to a conducted by ASIC’s MoneySmart in 2013, people go through various lengths just to afford the kind of wedding this billion-dollar industry is trying to sell. Some people borrow money, use their savings, ask their parents to pay, sell their car, or put their social life on hold; a considerable number even delay plans of buying a home, having a baby, or having the wedding itself; and a few even choose not to marry at all. While making sacrifices are inevitable and simply part of adulting, many are quite unnecessary if you look at the wedding celebration in the bigger scheme of things. As we walk each other in this path, we may have to ask ourselves constantly this question: “What are the trade-offs? And are they really necessary?”

Environmental Impact

Now the main reason for our being…Translated to human activity, those tens of thousands of dollars spent translate to transport, manufacturing procedures, and trash—lots of it, from invitations and decorations, to flowers and food. It is estimated that an average American wedding produces 400 lbs. of garbage and 63 tons of CO2 emissions. And imagine, how much carbon footprint the wedding industry leaves, considering around 6,500 couples get married everyday—that’s in the US alone.

So again, “How much really for a lovely, meaningful, and decent wedding? And why?”

Environment & Social Responsibility

Together, we will explore eco-friendly vendors for sustainable wedding dresses, invites, flowers, rings, decors, and even confetti; share practical eco-wedding ideas, applying the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle); and discover how meaningful, lovely, and sustainable weddings are possible without sacrificing authenticity (if not, even end up with a more authentic one). We will also touch Fair Trade, which traces back everything we consume to those who make them, as well as how they are treated and compensated. This can be a third why to our what.

An Invitation

To those who are afraid to tread this path, find comfort in the fact that while the eco-friendly route may not be a well-travelled road, it is not new either. Many a green bride has gone before you, survived, and lived to tell a beautiful (and ethical) tale. With information at your fingertips, we assure you that you are bound to find something that suits your taste, budget, and priorities. And while you may have to sacrifice some conveniences, you might surprise yourself of how much fun, connecting, and rewarding this journey can be.

And to those who have decided to take this path long before the creation of Greener Weddings, feel free to read up, share information, and encourage others to rethink their choices. We may not always get it right, if anything, we are here to show new perspectives and learn as well. After all, as Ram Dass said, “We are all walking each other home.”

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