Weddings used to be relatively simple affairs, with the emphasis on getting friends and family into one place to celebrate the union of two people in love. And that is still the focus, for most people at least, but the nature of the celebration has become more complex and lavish over the years.
With all the luxury and excess expected at a modern wedding, it's easy to leave an impact on the environment. For many people, this isn't something to worry about too much – it's one day, after all. But for others, this environmental impact is cause for concern, particularly when they understand their place in the larger human society.
Having an eco-friendly wedding doesn't mean you have to cut out all of the things you want to do. There are a few simple ways to reduce the impact of your big day.
Move it outside
If you're blessed with reliably good weather where you live, why not consider an outdoor wedding? Having the service and reception inside typically means a lot of energy is used for lighting, air conditioning and generally keeping the place comfortable. Outside, you can cut this down significantly.
Do away with disposables
Instead of buying plates and glassware just for the occasion, hire them instead. This is also a much better option than disposable paper or plastic. You'll find a good selection from most companies, so there shouldn't be any problem getting hold of things you like and fit your theme perfectly.
Cut down on wasted paper
Many people have a large guest list for their wedding, which means sending out lots of invitations. In turn, this uses a considerable amount of paper. You can cut all of this out by sending electronic invitations instead.
Of course, this isn't desirable or practical for everybody. Paper invitations make a nice keepsake and are also better for sending to elderly relatives. Choose recycled or sustainable paper to keep the environmental damage minimal.
Use a local caterer
Food miles are a big part of the carbon footprint associated with eating. Choose a caterer who is based locally and can source local produce for you. On the subject of catering, make sure your guest numbers are accurate to avoid wasted food on the day.
Hire as much as possible
Decorations, clothing, tableware, furniture – the list goes on. There are plenty of items you could buy for your wedding, but they're unlikely to get used again. By hiring them instead, you support a company that gets maximum use from items, helping to cut down waste significantly.